What Nutrients Do Dogs Need Daily


As good dog parents, we want to provide the best for our family, starting with the food we serve them. Like their human counterparts, dogs need certain nutrients in order for their bodies to grow normally, for their vivacious personalities to flourish, and yes, even for the health of their stools.

However, the market for pet food is more crowded than ever, making it simple to feel confused by the options. The majority of businesses claim that their food is “full and balanced,” further complicating matters. But is food uniformly created?

How then can you determine what is actually best for your pet? At Redbarn, we think you should feel assured when feeding your dog without any hesitation.

Dog owners should adhere to these three methods to sort through the mess. Find out the six nutrients that every dog requires, how much to feed their dog, and how to use this information while reading the labels of pet food.

By reading informative articles (like this one!) and seeing their veterinarian frequently, pet parents may take charge of the situation and educate themselves on the fundamentals of pet nutrition.

Knowing the fundamentals of pet nutrition is the first step in preventing overspending on pointless items, according to Sandy Chebat, who spoke to Pet Product News International.

Premiumization is the process by which new businesses profit on the fact that your pets are “family” by upselling them more expensive goods. It might be challenging to understand marketing lingo and medical jargon on your own.

To solve the issue, we’ve done the study for you and clarified the essentials. Let’s get started so that our dogs can eat!


70 to 80 percent of an adult dog’s body weight is made up of water. Your dog won’t be able to function properly without water. Water has a variety of functions in the body, including aiding in digestion, controlling body temperature, transporting nutrients to cells, and many more. Make sure your dog has access to a sufficient amount of fresh water every day. According to PetMD, dogs should have one ounce of water for every pound of body weight every day, but specific recommendations should be discussed with your veterinarian.


Internal organs are shielded by fats, which also control body temperature and support a strong neurological system. Dogs may also experience dull coats and dry, itchy skin if their fat levels are too low. Dogs need specific fatty acids that their bodies cannot naturally make. The necessary fatty acids that make up these lipids.

Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that pet foods’ calories are calculated slightly differently than diets for humans. A value of 3.5 calories is provided to each gram of protein and carbohydrate. Each gram of fat contains 8.6 calories. This is done to account for the generally less processed ingredients included in pet food. Redbarn Pet Products’ Technical Director and Research & Development Scientist, Steve Doerr, said.

Some fats are not healthy for your dog. When selecting a high-quality dog food, pay close attention to the source, kind, and quantity of the fat.


The body uses protein to make energy and to build strong structures (skin, nails, muscles, and bones). The body needs a steady supply of protein because it cannot store it. Amino acids make up proteins. For dogs to make the proteins they need to survive, they require 22 amino acids. About half of those amino acids can be produced by a dog’s body naturally, with the remaining amino acids coming from the food your dog consumes daily. As the name implies, essential amino acids are obtained from food and are vital to your dog’s health. The ratio and quantity of necessary amino acids are both significant factors.

Look for dog foods with natural, high-quality proteins as the first component to make sure your dog is providing their body with adequate protein to fuel their day. Your dog’s own taste preferences and any other special dietary requirements the protein source may meet will determine the type of protein, whether it be fish, meat, or fowl. And you can be confident that the first ingredient in Redbarn’s dog chow is always real meat, fish, or poultry.


A dog’s main supply of glucose comes from carbohydrates, which also act as a primary source of energy (energy). Although they are not necessary for a dog’s diet, carbohydrates are linked to significant vitamins, minerals, and plant-based elements. Carbohydrates include grains such grains, barley, brown rice, whole maize, or potatoes.


Vitamins are crucial for growth and the maintenance of your dog’s health and play numerous important roles in their diet. Your dog should be getting many of the vitamins need to keep them healthy and content as long as the dog food you choose is a complete and balanced diet according to AAFCO’s requirements.

What vitamins and minerals do dogs need daily?

What should I feed my dog? is presumably the question that pet owners ask their veterinarian most frequently. To ensure your dog’s overall health and well-being, be sure to feed them the right amount of a nutritious food. You must comprehend the nutritional needs of dogs and how these needs have changed as a result of biological evolution in order to know how and what to feed your dog.

Since dogs are carnivores, doesn’t this mean that they need to eat a diet that is meat based?

The biological order Carnivora, which includes a sizable group of mammals with comparable tooth structures, includes species like the dog. The food requirements of the many animals in this order differ. Obligate or genuine carnivores are those members of this category who must consume meat in their diets at all times, although herbivores and mixed carnivores can eat enough plant matter to suit their nutritional needs (omnivores). An example of an obligate carnivore is a cat, a cow is an example of a herbivore, and two instances of omnivores are dogs and people.

Dogs’ tooth structure and intestinal system have evolved to accommodate an omnivorous diet due to their nutritional requirements. This means that dogs can typically eat a variety of plant and animal foods to suit their nutritional demands. The quality and digestibility of these vital diet staples for dogs are more important than where the proteins and fats come from. If given a properly balanced vegetarian diet, dogs can flourish. An all-meat diet, however, would be imbalanced and fall short of meeting all of a dog’s nutritional needs.

