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The Basic Building Blocks of Pet Nutrition

February 15, 2020

We all know how important nutrition is for a happy, healthy life. That same principle applies to our animal friends, too! Good pet nutrition boils down to a few basic building blocks, and you’ll find that they’re the same exact things that you need to stay healthy. Learn more below from your Bend, OR veterinarian.

Vitamins and Minerals

All pets need the essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fatty acids, amino acids, and other nutrients, to live their healthiest life. If your pet is receiving a high-quality pet food, they should be getting all of those vitamins and minerals through their diet. Some pets also benefit from additional vitamin supplements, so ask your veterinarian if your animal friend could benefit from dietary supplementation.


Protein is the building material for all of your pet’s bodily tissues. Since puppies and kittens require a lot of tissue and muscle development as they’re growing up, diets made for those young pets tend to be very high in protein. High-protein diets are also sometimes recommended for pregnant pets, since they can benefit from the extra protein to deliver their litter.


Think of carbohydrates as fuel for the cells in your pet’s body. Your pet’s digestive system breaks carbs down into glucose, which is a simple sugar that provides energy. In this way, carbs keep your pet’s body functioning on a day-to-day basis. You’ll frequently find foods like rice and potatoes in pet food, since they’re high in carbohydrates and provide your pet with plenty of energy.

Fiber is a particular type of carbohydrate that is also very important for your pet. Fiber helps to regulate glucose levels by slowing the absorption level of sugar into your pet’s blood. Fiber is also helpful because it’s what makes your pet feel full. That’s why many weight-loss diets are high in fiber!


Your pet needs the right amount of healthy fats to stay healthy, just like you do. They provide your pet with energy, just like carbohydrates, and the fat that your pet’s body doesn’t use for energy will be stored in the body as a reserve. Keep in mind that the higher activity level a pet has, the more fat they should have in their diet—a working farm dog, for instance, should have a relatively high-fat diet.

To learn more about your pet’s nutrition and diet, call your Bend, OR animal hospital.

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