Getting the right amount and ratio of nutrients from the six groups needed will depend on your dog's nutritional health: water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. With the exception of water, commercial dog foods contain all of these essential nutrients that have been found to be 100% complete and balanced.



Water is essential as a fluid medium for regulating body temperature and lubrication of body cells and for the blood and lymphatic systems. Since water is involved in all the reactions in an animal's body, any large variation is associated with adverse effects. Therefore, dogs have several mechanisms to maintain a constant water balance.

How much water a dog needs determines the amount of food they eat each day. One general guideline is that dogs need 1 ml of water for every kilocalorie of energy. For nursing women, the need for water may increase to help with milk production. Your dog should always have plenty of water available.



Energy is measured in calories. Calories are defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a gram of water from 14.5 degrees Celsius to 15.5 degrees Celsius. Since this amount of heat is so small, it is common to describe energy and energy requirements and the energy content of foods in kcal (1000 calories = 1 kcal). The term calorie written with a large capital C often refers to the amount of energy in a 1 kcal diet.

Food and water consumption

As the amount of water in the food increases, the dog or cat will usually drink less water. For example, dogs eating canned foods containing about 70% -75% water usually drink less water than dogs on a dry diet, which contains about 8% –12% water.


Protein is an essential nutrient that provides the body with many functions such as muscle growth, tissue repair, enzymes, delivery of oxygen to the blood, immune function, and source energy source.

Protein is made using amino acids. Each protein is a unique combination of amino acids that contribute to its unique shape and function. Dietary protein is absorbed in the stomach and breaks down into small intestinal peptides into free amino acids and then absorbed into the bloodstream. Amino acids are delivered to various cells in the body, where they are used to make body proteins.

Sources of protein

Protein is derived from animals and plants. Most protein ingredients do not have all the amino acids in the right proportions and are not efficient as the only source of protein. But careful integration will lead to the right balance.

For example, the soybean diet and cereals are perfectly complementary because one amino acid is found in the other. Meat or soybean diet is not the best source of protein on its own; Either can be combined with another complementary source of amino acids

Protein digestibility

In addition to protein levels, quality control is important when processing dog food. Protein can be damaged by excessive heat processing, but the most popular dog food manufacturers use the right cooking methods and apply quality control measures to ensure the products are made properly.Since information about protein digestibility is not listed on dog food labels, the reputation of the manufacturer is important.

Excesses and deficiencies

When dogs and cats are fed more protein than they need, the extra protein can be metabolized and used for energy. Unlike fat, there is a limit to the amount of protein that can be stored in the body. When the need for amino acids is met and the protein reserves are replenished, protein energy is more likely to go into fat production.

Dogs and cats, on the other hand, may be malnourished because of the lack of protein in their diet. These may include loss of appetite, stunted growth, weight loss, coarse and dull hair or coat, decreased immunity, decreased reproductive performance, and decreased milk production. Dogs may also experience subclinical protein deficiencies.This means that while they may seem perfectly healthy, they are more prone to infections and other environmental stressors. The good news is that such deficiencies are very rare if you give your pet a complete and balanced diet.

Carbohydrate sources

Carbohydrate sources are sugar, starch and insoluble fiber. Simple sugars are the smallest carbohydrate molecules that are easily absorbed and absorbed. In contrast, complex carbohydrates or starches are simple sugars that combine to form longer chains, which require more digestion before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream.Insoluble fiber is a carbohydrate that is not absorbed by dogs or cats.When dogs and cats eat foods that contain more energy than they need, excess carbohydrate energy is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen, which is converted into fat and stored in adipose tissue. During fasting, stress or exercise, glycogen is broken down into glucose and delivered to the bloodstream, where it is distributed to all body cells.

Carbohydrates in dog and cat food

Carbohydrates in dog food and cat food can make up a portion of dry food. Cereals make up the bulk of the carbohydrates in a pet's diet. Cereals are usually ground, covered, or cooked. Raw or improperly cooked starch is difficult to digest, so careful processing is important to make highly digestible pet food.


Fat is a concentrated form of energy. Fat contains about 2.25 times more energy per gram than protein and carbohydrates. Dietary fat is made up of triglycerides, a group of three fatty acids that bind to glycerol.Fatty acids can be classified by the length of their carbon chain, the presence or absence of double bonds, the number of double bonds, and the position of those bonds with the carbon chain.


Minerals perform a variety of functions in the body, including bone and cartilage formation, enzymatic reactions, maintaining fluid balance, transport of oxygen in the blood, normal muscle and nerve function, and the production of hormones. Although some minerals work separately from others, a dog cannot get enough nutrition without giving all the minerals in their proper proportions.