Dogs are able to eat a variety of plant and animal foods to meet their nutritional demands under typical circumstances.

As understanding of canine nutrition has grown as a result of basic and applied nutrition research, it is now understood that a well-balanced meal should also contain a sufficient amount of minerals, vitamins, certain important amino acids (from proteins), and some essential fatty acids (from fats). Depending on the stage of life the dog is in, different levels of these substances are required to carry out biological processes, maintain tissue, and create and maintain tissue (puppy, adolescent, adult, pregnancy, senior).

I was told that dogs cannot digest carbohydrates. Is this true?

Dogs have evolved to utilise proteins and lipids as their main energy sources to meet their demands, while they may also use carbs. Dogs are capable of digesting carbohydrates because their digestive systems contain enzymes that are specifically suited for breaking down starches and sugars. But cooked complex carbs, such those found in grains, are easier to digest.

I have heard that dogs should only eat raw foods and that dogs cannot properly digest cooked foods. Is this true?

Over thousands of years, domesticated dogs have evolved to eat the meals that their human companions provide, including cooked food. As was already noted, cooking complex carbs makes them easier for dogs to digest. Feeding a dog a raw food can have a number of risks for both the dog and the household residents, particularly children and persons with compromised immune systems.

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

Water, proteins, lipids, carbs, minerals, and vitamins make up the six fundamental nutrients. The dog must regularly consume these necessary nutrients, which are important to all of the body’s fundamental processes. For many nutrients, the minimal dietary need has been defined. Some nutrients have maximum acceptable doses that are known, and the effects of toxicity have been documented. What might occur over time with slight deficits or excesses is less clear.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials has produced nutritional recommendations (AAFCO). The broad framework for the nutritional composition of commercial pet foods is set forth by AAFCO recommendations. Verify that the AAFCO criteria are met by the food you feed your dog. Remember that these are only suggestions, and depending on your dog’s health needs, he may require more or less. For more information on the specific minerals that your dog may require, talk to your veterinarian.

What should I look for in a dog food?

The finest piece of advise you can get about feeding your dog is to give it the best food you can afford. The quality and source of the ingredients make up the difference between a luxury food and a cheap food, not the nutrition label. Even while two dog feeds may each contain 27% protein, their levels of digestibility could not be more dissimilar.

The ingredients for pet food are listed in weight order. When an ingredient is introduced to the food batch, it is weighed. Fresh meat, for example, contains a lot of water, much of which is lost during processing. This suggests that a dry diet with corn as the first element may be more nutrient-dense than one with meat as the first ingredient.

The fact that some nutrients are stated as having a “minimum” percentage and others as having a “maximum” percentage adds to the difficulty because the actual batch of food may include a larger or lower percentage of the ingredient than is shown on the label.

Asking your veterinarian for advice on dog food selection is the best course of action. However, the following general advice can help you choose what to put in your dog’s food bowl:

  • Choose diets that include entire, identifiable foods. Find another diet if you aren’t familiar with the majority of the stated items.
  • Decide on a diet minimal in calories. Most adult, indoor, neutered or spayed dogs have modest energy needs. A cup of food for your dog should only have a few calories in it; ideally, no more than 350. If your dog weighs 20 pounds and your dog food has 500 calories per cup, the recommended serving size is low (and unappealing!). Even a few more kibbles from high-calorie foods can significantly increase weight gain, making the situation worse.

How much should I feed?

The best way to figure out how many calories to feed your dog is to calculate their optimal lean weight and feed in accordance with that weight. Sadly, this necessitates continuous observation (and weighing) and is not always feasible.

“Depending on his lifestyle and body condition score, your veterinarian can determine how many calories your dog requires each day.”

Depending on his lifestyle and body condition score, your veterinarian can determine how many calories your dog requires each day. The formula that is typically used to determine how much energy an average adult dog needs to live in your home, have some mild exercise each day, and be spayed or neutered is:

What nutrients should homemade dog food have for dogs?

Certain minerals, including iron, copper, calcium, and zinc, are often lacking in dog food formulations. Even some veterinary recipes fall short in various ways. 200 recipes, many of which were created by veterinarians, were evaluated at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The majority of the recipes, the researchers discovered, were deficient in key crucial elements.

According to Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, the best method to ensure a recipe is effective is to select one designed by a professional with education in canine nutrition. That may be a PhD-trained animal nutritionist with experience creating pet food, or a certified pet nutritionist. You should be able to get direction from your veterinarian.

Your pet requires protein from animal sources, fat from sources like meat or oil, and carbs (grains or vegetables). They also require vital fatty acids, calcium (from dairy products or an ingredient like egg shells), and magnesium (from certain plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods).

Additionally, if your dog has a medical condition, they might require a particular diet. A pet nutrition specialist could be required to develop personalized meals.

