Dog Nutrition

You need to know how, what and how much to feed your pet to keep it in proper shape. A dog must be fed an adequate amount of nutrients throughout his life: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Organic substances – proteins, fats and carbohydrates – are essential to the body’s energy supply in the first place.

The cost of energy depends on many factors: the physiological condition of the animal (puppies, adult dogs, pregnant and lactating females, “venerable” age dogs) from the temperature of the environment from the work done from body weight

Nutrients that are essential for the normal functioning of the body are primarily:


Squirrels are an indispensable part of the feed. Proteins make up the bulk of the animal’s body weight. They are a part of organs, body tissues, hormones, pigments, immune bodies and blood cells. As a result of enzymatic processes in the animal’s digestive tract, proteins are broken down into amino acids, which are then used by the body to synthesise its own proteins.

Proteins are substances made up of amino acids. There are 23 known amino acids that are part of proteins. But amino acids are divided into replaceable and indispensable. Substitutable amino acids include alanine, cystine, tyrosine. Substituted amino acids can be synthesized in an animal body. As a rule, there is never a shortage of amino acids in the body.

And there are essential amino acids that can’t be synthesized in your dog’s body on their own, so your dog should get them along with the food. For dogs, these essential amino acids are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, phenyllanil.

The most amino acids are proteins of animal origin, i.e. those found in the liver, meat, milk, fish and eggs. Plant proteins contain less amino acids and are less digestible in dogs.

The amount of protein needed by the body is different for each dog and depends on his age, physical activity and physiological condition (growth period, pregnancy, lactation, aging process).

If there is a protein deficiency in your puppy’s diet, there is a delay in puppy growth and development, weight loss in adult dogs, impaired reproduction function and reduced resistance to various diseases.


Fats are one of the most important components of an animal’s diet. Fats are a mixture of various triglycerides and three fatty acids: linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic. Fats are the main source of energy in the body, which provides the internal workings of the body.

In addition, they are essential for the absorption and accumulation of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, K), improve the palatability of food and are a source of so-called essential fatty acids.

For a dog that acts as a domestic companion, the fat content of the food should be at least 8%, for puppies the fat content should be slightly higher and at least 12%.

Lack of fat in the diet of animals leads to these changes in the body: delayed growth of puppies, weight loss, there is a significant deterioration in appearance, the skin and coat of adult dogs (keratosis, thickening of the epidermis, flaking of the skin), that is, the body appears to have a shortage of PUFAs.


Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that powers the muscles of an animal. The main source of carbohydrates is plant food, i.e. rice, wheat and corn.

Carbohydrates are divided into soluble and insoluble. Soluble carbohydrates include monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose), disaccharides (saccharose, lactose, maltose) and polysaccharides (complex soluble carbohydrates).

Most carbohydrates, namely sugar and starch, in the animal body turn into glucose, which oxidizes to form ATP (adenosine triphosphoric acid). And it is extremely important for the central nervous system, liver and muscles. Excess glucose is deposited in the animal’s liver and can be used by the body to synthesise its own fats.

Mineral salts

With a lack of mineral salts puppies develop rickets and adult dogs develop osteoporosis.

These are various organic compounds whose role in the vital functions of the body cannot be overestimated. In comparison with the basic nutrients vitamins are needed in the diet in very small amounts, but they have a beneficial effect on metabolism, stimulate growth, increase immunity, strengthen the blood, bone and other systems of the body.

So, how do you organise your dog’s diet so that all the nutrients come into the body in the right amounts? After all, only a balanced diet can be complete for your dog’s healthy development.

Many inexperienced dog owners believe that it’s better to feed their dog from their own table by mixing porridge, meat and vegetable stew. A dog that’s hungry may not be, but will he be healthy? Feeding a homemade dog has many drawbacks: there will be lots of fats and carbohydrates and little protein in this diet.

How to make puppies “fat” and simultaneously mobile

Correct and balanced feeding is important for every dog since childhood. Nutritional deficiencies cannot be caught up with 6 months of age – the most responsible period in a puppy’s life.

If the female is healthy and well fed, the first 3-4 weeks puppies will get all the nutrients they need with the mother’s milk. The puppies should be fed gradually, starting with wet food in canned food and gradually mixed with dry food soaked in water until the consistency of porridge is achieved. The dry food content should be gradually increased and canned food gradually reduced.

It is strictly forbidden to feed puppies food for adult dogs. The food for puppies is more caloric and has a higher content of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, which are essential during a period of rapid growth.

What do breastfeeding and expectant mothers eat?

There is no need to change the female diet in the first half of pregnancy. Starting from the sixth week of pregnancy the amount of food should be gradually increased – until the end of pregnancy the female should receive one and a half times more food than she ate before mating.

While feeding puppies, the need for energy, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals increases even more, so the amount of food should be increased each time. In the first week of feeding puppies, the amount of food should be 1.5 times the normal daily rate, in the second week – twice as much, and from the third week the female should eat three times the rate.

During pregnancy and lactation it is recommended to feed the female with special food for pregnant and nursing dogs or puppy food. Such a food has a high energy value, greater protein, vitamins and minerals content. Feed the female fully and you won’t have any problems with early puppy feeding.

How do you support an old friend

Unfortunately, the dog ages over time, becomes less active, sleeps more and walks slower. That’s why the energy costs of the dog are also reduced. Such dogs should be fed a special food that has a low energy value, contains less protein and carbohydrates but a high content of vitamins and minerals. This will prevent dog obesity and support your friend for as long as possible.