The basics of dog nutrition

Nutrition, last updated 13th, Jul 2015, Neha Manchanda

Dog food

A nutritious diet is one of the main building blocks of a healthy dog. As pups grow old their nutritional requirements change as does their feeding schedules. As a pet parent, it is imperative to understand the fundamentals of nutrition to be able to feed nutritious and palatable food to your pooch.

We begin this week with an introduction to the basics of nutrition and will share articles that help you prepare the most nutritious meal for your beloved pooches.

Classes of Nutrition


Defining energy

Energy is defined as the combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates that provide energy to dogs to carry about their day to day activities. 


  • Proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids.
  • They form the building blocks of cell growth in all living beings.
  • Made up of 20 amino acids
  • Cats and dogs produce most of the amino acids, however about 30% of amino acids requirement is fulfilled by dietary intake
  • Animals require food with high biological protein content to aid in digestion
  • Importance of proteins:
    • Help in the repair of wear and tear of muscles 
    • Aid in maintaining overall good health
    • Promote glossy fur and hair
  • Sources of proteins
    • Meat & meat by products
    • Eggs


  • Fats are concentrated sources of energy
  • They also supply essential fatty acids that make the building blocks of life
  • There are two types of fatty acids - Omega 6 and Omega 3. Animas require Omega 6 fatty acids to be healthy
  • Importance of fats:
    • Help in maintaining healthy cells
    • Increase diet palatability
    • Aids in digestion of at soluble Vitamins A, K and D


  • Carbohydrates forms the main source of energy for dogs
  • Carbohydrates are needed to break down food by the digestive system and make glucose
  • Sources of carbohydrates:
    • Whole grains
    • Fruits and vegetables


  • Vitamins are required to convert calories to energy source
  • Dogs need vitamins in very small amounts to sustain
  • Sources of vitamins:
    • Wholesome food


  • Minerals are inorganic nutrients that for 1% of the body weight.
  • Classified as macro and micro minerals
    • Macro minerals - Calcium and Phosphorus
    • Micro Minerals - Trace minerals
  • Importance of minerals
    • Aid in overall growth and development
    • Promote healthy teeth and bones

Important points to remember:

  • The food for pets should be high in animal protein 
  • One must avoid foods with mention the generaic term "meat meal"
  • Do not serve whole meat foods as they are high in water content
  • Include food with whole foods and grains such as rice / fruits or vegetables
  • Do not serve food with flour or bran
  • Do not serve any food which has artificial preservatives / sweeteners.

About the Author


"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

Connect with the author via: Twitter.

Connect with the author via: Linkedin.

Hot Selling Products