A high-quality dog food will contain all of the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy. These include water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
However, it is also important to choose a diet that supplies your pet with enough energy for their daily needs. This is why you should always have a feeding study and a nutritional recheck.
The proteins in a dog’s diet are one of the most important nutrients they need. Protein helps your pet build muscles, skin, hair, nails and blood cells.
It also plays an essential role in the formation of body chemicals and hormones. It creates energy and keeps the immune system strong.
In addition to meats and fish, high-quality animal protein can be found in eggs, poultry and dairy products. Some pet foods also use plant-based protein sources like soy and hemp.
However, it is important to note that protein quality from different ingredients can vary based on the length of the protein, structure and amino acid composition. That’s why we suggest checking the label on any food you buy to be sure you are getting the right protein for your dog’s needs.
Carbohydrates provide energy and are a key component in making dry kibble palatable. They also help with digestion and abrade the surface of the teeth to prevent tartar build up.
The main types of carbohydrate in pet foods are sugars, starches and dietary fibre. Dietary fibre helps support digestive health, blood glucose control and provides the dog with a feeling of fullness.
It’s important to note that, according to AAFCO standards, dog food manufacturers are not required to put the carbohydrate percentage on their labels. This is a problem as it can make it difficult to know whether your pet is getting the right amount of carbs in their diet.
Fat is a nutrient that dogs need in large amounts to provide energy, produce essential fatty acids and carry fat-soluble vitamins through digestion. It is also necessary for healthy skin and coats, brain health, cognitive function (especially good for puppies) and fighting disease.
Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources, such as beef, pork, and lamb; poultry is also high in saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are found in oils from plants like flaxseed, olive oil and safflower.
A diet with a balanced balance of fats promotes optimal health for dogs. Look for foods with close to 50g of total fat per 1000kcal listed on the label, or look to supplement with a quality cold-pressed or organic oil.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the health of your dog. They provide energy, support healthy growth, and help keep your dog’s eyesight and heart healthy.
Some vitamins are water-soluble, while others are fat-soluble and must be absorbed through the diet. Deficiencies can result in anemia, loss of muscle mass, nervous system problems, and other illnesses.
B-complex vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that break down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy, which helps your dog stay active. One of these B-complex vitamins is biotin, which promotes hair growth, skin, and nail health.
Another vitamin is choline, which is a water-soluble vitamin that helps with brain function and phospholipid cell membrane formation. It is also beneficial for blood clotting and helps prevent bleeding disorders.
Minerals are an important component of a healthy diet for dogs. They play important roles in the body, such as bone and tissue development, muscle growth, blood coagulation and nerve function.
There are two groups of minerals that are essential to a dog’s health: macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals are required in larger amounts than trace minerals and must be included in a pet’s diet.
Macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and potassium. Trace minerals are needed in smaller quantities and include iron, zinc, manganese, iodine, selenium and copper.