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What Are The Nutritional Requirements For Dogs?
- Jul 06, 2018 -

The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dog’s regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. The minimum dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. The maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of toxicity have been established. What is less understood is what may happen over time with marginal deficiencies or excesses.

Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. Here are some key nutritional guidelines from the 2009 AAFCO guide:

Nutrient Growth and Reproduction Adult Maintenance
 Adult Maintenance
 Crude protein 22% 18% Crude fat 8% 5% Linoleic acid 1.0% 1.0% Calcium 1% 0.6% 2.5% Phosphorus 0.8% 0.5% 1.6% Potassium 0.6% 0.6% Sodium 0.3% 0.06% Copper 7.3 mg/kg 7.3 mg/kg 250 mg/kg Zinc 120 mg/kg 120 mg/kg 1,000 mg/kg Vitamin A 5,000 IU/kg 5,000 IU/kg 250,000 IU/kg Vitamin D 500 IU/kg 500 IU/kg 5,000 IU/kg Vitamin E 50 IU/kg 50 IU/kg 1,000 IU/kg Thiamine 1.0 mg/kg 1.0 mg/kg

Keep in mind that these are only guidelines; your dog may need more or less based on its individual needs and health status.