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Dog nutrition basics

Your dog’s nutritional health relies on taking the right quantities and proportions of nutrients from the six major classes: water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins.
Actually, a balanced diet is necessary for your dog’s cell maintenance and general health. In most cases, your dog can get all the needed nutrients from high-quality commercial pet foods, especially formulated with these standards in mind. However, dogs of different ages have various nutritional requirements. In this article, you will learn what the basic elements that your dog needs in order to be in a good health.



Essential element in life, water accounts for more than half of an adult dog's body weight. Even if a certain amount of food can meet your dog’s water needs, you still have to make sure he has fresh clean water available at all times. An insufficiency of water may have serious consequences for dogs, for instance a 10% diminution in body water may cause grave illness, whereas a 15% loss can result in death.
The amount of water that a dog needs is generally determined by the quantity of food they consume each day. Usually a dog requires 1 ml of water for each kcal of energy, whereas the requirement of nursing females may increase in order to support milk production.


Essential elements for muscle growth, tissue repair, transporting oxygen in the blood, proteins are the main key building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies. They can be acquired from some animal-based meats, for example chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and eggs and in vegetables, cereals and soy.
Proteins are made of amino acids, which are distributed to several cells of the body where they are used to build body proteins. There are two basic types of amino acids: the essential ones that the body cannot produce or even produce in small quantities. It can be obtained regularly in the right proportions through diet, considering that essential amino acids are not stored for a significant period. The second type is the nonessential amino acids that are produced naturally in sufficient amounts in the body. This type usually does not need to be supplemented through diet.
Please bear in mind that dogs should not take raw eggs because they contain an anti-vitamin that intervenes with the metabolism of fats, glucose, amino acids and energy.
Generally, dogs need 10 essential amino acids: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.



It is a concentrated form of food energy, compared to protein and carbohydrate. Fats are necessary in a cell's structure, production of certain hormones and absorption and utilization of certain vitamins. Besides, it provides isolation and defense for internal organs. An insufficiency of important fatty acids (linoleic acid, for example) may result in reduced growth or increased skin problems.



Minerals are important nutrients provided in the diet. They can help in the constitution of bones and teeth, the maintenance of fluid balance, transportation of oxygen in the blood and the involvement in many metabolic reactions. Minerals are pretty simple molecules not as other large and complex nutrients. However, nutritional problems connected to minerals encompass the quantity of each in the diet, adequate balance of all minerals and the bioavailability of minerals in the dog's food.


Vitamins are complex substances required in small amounts for a dog's normal metabolic functioning. Giving your dog a vitamin supplement with a complete and balanced diet may create imbalances with detrimental effects, unless a determined vitamin deficiency is diagnosed by a veterinarian. In fact, overtaking vitamin A to your dog may result in bone and joint pain, brittle bones and dry skin, while overtaking vitamin D may result in very dense bones, soft tissue calcification and kidney failure.
Your dog can get all the vitamins required in balanced dog food, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins. Whereas they do not have to take vitamin C in their food because their bodies make it.



Carbohydrates are a source of energy, play a crucial role in the health of the intestine, and are essential for reproduction. Fibers are types of carbohydrates, which can aid to manage chronic diarrhea in dogs. The fiber should be moderately fermentable in order to obtain for your dogs the most benefit, such as beet pulp, brans (corn, rice and wheat) and wheat middlings.

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