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Your Pup’s Daily Nutritional Requirement

The daily nutritional requirements of your dog depend on several factors, but mainly on its activity level and age. Puppies, adult dogs and elderly dogs need different amounts of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.

So before you decide whether to have home-cooked, raw food or commercial dog food, get a basic understanding first of a canine’s daily nutritional requirement.

Nutrients Required for All Dogs

All household dogs need protein and fat to support their active lifestyle. Fat and protein is for energy and for sustaining healthy organs and muscles. Vitamins and minerals are for their immune system. Calcium, evidently, is for strong bones. Magnesium helps for hormone functions, while vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Other nutrients that were not mention but are equally necessary are:

  • Chlorine
  • Choline
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B1, B6 and B12
  • Zinc

Nutritional Requirements for Puppies

Puppies are in need of more protein and fat than a full-grown dog. It is advised that a puppy weighing between 15 and 30 pounds should get 21 grams of fat and 56 grams of protein every day. Fiber should be present in your dog’s food as well, and make sure to provide them with meals totaling to 990 calories or more a day.

Nutritional Requirements for Adult Dogs

 Full-grown adult dogs do not need as much fat and protein as puppies. Generally, 14 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein will suffice for a 30-pound adult dog. For bigger breeds and heavier dogs that weigh around 60, just double the amount of fat and protein.

The caloric intake of an adult dog depends on how active they are. Those breeds that tend to be very active or those pets that get a lot of exercise, should receive around 400 calories per 10 pounds of their weight on a daily. For inactive dogs, provide them 200 to 300 calories per 10 pounds of their weight, while pregnant and nursing doggies require more.

Nutritional Requirements for Elderly Dogs

A dog is considered elderly when they reach nine years old, but some breeds reach elderly stage earlier. Pay close attention to your dog’s weight and activity level. Also, keep in mind that kidney issues are prevalent in older pets. If your dog is suffering from kidney problems, monitor the amount of phosphorus in their food.

Obesity is another common health issue in elderly dogs. They move slower and gradually become less active. Because of this, their usual diet can cause them to gain weight. With your dog’s lower activity levels, you want to give them low-calorie diet that still has adult levels of fat and protein.

Deciding how and what to feed your dog shouldn’t be complicated. If you’re unsure what to food to pick, narrow down your options based on your dog’s age, and then consult your veterinarian for any special nutritional considerations for your beloved pet.

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