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Dog Nutritional Requirements For Homemade Food

Updated: Jul 5

How to make the best nutrition homemade dog food for different types of dogs, important dog food nutrition facts, and common misconceptions.

How to meet the specific nutritional needs of different types of dogs, important dog food nutrition facts, and common misconceptions.

Understanding the nutritional requirements of dogs is essential to provide them with a balanced and healthy diet. A balanced intake of nutrients is necessary for continuous growth and tissue repair. A lack of sufficient nutrients in a dog's diet can have severe consequences, such as stunted growth, poor healing after injury, and a shorter lifespan. In this article, we will delve into the nutritional needs of dogs and the importance of a balanced diet, with a particular focus on homemade dog food.

The Role of Dog Food Nutrients

Each nutrient plays a unique role in supporting different aspects of a dog's health. Let's explain briefly the role of individual nutrients:

How to meet the specific nutritional needs of different types of dogs, important dog food nutrition facts, and common misconceptions.

1. Protein:

While dogs can synthesize some amino acids, others must be sourced from their diet. Young pups, growing dogs, and working dogs require a protein-rich diet to support their growth and maintain their energy levels.

2. Fats:

Fats support healthy kidney processes, coat, and skin. One way to ensure that your dog's fat intake is balanced is to add food items that contain omega fatty acids to their diet. These healthy fats can be found in foods such as fish, eggs, and flaxseed.

3. Carbohydrates:

Commercial dog foods use a variety of inexpensive sources of starch to provide this energy. Additionally, indigestion can occur when there is an insufficient level of digestive enzymes in a dog's system, which can be caused by a lack of carbohydrate variety in their diet.

4. Minerals:

Calcium and phosphorous are good for bone health, vitamin C for pregnant or stressed dogs, vitamin E for dry, scaly skin, and B-complex vitamins for stress or flea infestations. Certain vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, can help improve a dog's ability to clot blood, control bleeding, maintain sharp eyesight, and aid in bone repair and growth.

5. Water:

The typical ratio of food to water for dogs is 1:2, meaning that for every pound of dog food, they require two liters of water. It's important to ensure that dogs have access to a clean water source at all times. Continually trained dogs require a lot of water throughout the day to maintain their hydration levels.

Raw materials for homemade dog foods

In a research article titled "Cost Optimization of Homemade Diet for Dogs" conducted by Selcuk University in Turkey, Researces listed the common raw materials for homemade dog foods with the amount of each nutrients (Crude protein, g-CP, Energy, kcal-E, Taurine, g-Ta, Fat, g-F, Linoleic acid, g-LA, Calcium, gCa, Phosphorus, g-P, Magnesium, mg-Mg, Sodium, mg-Na, Cost,krş, Available amount of ingredients,kg-Av)

 Researces listed the common raw materials for homemade dog foods with the amount of each nutrients

Dog Food Nutrition of Various Types of Dogs

Different breeds and sizes of dogs have varying nutritional requirements. Here are some examples of how nutritional needs can vary based on breed and size:

Small breed dogs:

Small breed dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers have higher metabolic rates and need more calories per pound of body weight than larger dogs. They also have smaller stomachs, so they need to eat smaller, more frequent meals to maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

Large breed dogs:

Large breed dogs like Great Danes and Mastiffs have slower metabolic rates and require calories per pound of body weight lower than smaller dogs. They also have a higher risk of joint problems, so their diet should include adequate amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin to support their joint health.

Working and athletic dogs:

Highly active dogs, such as hunting dogs or sled dogs, require a diet that is higher in calories and protein to maintain their energy levels and support muscle development.

Senior dogs:

Senior dogs have nutritional requirements that differ from younger dogs. They typically require fewer calories and more fiber to help maintain a healthy weight and support digestive health.

Dogs with health conditions:

Dogs with health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease, may require a special diet to manage their condition. For example, dogs with diabetes may need a diet low in carbohydrates to help manage their blood sugar levels.

It's crucial to remember that while online articles can be a helpful guide and provide valuable information, they should not be the sole basis for making decisions about your dog's health. Every dog is unique, and their health needs may differ based on their age, breed, and underlying medical conditions. Therefore, seeking advice from a veterinarian is essential before implementing any tips or suggestions found online. Some tips may not be suitable for your dog's specific health condition and could potentially do more harm than good. By consulting with a trusted veterinarian, you can ensure that your dog receives the appropriate care they need.

What are some signs that a dog's diet is not balanced?

Several signs may indicate nutritional deficiencies or imbalances if a dog's diet is not balanced. Some of these signs include:

1. Dull coat or excessive shedding:

A dog's coat can indicate overall health. If a dog's coat is dull, dry, or shedding excessively, it may be a sign of nutritional deficiencies.

2. Digestive issues:

If a dog is experiencing frequent diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting, it may be a sign that their diet is not balanced or that they are not tolerating certain foods well.

3. Weight gain or loss:

If a dog is gaining or losing weight rapidly, it may be a sign that its diet is not providing the right balance of nutrients and calories.

4. Dental problems:

Poor nutrition can lead to dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay.

5. Fatigue or lethargy:

If dogs are not getting all the necessary nutrients from their diet, they may lack energy and become tired or lethargic.

6. Behavioral changes:

Nutritional deficiencies can also lead to behavioral changes, such as increased irritability, aggression, or anxiety.

Suppose a pet owner observes any of these signs. In that case, it's important to ask for an authoritative advice to determine if their dog's diet is the cause of the problem. A veterinarian can also help recommend dietary changes and supplements to ensure that a dog's nutritional needs are being met.

What are some common misconceptions about dog food nutrition?

Several common misconceptions about dog food nutrition can lead pet owners to make less-than-ideal choices when it comes to their dog's diet. Here are some examples:

1. All dog foods are the same:

This common misconception can lead pet owners to choose lower quality or inappropriate food for their dogs. In reality, dog food can vary widely in quality, nutritional content, and suitability for different health conditions.

2. Homemade diets are always healthier:

Some pet owners believe that homemade diets are healthier than commercial dog food because they can control the ingredients and preparation. However, homemade diets can be difficult to balance correctly. They may not provide all the necessary nutrients, leading to deficiencies or imbalances that can harm a dog's health.

3. Grain-free diets are always better:

Grain-free diets have become popular recently, with some pet owners believing that grains are unhealthy for dogs. However, grains can provide important nutrients and fiber, and this type of diet may not be appropriate for all dogs.

4. High-protein diets are always better:

Too much protein can be harmful. Excessive protein can lead to kidney damage and other health problems, especially in dogs with pre-existing kidney issues.

5. Supplements are necessary for all dogs:

While some dogs may benefit from supplements, such as joint supplements or probiotics, most dogs can get all the necessary nutrients from a complete and balanced diet. Over-supplementing can even be harmful to a dog's health.


Understanding dog food nutrition and the specific needs of different types of dogs is crucial for their health. The Nutritional requirements vary based on breed, size, age, and health conditions. Signs of nutritional deficiencies include a dull coat, digestive issues, weight changes, dental problems, fatigue, and behavioral changes. Misconceptions about dog food nutrition can lead to poor choices, and it's best to ask for a trusted dietary advice. By keeping dog food nutrition facts in mind, pet owners can ensure their dogs receive optimal care and nutrition.

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