What food is best for your dog’s health?

After spending a lot of time exchanging love, embraces, cuddles, and long walks, you eventually master the art of sharing.

The best part is that sharing food ultimately becomes second nature, despite how simple it may appear.

However, you need to be aware of high-quality foods that are healthy for your dog before you bring your four-legged companion to the table.

Do dogs benefit from eggs?

Eggs are a fantastic source of nutrition for your canine buddy and are completely safe for dogs. They benefit your dog both internally and externally because they are rich in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and fatty acids.

Keep in mind that a chicken’s eggs are only as good as the fowl that produced them. Try to give your dog eggs that were produced by chickens that were given a free-range organic diet. It would be best if you could obtain them from a reliable source. Similar to humans, chickens are only as healthy as the food they consume, and healthier chickens produce eggs that are higher in nutrients.

Consult your veterinarian before giving eggs to your dog. Check first because certain dogs with medical issues shouldn’t consume eggs. Speaking to your veterinarian about the proper amount of eggs to give your cherished dog is a wise decision because eating too many eggs may also result in health issues like obesity.

Eggs are a fantastic occasional treat but shouldn’t be the main diet for your dog.

How is balanced dog food made?

Recipe for Balanced Dog Food

  • 90%+ lean ground beef, 3.5 lbs.
  • 12 tbsp. hemp seeds or 8 tsp. hempseed oil.
  • 8 ounces of sardines in water in a can, or 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger.
  • 2 teaspoons of kelp powder.
  • 4 eggs.
  • two eggshells
  • 4 oz. of beef liver

Which supplements ought to I include in dog food?

It’s possible that one-third of dogs in this nation receive some kind of nutritional supplement for conditions including arthritis and joint stiffness, heart health, digestion, and hair care. There is some encouraging data to support their use, even if there hasn’t been enough research on the effectiveness of these dog supplements to determine with certainty that they work.

The following is a list of some of the most well-liked canine supplements along with their intended uses:

Glucosamine is the most popular canine dietary supplement. An amino sugar called glucosamine is naturally present in the fluid around joints and aids in the development of cartilage. Shellfish provide glucosamine, but it can also be manufactured in a lab. Glucosamine is thought to be an excellent arthritis treatment for dogs by many dog owners and vets. It might reduce joint pain and increase movement in senior dogs. A few investigations have revealed negligible or no effects. But a 2007 investigation in “The Veterinary Journal reported that after 70 days of treatment, a glucosamine supplement reduced pain and improved mobility.

Glucosamine supplements are often made using chondroitin sulfate, which is found naturally in the connective tissues of bone and cartilage. They come in a variety of forms, including pills, powders, and treats.

Fish oil is the second most typical supplement given to dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids included in fish oil for dogs are known to enhance coat gloss and quality while reducing skin allergies. Research on the effects of fish oils on arthritic, cardiovascular, and joint health has shown conflicting results. research in the “Fish oils are frequently used by pet owners to alleviate inflammation, according to the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

Antioxidants It is believed that antioxidant supplements for dogs can help fight off some of the symptoms of aging, including memory loss and cognitive impairment. Additionally, they are utilized to treat inflammation and canine heart disease. Antioxidants shield the body from free radicals, potentially hazardous molecules that can destroy cell membranes and even result in cell death. They are present in compounds like vitamins C and E. Another strong and natural antioxidant that aids in turning food into energy and fights free radicals is coenzyme Q10 for dogs. It’s frequently used as a canine antioxidant supplement.

It’s not surprise that probiotics for dogs have become well-liked supplements given the rise in probiotic use in people. Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that exist naturally in the body and help with digestion and intestinal health. They are used as supplements to address digestive issues like diarrhea. There are many ways to consume probiotics, including in various yogurts, capsules, chews, powders, and some dog food recipes.

There are a few crucial cautions to be aware of before joining the supplement bandwagon:

  • Before giving vitamins to your dog, always visit your veterinarian. There could be a medical issue with your dog that needs to be addressed. Additionally, even herbal supplements, which are supplements, can be hazardous if your dog is taking medicine.
  • Avoid believing in claims that seem too good to be true. Supplements cannot treat major illnesses like cancer, parvovirus, or others.
  • Purchase a respectable brand from a trustworthy business; ideally, choose one that specializes in supplements, has completed clinical trials, and/or has received accreditation from a third-party agency.
  • Don’t assume that vitamins for humans are healthy for dogs. Some of them, such as those made with xylitol, can be harmful.

There is some evidence that supplements, whether herbal or lab-made, may be beneficial. However, certain studies and anecdotal evidence have indicated successful improvements, whether in the form of a shinier coat, peppier step, better digestion, or increased cognitive function. There has, however, been little to no research on long-term impacts. That’s what we all want for our canine companions, right?

Puppy Nutrition

Starting with you, your puppy will live a healthy and happy life. Do it right from the beginning. This e-book offers helpful advice on how healthy eating practices will start your puppy out on the right foot.