You have likely been feeding your dog the same kibble that your breeder was feeding them. But now that they have adapted to you and their new environment, you might be wondering whether you are feeding your dog the right diet. Below we breakdown everything your dog needs to be getting each day so they can grow up strong and healthy.
There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing your dog’s diet. For example, are they currently at a healthy weight? How much activity do they get? Is your dog pregnant? All these factors will change the breakdown of your dog’s diet. Our guidelines below are for healthy adult dogs, and pet parents should always consult with their vets when making nutritional choices.
As a rule of a thumb, a healthy adult dog needs at least 10% of their daily calories from protein, at least 5.5% from fats and up to 50% from carbohydrates, which should include 2.5% to 4.5% in fiber.
To stay healthy, your dog’s diet needs to have the following six things:
Your dog’s body tissues are made of protein, which are made up of amino acids. They need to have 23 amino acids to stay healthy, but their body only produces 13 so they need to get the other 10 from food.
Similar to humans, fats give their bodies energy while promoting healthy skin and hair. The main three fatty acids your dog needs are linoleic acid, omega-6, and omega-3, that’s why you hear these names as common supplements. They should be getting these from their feed since their bodies can’t produce enough, but before defaulting to a supplement talk to your vet. If your dog is on a complete and balanced diet, chances are they shouldn’t need a supplement.
Carbohydrates will power the tissues in your dog’s body and are found in plants. Your dog gets carbs through sugar, starches and fiber.
A dog’s body needs vitamins and minerals for necessary chemical reactions in their bodies. They need a lot of the same vitamins and minerals as us (listed below), except for vitamin C. Their bodies actually produce enough vitamin C! All the vitamins and minerals listed below will be found in a Complete and Balanced diet, so unless recommended by your veterinarian, there should be no need for supplements.
Water makes up more than half of an adult dog’s body weight and is extremely important. In fact, if they lose even 10% of the water in their body, they could die. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water.
Dog treats don’t need to follow AAFCO standards the same way dog food does, so it’s important to limit the amount of treats you give your dog and to ensure you are choosing good treats. As a rule of thumb, no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories should come from treats.