6 Essential Nutrients Your Dog Needs

· February 27, 2019
Let's talk about dog nutrition! A balanced diet is critically important to your dog's cell maintenance and body. There are 6 essential nutrients dogs need for optimum healthy living.

If your dog’s well fed, they’ll feel healthier, stronger and happier. It’s as simple as that. But too many times we don’t know what nutrients must be present in our dog’s diet and how to properly take care of our dogs. In this article, we’ll tell you what the 6 essential nutrients for your dog are.

The essential nutrients in the dog’s diet

When we buy dog food, we think ordinary dog food will cover all our dog’s nutritional needs. But that’s not true! For this reason, we must take into account what dogs need when we feed them:

1. Proteins

6 Essential nutrients in your dog bowl.

These are essential nutrients for cells and for building and regenerating tissue. At the same time, they’re very important for forming enzymes and hormones as well as antibodies to prevent dogs from getting sick.

Puppies need more protein than adults in their diet (except for females when they’re pregnant or breastfeeding). This nutrient is “lost” through feces, urine, and hair. The main source of protein for dogs are meat and cereals.

When there is a protein deficiency, dogs don’t grow properly, they lose weight, get sick more often, lose appetite and their hair will fall off.

2. Fats

Fats aren’t bad if you consume them in the right amounts. They’re a great source of energy and they provide fatty acids, which help to synthesize prostate glands and build cell walls.

For instance, the corn oil mixed in the feed is an excellent source of Omega 6 fatty acids (the lack of which causes dandruff, skin lesions, dry hair, and decreased fertility). Keep in mind that if dogs exercise a lot, they’ll need more fats. These fats are beneficial for the heart and other organs.

3. Carbohydrates

There are 3 types of carbohydrates in food: starches, sugars, and polysaccharides. As with fats, they’re very good for health. Above all, you can use them to prevent constipation, obesity, and diarrhea, and retain water in the body (they act like sponges). In addition, they interact with other nutrients such as minerals to increase their properties.

The elderly, sick, sedentary, or pregnant and lactating females need more carbohydrates in their diet.

4. Water

Here we are not only talking about the liquid that’s drinkable, but also what we find in food. Puppies’ bodies are made of 80% water and adults of 60%.

It’s one more nutrient that shouldn’t be forgotten. Lack of water can cause very serious problems and even death. Dogs can lose up to 40% of their body weight by not eating but only 10% by not drinking.

Water regulates body temperature, eliminates waste through urine, aids in digestion and blood transport, plus other advantages.

5. Vitamins

Giving essential nutrients to dog.

Vitamins are necessary for your dog’s daily life, both for health and vital functions. However, the only vitamin that dogs can synthesize is vitamin C. You must supply the other vitamins through food. Also, remember dogs can get vitamin D by exposing them to sunlight.

In conclusion, each vitamin has a specific purpose. Vitamin A repairs tissues and improves vision, vitamin D helps the skin and the immune system, and vitamin E helps with reproduction and the circulatory system.

6. Minerals

Minerals are essential nutrients found in all foods and, for this reason, it’s rare to encounter a mineral deficit. Dogs need small quantities of minerals, although minerals aren’t less important because of that.

For example, calcium is good for the formation of bones, muscles, and nerves. Other minerals are iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium (for water balance) and zinc (for digestion).

Similarly, we can’t forget the dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and you can find it in vegetables and cereals. Its deficit causes constipation.

  • Flachowsky, G. (2002). Basic animal nutrition and feeding. Animal Feed Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0377-8401(97)84958-9
  • Hall A., J. A., Tooley, K. A., Gradin, J. L., Jewell, D. E., & Wander, R. C. (2003). Effects of dietary n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and vitamin E on the immune response of healthy geriatric dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.2003.64.762