Nutritional Requirements for your Dogs

Nutritional Requirements for your Dogs

Dogs are omnivores because they derive their nutrients from plant and animal sources, as against the widespread belief that they are carnivores.

Dogs, like humans, have nutritional requirements for their proper growth and good health.


Carbohydrates are a good source of energy in dogs. Dietary sources of carbohydrates include white rice or rice noodles, barley, oats, brown rice, whole wheat, whole corn, potatoes or sweet potatoes, millet, and banana. Carbohydrates should make up about 20-40% of your dog’s daily diet.


Proteins help build and repair the tissues of your dog. Proteins coordinate body function and maintain metabolic reactions in dogs.

Young dogs require a minimum of 22% protein for their reproduction and growth. Adults require a minimum of 18% protein for their maintenance.

The primary amino acids required by dogs are histidine, arginine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, cystine, threonine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, and tryptophan.

Dietary protein sources include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, beef, pork, duck, salmon, red meat, venison, cheese, and liver.


Fat is a good source of energy, insulation, and protection in your dog’s body. It also regulates the body and is fundamental to the signaling process of the body.

Young dogs require a minimum of 8% fat for growth and reproduction, while adult dogs require a minimum of 5% fat for maintenance.

The major fatty acid required by dogs is linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Dietary sources of omega-6 fatty acids include pork fat, poultry fat (chicken, duck, turkey), sunflower oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oils (soybean and corn oil).

Dogs also require omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils (salmon, herring, etc.), canola oil, and flaxseed oil.


Minerals are essential in maintaining the functions of the muscles, bones, brain, and heart. Minerals are also crucial for the production of hormones and enzymes.

The macro minerals include sodium, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. Dietary sources include table salt, fish, bone meal, molasses, organ meats, wheat bran, muscle meat, seafood, and vegetables.

The micro minerals required by your dog’s body include zinc, iron, copper, iodine, manganese, chromium, fluorine, and selenium. Dietary sources of trace minerals are liver, beans, red meat, poultry, eggs, brewer’s yeast, lamb meat, whole grains, etc.

The least required trace elements include nickel, aluminum, molybdenum, silicon, cobalt, and boron.


Vitamins are essential nutrients needed to strengthen your dog’s teeth and bones and maintain the health of the coat and skin of your dog. Vitamins also provide energy for the proper functioning of your dog.

The vitamins, and their sources, required by your dog include;

  • Vitamin A: Carrots, liver, spinach, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggs, fish oils, etc.
  • Vitamin D: Fatty fish, dairy products, cottage cheese, marine fish oils, egg yolk, liver, etc.
  • Vitamin E: Plant oils, whole grains, seeds, green vegetables, wheat germ, and liver
  • Vitamin K: Liver, milk, fish, cabbage, and green vegetables.
  • Vitamin C: Vegetables, fruits, and organ meats.
  • Vitamin B Complex: B Vitamins required by dogs include Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, Pyridoxine, Choline, and vitamin B12.

Dietary sources of vitamin B complex include whole grains, liver, nuts, green vegetables, brewer’s or nutritional yeast, spirulina, dairy products, etc.

A balanced diet ensures the proper growth and development of your pet. Finally, ensure to give your dog enough water daily.