Daily Nutritional Requirements for Dogs

The daily nutritional requirements of your dog depends on its age and activity level. Elderly dogs, adult dogs and puppies require different levels of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. To ensure your pet's health, learn which nutrients are most vital to your dog.

Nutrients All Dogs Require

All household pets require fat and protein for optimal health. Your pet needs fat and protein for energy as well as organ and muscle health. Vitamins and minerals help in numerous ways. Calcium helps bones grow and remain strong. Magnesium helps with hormone function. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. The vitamins and minerals that are also vital to a dog's body function include the following (daily nutritional requirements listed below are based on 30 pounds of body weight):

  • Calcium (0.75 g)

  • Chlorine (150 mg)

  • Choline (425 micrograms)

  • Copper (1.5 mg)

  • Folic Acid (68 micrograms)

  • Iodine (220 micrograms)

  • Iron (7.5 mg)

  • Magnesium (150 mg)

  • Manganese (1.2 mg)

  • Niacin (4 mg)

  • Pantothenic Acid (4 mg)

  • Phosphorus (0.74 g)

  • Potassium (1 g)

  • Riboflavin (1.3 mg)

  • Selenium (90 micrograms)

  • Sodium (100 mg)

  • Thiamin/Vitamin B1 (0.56 mg)

  • Vitamin B6 (0.4 mg)

  • Vitamin B12 (9 micrograms)

  • Vitamin K (0.41 mg)

  • Zinc (15 mg)

Daily Nutritional Requirements of a Puppy

Growing puppies need more protein and fat than an adult dog. It's advised that puppies between 12 and 33 pounds receive 56 grams of protein per day and 21 grams of fat. Fiber should be included in the dog food ingredients. It's recommended that a ten-pound puppy eats 990 calories per day.

Daily Nutritional Requirements of an Adult Dog

Adult dogs need less protein and fat than a puppy. Guidelines are 25 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat for a 30 pound dog. For a 60 pound dog, you would double the guidelines and feed 50 grams of protein and 28 grams of fat. Fiber should also be listed as an ingredient.

Caloric intake on an adult dog depends on his activity levels. Those receiving lots of exercise should get about 350 to 400 per ten pounds of body weight daily. Inactive dogs should get approximately 200 to 300 calories per ten pounds of body weight. Pregnant or nursing dogs will require additional calories.

Daily Nutritional Requirements of an Elderly Dog

By the time a dog reaches nine or ten years of age, he's considered elderly. Some breeds may reach that stage earlier. Pay attention to your pet's activity level and watch for obesity. Kidney problems are more prevalent in older dogs. If your dog has kidney issues, you will need to monitor the amount of phosphorus in his food.

Obesity is an important concern in elderly dogs. Senior pets tend to slow down and become less active. Eating their usual diet may cause weight gain. You'll want a low-calorie food that still has adult levels of protein and fat. It's recommended that elderly dogs receive around 200 to 300 calories per day per ten pounds of body weight.

Another concern is constipation. Senior dogs don't walk around as much, an activity that stimulates bowel activity. Look for dog foods that are high in fiber, those with four to five percent by weight are optimal.