Without proper nutrition, your pet cannot maintain muscle tone, build and repair muscles, or carry out normal daily activities.
Moreover, feeding low-quality homemade meals will not help unless you know their nutritional requirement.
Your pet’s daily diet should contain 25-30% protein and amino acids, 10-15% fats, Vitamin A, E, D, K, and B vitamins, essential minerals, and water to suffice daily nutrient requirements.
Read on to learn about the vital nutrients pet require and how you can feed them correctly.
Nutritional Requirements for Dogs and Cats:
Your pet may fail to get adequate nutrients due to nutrient-less food, inadequate absorption, digestive diseases, and insufficient food.
It results in malnutrition and may cause colitis, Gastroenteritis, heart, cancer, and fur diseases.
Therefore, pet parents must determine whether their pet’s nutritional requirements are fulfilling or lacking.
A meal high in protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals is necessary for dogs and cats to thrive daily.
Here is the list of nutrients that your pet requires per day.
1. Protein and amino acids:
Protein is the repository of critical amino acids necessary for creating antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and tissues and for average pH balance in the body.
Moreover, it gives energy and promotes growth and development.
Did you know a dog needs 1 gram of protein per pound of physical weight?
Dogs may need a lot of protein to keep their muscles healthy and strong, whereas adult canines should consume 25-30% of their daily calorie intake as protein.
Average protein requirements for dogs:
- 56g per day for puppies.
- 25g per day for adult dogs.
- 69g per day for pregnant and nursing dogs.
There are specific amino acids that animals cannot produce on their own. Therefore, including meat products in their diet is highly essential.
Foods rich in protein for dogs:
Cats have higher needs than dogs for protein since they are obligate carnivores.
Additionally, they require specific amino acids that can only be found in animal proteins.
Average protein requirements for cats:
- 5g per day for kittens and nursing cats.
- 5g per day for adult cats.
- 5g to 7.5g per day for pregnant cats based on pregnancy stage.
Foods rich in protein for cats:
2. Fatty acids
Fats support cellular integrity, the regulation of metabolism, and energy storage. Essential fatty acids help with energy transmission and nutrient use.
Adult dogs should consume between 10% and 15% of their daily calorie intake as fat.
Dogs need a certain amount of fat to maintain their skin and fur healthy and remain energetic throughout the day.
Average fat requirements for dogs:
- 21g per day for puppies.
- 14g per day for adult dogs.
- 29g per day for pregnant and nursing dogs.
Moreover, consuming large amounts of fat can cause obesity and fatal health problems like heart disease.
As a pet parent, you can keep your pet active through regular exercise and sensible portion control in their daily intake.
Saturated fats are essential for cats to promote their longevity and regulation of body temperature, where they require 20-24% fat in their diet daily.
Average fat requirements for cats:
- 18-35% per day on a dry matter basis for kittens.
- 9% per day on a dry matter basis for adult cats.
- 9%-12% on each meal for pregnant and lactating cats.
The primary fatty acids that a pet needs are omega-3 and omega-6.
Foods rich in omega-3:
- Fish oil
- Pure algal oil
- Flaxseed oil
Foods rich in omega-6:
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Canola oil
The body needs glucose to provide enough energy for the brain and nervous system to function correctly, which is best provided by carbohydrates.
Adult dogs should consume 50% of their daily calorie intake as carbs.
However, your dog may get overweight if it eats too many meals high in carbohydrates and fails to exercise regularly.
The body will develop fatty deposits from the stored glycogen, which is very harmful.
Foods rich in carbohydrates for dogs:
- Brown Rice
Similarly, adult cats require only 10-15% of carbs daily because their bodies are not designed to digest vast amounts of carbs.
It is because they are adapted to consuming proteins and fats as their primary sources.
However, you can add a small amount to their diet for energy and development in young cats.
Foods rich in carbohydrates for cats:
- Cooked sweet potatoes.
- Cooked lentils.
- Cooked whole grains.
4. Vitamins and minerals
Various vitamins and minerals aid in the well-being of pets by producing enzymes, pH regulation, nutrition absorption, metabolism, boosting immunity, and oxygen transport throughout the body.
Moreover, they aid in illness prevention and the good health of pets.
Vitamins and their importance in the body:
- Vitamin A: Essential for boosting eyesight, immunity, and skin health.
- Vitamin D: It helps to absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorous and improve bone health.
- Vitamin E: It helps to anti-oxidize the pet’s body and protects cells from damage.
- Vitamin K: Helps in blood clotting and repairing tissues.
- B vitamins: It contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin, which help in energy circulation, nervous system function, and overall bodily functions.
Minerals and their importance in the body:
- Calcium: It helps to strengthen bones and facilitates the growth and development of the pet’s body.
- Phosphorous: It fuels bone health, metabolism, and kidney function.
- Iron: It helps to transport oxygen throughout the body via the blood.
- Zinc: It is a necessary component in the immune system that helps to heal wounds and improve skin health.
- Copper: It helps in the formation of red blood cells.
- Selenium: It helps in protecting cells from damage and boosts the pet’s immune system.
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals for dogs:
- Protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins are all in lean meats, including chicken, turkey, and lamb.
- Vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium and iron are present in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli.
- Eggs provide minerals like selenium, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, and B12.
- Calcium is present in dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
- Carrots and sweet potatoes consist of beta-carotene that fuels vitamin A in the body and maintains eye health.
Cats have distinct nutritional requirements that differ from those of dogs.
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals for cats:
- Meat products such as chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb include many vitamins and minerals to promote muscle growth, tissue repair, and overall health.
- Meat from organs like the liver, heart, and kidney is high in vitamins A, iron, and B vitamins.
- Eggs are a complete protein source with vitamins A, D, E, and B12 and minerals such as selenium and iron.
- Plain yogurt and cheese can be good sources of calcium.
Did you know 60-70% of dogs’ and cats’ body is water?
Water plays a vital role in pets’ bodies in maintaining adequate hydration, regulating body temperature, and removing waste products from the body.
Moreover, it assists in digestion, metabolism, lubrication, and protection of vital organs like the eyes, nose, and joints.
Hence, you should provide your dog with plenty of fresh water daily.
Tips for sufficing your pet’s daily water intake:
- Provide access to clean drinking water inside the home.
- Carry a bottle when you walk or play outdoors with your pet.
- Switch to moist foods rather than dry if your pet drinks less water.
- Change the water from their water bowls frequently in the hot season.
- Encourage your pet by giving treats to drink water from time to time.
Providing your pet with a high-quality diet is crucial since it must include all the nutrients pets need, such as protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Moreover, the right amount of nutrition differs from pet to pet based on their breed, age, and activeness.
Therefore, it will be best to consult a veterinarian to choose the right food for your pet.Contact Urban Pet Supply, the pet food supplies in Urbandale, to learn more about your pet’s nutritional needs.