Dogs’ basic nutritional needs

  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Carbohydrates
  • Water

Dogs are omnivores. They can consume both plants and meat, converting them to meet their nutritional needs. Dogs use proteins and fats as primary energy sources; they are also evolved to use carbohydrates as energy.

What to look for on the food labels?

  • Labelled with “Complete and Balanced”; certifies that its nutrient level meets the standard of AAFCO’s requirements.
  • Marked with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients.
  • Select a low-calorie diet. Most adult, indoor, spayed or neutered dogs are less active than puppies, and usually have low energy requirements.
  • For more information about food lebal of pet food under AAFCO regulation, you may refer to 

What to avoid?

  • Food description such as “meat by-products”, “beef tallow”, “food fragments” and “animal digest”.
  • Artificial coloring; it is added to make the food more appealing to humans, not beneficial to the dogs.
  • Hydrochloric acid; it is added to help dogs to digest, however, dogs can produce hydrochloric acid naturally. Any extra hydrochloric acid is a sign that the food is hard for dogs to digest.

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