The Important Nutrients in Dog Food

Nutrients in dog food should be one of your main objective when buying pet food! Our pets deserve the very nutrients in dog food for the optimal health of your pet and a long & happy life. One of the most important nutrients in dog food is of course protein.

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There are six basic nutrients that people and any animals needs for optimum health.  Here is a list

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Vitamins
  • Carbs
  • Minerals
  • Water
  • Bone meal


Just like humans, dog nutrition is vital to their well being. Dogs need Amino acids.  Amino acids are made by the body but they also are supplied to us by proteins.  Does that make you feel like having a nice juicy steak.  Yum.

Fats for Nutrition

How we come to the most misunderstood nutrient, fats.  We cannot live without fats.  Especially in very cold climates, fats are a must or the body starts using muscle for energy.  Not good.


Vitamins are of course important for good health and we take them for granted.  Humans pop a pill and can get extra vitamins. Dogs on the other hand depend on their food for vitamins. Unless your dog is recovering from an injury or is pregnant, don’t give any vitamin C.  A dog manufacture his own vitamin C in his body. B-complex, including thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, choline, and B12, and C, ascorbic acid. B-vitamins help convert food to energy; C can be manufactured by the dog and supplementation is not necessary. However, some breeders insist that Vitamin C is helpful for dogs that are under stress.

Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.  Don’t give too much and always get the advice of your vet. Lack of Vitamin E can cause muscle problems. Lack of Vitamin A can cause eye problems. Too many vitamin A can cause bone problems. Too much vitamin D can cause problems with the kidneys and lungs. Too little can cause Rickets.

Carbs or Carbohydrates

Good dog nutrition needs carbs. It is advised that 33% of a dog diet should contain carbs. Use good grains for your dogs carbs. Watch out for corn and wheat because you don’t know from where it came from.


Dogs need sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace amounts of iron, copper, zinc, etc.  A good pet vitamin tab will most likely take care of any Vitamin/Mineral deficiency.


BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin are often used even though Ethoxyquin is banned in Europe as a carcinogen.  The higher the amount of these ingredients, the longer the shelf life but I say if you want your dog to have skin problems, allergies and reproductive failure go ahead and buy it.  But don’t. Just put the bag back on the shelf and go for the better food.

Remember when buying food.  Your dog doesn’t care what color their food is. They don’t care if they are round little pellets or in the shape of stars or tiny bones. Dog food manufacturers market to humans, not canines. Don’t get sucked in by their colorful advertisements telling you that their food is the best and “natural” or “healthy” or “pure” “high quality” “best” “finest” and on and on. There are no standard definitions of these words. Dog food companies don’t have to prove to anyone what goes into their dog food.