How much should my dog eat? Does the food they eat meet their nutritional needs? With the availability of an ever-growing range of dog food in the market, it is more important than ever to make the right feeding choices.


First thing first, dogs can’t get everything they need from a diet that contains only protein and fat. So, let’s figure out why & how much is okay for a dog’s health.


Proteins


Proteins for Dogs - PetSutra


Protein is an essential part of dog food, that affects the dog health majorly. Quality proteins consist of essential amino acids which dogs are incapable of producing on their own. They’re the building blocks for various biological needs including making glucose for energy.


Various studies have shown that dogs tend to choose foods that are high in protein & are likely to avoid meals that lack it.


Daily Intake


A puppy’s diet should contain 22-28% of protein.


An adult dog’s diet should contain 10-18% of protein.


One can also consider 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight/day. So, if a dog weighs 10 kilograms, he will essentially need 20 grams of protein.


Good Protein Sources for Dogs: eggs, raw meat, fish, cheese


Poor Protein Sources for Dogs: corn, wheat, soybeans, white potato


Fats


Fats for Dogs - PetSutra


Dietary fats, just like in the case of humans it provides a concentrated source of energy to dogs.


Such dietary fats supply essential fatty acids that cannot be produced in their bodies. Not only dietary fats augment the taste and texture of the dog food you offer but are also fundamental in keeping their skin and coat healthy. Deficiency in omega-2 fatty acids can often cause vision problems in dogs.


Daily Intake


A puppy’s diet should contain 30-60 % of fat


An adult dog’s diet should contain 25-50 % of fat


Good Fat Sources for Dogs:  fish oils, coconut oils, canola oils, sunflower oil, lamb & pork fat


Poor Fat Sources for Dogs: vegetable oil, mineral oil, beef tallow, lard


Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates for Dogs - PetSutra


As we mentioned before, dogs have no nutritional requirement for dietary carbohydrates and honestly, do not have a major role to play in dog health. However, most Indian households do make carbs the main part of dog food essentially for two reasons:


– Because we can. Dogs are capable of utilizing anything we feed as their digestive tracts are highly adaptable.


– Because it’s economic. Fat & protein-rich diet is comparatively very expensive when we compare them to a carb-rich diet.


This is also the reason why the pet food industry also produces many kinds of diets that are high in inexpensive grains. Such carbs have abundant vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and even fat and protein which makes it nutritionally adequate and good dog food when given in moderate quantities.


Daily Intake


There is no such thing as an “ideal” percentage of carbs in a canine diet, it totally depends on the dog.


Different dogs digest grains in different ways. However, vets commonly classify food as:


  • Low Carb- When 20-25% of the calories in the diet are from Carbs
  • Moderate Carb- When 25-40% of the calories in the diet are from Carbs
  • High Carb-When when 60% of the calories in the diet are from Carbs


Good Carb Sources for Dogs:
whole grains, sweet potato, peas, lentils, beans, and chickpeas.

Poor Carb Sources for Dogs: white rice, white potatoes, sugar among others.


Water


Water for your dogs - PetSutra


As basic as it sounds, water is extremely important for good dog health. Even though water isn’t a macronutrient, it is vital to give an adequate amount for the following reasons:


- Eliminating body waste


- Regulating body temperature


- Transporting nutrients


- Facilitating hydration


Daily Intake


A healthy dog must be fed between 30-40 milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight. So, if a dog weighs 10 kilograms, he should drink between 300-400 milliliters of water every day.