It’s important to understand the basic building blocks of pet nutrition. We’ve broken it down into a few simple categories.
Protein is the cornerstone of your pet’s ideal diet. Protein is composed of individual amino acids, which serve as the building blocks for all tissues in the body. It’s essential for growth and development – helping to build hair, skin and nails, repair tissue and maintain h3 lean muscle and a great source of energy.
Protein can be derived from both animal and plant sources, each contributing different levels and types of amino acids. Animal based proteins (chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, etc.) all have complete amino acid profiles, meaning they contain all the amino acids your pet needs. That’s why it’s important to look for foods that start with high quality protein such as fresh meat, poultry or fish like chicken or salmon, and meat meals, like lamb meal and duck meal.
Fats are an essential part of your pet’s diet. They are the most concentrated form of food energy. Fats provide fatty acids which have many functions in a pet’s diet. They help maintain a healthy skin and coat. Omega 3's can help reduce inflammation. While dogs can produce some of the fatty acids they need, it is important for their diets to supply the ones they can’t – called essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are broken into two groups – Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Ingredients like ground flaxseed, salmon meal and menhaden fish meal are excellent sources of Omega 3's. Chicken fat and canola olil are excellent sources of Omega 6's.
Fibers help maintain digestive health. Also, fibers provide bulk to the diet, making the animal feel full, which helps prevent overeating. Good fibers include oatmeal, brown rice, barley and fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals work in conjunction with the other nutrients to ensure proper growth and overall health. Certain vitamins (such as Vitamins A, C and E) function as antioxidants while some minerals (such as Calcium and Phosphorus) serve to build bones and cartilage. Chelated minerals, like iron proteinate and zinc proteinate, are minerals bonded to an amino acid. They are more easily absorbed during digestion compared to unchelated minerals which often get passed in the stool. Better nutrient absorption supports better health for pets.
A truly essential nutrient in every pet’s diet. Food contributes some of the pet’s daily water needs. The form will dictate the levels as dry kibble contains between 5-10% while raw and canned food contains between 60-80% moisture. In addition to the food, dogs and cats need to have fresh, clean water available to them at all times.