Pet Nutrition Basics

Feeding your pet the proper amounts of nutritious meals is vital to their general health and wellness. To understand what foods to give your pet, you need to know what nutritional elements your pet requires. You should also know how pet nutrition has changed to keep up with genetic changes in pets.

The basic nutrients pets need include water, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals. The best way to understand how they work is to learn some pet nutrition basics.


Dietary Fats Are Vital

Dietary fat comes from seed oils and animal fats, and it helps build the body cells and improve cell function. Moreover, the fat improves the taste and texture of the food and offers vital fatty acids that the body does not produce in enough amounts.

Please note that fats do not clog blood vessels in cats and dogs the way they can in human bodies, but too much fat can be dangerous.


Every Pet Needs Food Rich in Protein

It is all about energy, and proteins provide energy-rich amino acids that boost your pet's biological functions. The major need for protein comes from the upkeep of hair and fur. This can consume up to 30 percent of the protein they take daily.

These amino acids are the ones that must come from the foods because pets cannot manufacture them in their bodies. They also cannot produce enough amino acids. Your pet can get protein from foods such as poultry, fish, and meat.


Carbohydrates Help Improve Digestion

Plant fibers, sugars, and starches are good sources of carbohydrates that help improve the digestive function in pets on top of giving energy. More fiber, particularly from peas, garbanzo beans, lentils, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, keep pets feeling full, so they are less drawn to eat more or hunt for snacks. This way, pets can maintain a healthy weight and avoid constipation.


Diet Balanced With Minerals and Vitamins

Your pet’s food should be wholesome and balanced with all minerals and vitamins your pet needs. Although pets do not require lots of minerals or vitamins, give them what they need for proper body function and healthy teeth and bones.


Hydration Is Important

Water makes up around 70 percent of your pet’s body, and without enough water, pets can fall ill or die. Ensure your pet drinks clean, fresh water all the time. Your pet probably gets a good amount of water from the food they eat, but that is not all the water your pet needs. 

Pets become thirsty quickly when they are active. Therefore, ensure that you have enough water for your companion animal as they exercise.


Physical Activity Is Essential

Engaging your pet in physical activities like walking, running, or playing is a good way to help your pet keep a healthy weight. 

If you want more information on pet nutrition basics, visit Mokena Animal Clinic at our office in Mokena, Illinois. You can also call (708) 479-2811 to book an appointment today.