The Ultimate Guide to Dog Nutrition | AAFCO Standards

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Nutrition | AAFCO Standards

Are you facing the dilemma of not knowing how to provide your furry friend with the right diet? Worried if the dog food meets all the essential nutritional requirements for their growth? From protein to vitamins, how do you strike a balance? Let's uncover the holistic nutrition secrets for your dog!

What should a complete dog food formula include?

According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a well-rounded dog food formula should include water, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins. The proportions of these nutrients need to be adjusted based on the specific needs of your dog.

Understanding protein and fat requirements

An adult dog's minimum protein requirement is 8% dry matter (DM), while a puppy's is 18% DM. Excess protein will be excreted by the body and can sometimes be harmful. When selecting protein sources, animal-based proteins are more digestible than plant-based ones.

Fats not only provide energy for dogs but also aid in vitamin absorption and promote shiny coats. Their requirement is generally between 1% to 2%. Carbohydrates, besides being an energy source, are also a treasure trove of dietary fiber and should make up at least 20% of the daily diet.

The importance of vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals, although required in small amounts, play a crucial role in the overall health of pets. Whether fat-soluble or water-soluble vitamins, an excess can lead to toxicity. The same goes for minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium; an imbalance in intake can lead to various health issues.