Dog Food Nutrition: What to Give and What to Avoid?

dog food nutrition
dog food nutrition

With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the right dog food for your pet. If you’re looking for a high-quality diet that will meet all of their nutritional needs, look no further than our article on what to look for in good dog food nutrition.

The article goes into detail about animal protein sources and carbohydrates as well as fats and other important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It also includes some great examples of foods to avoid!

What Do You Need to Look for in Dog Food Nutrition?

Like humans, dogs also need some nutrients for a healthy life. The dog nutritional requirements percentages are no definite, as every pup has different needs. But one thing is for sure; they all need the following nutrients. Opt for dog food recipes that contain these elements.


Dogs need protein to stay healthy. Protein is necessary for the repair and growth of cells, bodily fluids, muscles, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and bone tissue. A dog’s diet should include at least 18% protein.

Dogs are carnivores that need more protein than omnivores or herbivores. If your dog is not eating enough high-quality proteins in their diet then they may suffer from muscle loss or atrophy.

The most common sources of protein are meat products like beef, chicken breast and fish fillets. These contain all essential amino acids needed by dogs so there is no need to supplement with other sources. Supplements need to be prescribed by a veterinarian because it can lead to health problems if done incorrectly.


Fats are responsible for providing energy to your pup. They also help to grow healthy skin and coat. Here are some vital fatty acids for your faithful friend:

  • Omega-6
  • Omega-3
  • Linoleic acid

Their body can’t produce fatty acids on their own. This is why you need to feed them food that contains fat.

best protein for pets


This is another element that is always present in the best dog nutrition food. These nutrients come from plants, such as vegetables and grains. This way, they get:

  • Fiber
  • Starches
  • Sugars

Carbs give strength to the tissues in your dog’s body. Moreover, they keep your puppy’ intestines healthy. 

Vitamins and Minerals

It’s important that dog food nutrition contains these nutrients. Minerals and vitamins help in different bodily chemical reactions and functions, such as building bones. Here is what they need in their food:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Phosphorus

Not to mention, your little ones don’t need vitamin C, as they can produce them in their body. 


Surely, you already know that dog needs water like any other being. But you might not know that if your dog loses half of its required protein and body fat, it will survive. However, if they lose only 10% of the water, they can die. Furthermore, water covers half of the weight of adult dogs.

Although most dog foods have lots of water in them, it’s not enough for your pup. Make sure that your little one always has clean and fresh water.  

dog food nutrition

What Ingredients Are Not Good For Your Pup?

There are plenty of elements used in canned or packed dog foods that can negatively affect pups. This is why most vets recommend you to feed homemade dog food to your pup. Even if you are unable to prepare food by yourself, watch out for some harmful ingredients when picking treats for your puppies.

The following are the dog food ingredients to avoid.

Artificial Preservatives and Colors

This is the most common concern for vets. You will always see them discouraging you from giving your dogs food with preservatives and chemicals. The market is filled with dog treats containing these ingredients. They can cause many diseases in your pup. Some of the common chemicals that you will find in these foods are as follows:

  • BHT
  • BHA
  • Ethoxyquin

According to the National Institute of Health, BHT and BHA are carcinogenic. Moreover, Ethoxyquin is associated with various health problems, such as cancers, kidney failure, and immune deficiencies. 

Check the label of the dog food to ensure these chemicals are not present in the product. Moreover, keep your pup away from colored foods. There is no proper evidence, but experts warn that they can be a reason to cause problems like hyperactivity, allergies, and tumors. So for caution, it’s best not to feed colored food to your anxious friend.  

Propylene Glycol

These elements are present not only in the dog’s food nutrition products but also in savory items. Yes, propylene glycol is FDA approved, but only for humans. This is why you can see them in ingredients like salad dressings.  

However, experts are not sure whether it is healthy for dogs or not. At the same time, they are infamous for causing harm to felines. Because of the uncertainty, it’s better to avoid them. 

Corn and Rice

Rice and corn are common fillers in pups packed foods. Although these treats seem to be tasty for your puppies, a carbohydrate-rich diet is not suitable for them. Food that is low in protein is one of the causes of making dogs obese.  

Food with a higher quantity of corn or rice can also lead to chronic health conditions like bloating, diarrhea, and gas. 

Grain-Free Dog Food

The FDA’s research has shown that grain-free food has lead to fatal heart issues in dogs. These food products usually have lentils, peas, and other legume seeds, as one of their primary ingredients. Some vets also suggest dog foods with grains.

There are plenty of food products on the market. You can easily find one with grains in it.  

Bottom Line

So, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above while choosing dog food nutrition. All you need to do is check the dog food nutrition label to catch any toxic ingredients that could be harmful for your dog.