Learn More About the Nutrients Your Pet Needs

It’s possible that your pet enjoys eating food right from your plate. However, just because people enjoy it does not mean it is beneficial to them.

Your pet may gain weight as a result of those table leftovers. Overweight or obese dogs and cats account for more than half of all dogs and cats in the United States.

Cats and dogs have calorie needs that vary. For example:

  • A 10-pound cat needs only 200 calories a day.
  • A 50-pound dog needs 700 to 900 calories.
  • Larger dogs may eat up to 1,350 calories.

A balanced diet needs the following things to help keep your pet well.


Dogs enjoy high-protein foods. Cats are natural carnivores since their decedents were hunters.

Protein is required for cell growth, muscle regeneration, and overall body health.

Animal proteins contain all of the essential amino acids that pets require, including:

  • Arginine
  • Methionine
  • Histidine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Isoleucine
  • Threonine
  • Leucine
  • Tryptophan
  • Lysine
  • Valine
  • Taurine

Cats require a lot of taurine. They require it for their eyes, hearts, and reproductive abilities. Only animal-derived proteins include taurine. Animal-based proteins are broken down and nutrients absorbed by a cat’s digestive tract.

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Fats and Energy

Animal fats and plant seed oils are both sources of dietary fats. They’re your pet’s main source of energy. Fats offer more than twice the energy of protein or carbs per gram.

They supply essential fatty acids, which the body of a dog or cat cannot produce. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are required for:

  • Keep skin and fur healthy
  • Produce some types of hormones
  • Absorb vitamins
  • Insulate the body
  • Protect organs

Plus, fats make your pet’s food even tastier (to them, at least).


Carbohydrates provide energy, aid digestion, and affect reproduction. Fiber is a carbohydrate that has an effect on germs in your pet’s intestine.

Fiber should be fermentable in order for your pet to gain the most benefit from it. Wheat, rice, and vegetables contain fermentable fiber.

High-fiber diets aren’t recommended for kittens and puppies who are still growing. Their energy requirements are high, thus they should consume more fat and protein in their diet.

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Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are required in the diet of dogs and cats. Your pet will get all they need if you provide them a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Vitamin supplements are normally only required if your veterinarian has prescribed them to address a vitamin deficit. In fact, too many vitamins might be harmful to your health. Too much vitamin A, for example, can lead to brittle bones and joint pain. Furthermore, too much vitamin D can lead to too dense bones and kidney issues.

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Essential minerals are also obtained through the diet of cats and dogs, including:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Iodine

Calcium and phosphorus are essential nutrients for healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium, potassium, and sodium are all important nutrients for muscular health.

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Water makes up approximately 60% to 70% of your pet’s body. Your pet may become ill or die if there isn’t enough of it.

Your pet must have constant access to fresh, clean water. Their diet provides some, but not all, of the water they require.

The thirst levels of cats and dogs differ. When dogs are active, they are more thirsty, so make sure they have plenty of water. Dogs may drink twice as much water on a warm or hot day as they would on a cool day.


At first glance, you can determine if your pet is overweight. Is there a waist to them, a dip between their rib cage and thighs, that you can see from the side and above?

Alternatively, you can use the following touch test: Run your hand over the backbone and ribs of your pet. Can you feel the bones without putting your hand on them? If not, your dog or cat may be overweight.

Exercise is a good way to help your pet lose weight. Consult your veterinarian about a plan to increase your pet’s physical activity. This might mean more playtime during the day for a cat. For a dog, this could mean going for a run at the dog park or taking longer walks during the day.

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