Dogs & nutrition


Dogs have lived, worked, developed and eaten alongside humans for over 32,000 years.
Because our pets are the product of thousands of generations of human love and care, they’ve evolved to eat as we eat1: a wide variety of the best that nature has to offer.
Just as we can’t survive on steak alone, our dogs need a balance of nutritious minerals, vitamins, protein and carbohydrates to thrive.

Did you know?

I’m not really a carnivore! I’m actually an “opportunistic omnivore” – meaning that I’ll happily eat plants, meat, and anything else that smells tasty... like that bit of cheese you had...

I’m no wolf: My body (especially my brain2 and digestion) is very different from that of my wild ancestors! My wild wolf cousins survive on whatever they can find, but I’ve evolved to grow strong on a broad and balanced diet provided to me by my loving best friends – my humans!

Carbohydrates from grains are a great source of energy, and provide valuable minerals, vitamins, fibre, fatty acids and amino acids that I need to stay healthy.

Controlled protein levels can be beneficial3: just enough, but not too much!

My nutritional requirements vary based on my lifestage, lifestyle and health condition.

The right ingredients are the recipe for lifelong health and happiness

Carbohydrate sources such as grains provide energy, plus the valuable minerals, vitamins, fibre, fatty acids and amino acids needed to keep pets healthy.

Protein supports healthy cell growth and strong muscles; it can come from both animal and plant sources. Excess protein can cause gas and will not be used by the body.

Vitamin and mineral levels should be balanced to maintain great health and avoid the health problems that can come with too much or too little.

Fatty acids boost the brain and maintain skin health.

Natural fibre helps maintain healthy digestion, while prebiotic fibres help support nutrient absorption and maintain healthy intestinal flora. Intestinal health is critical to overall wellbeing.

Energy density (calories) should vary based on pets’ individual needs to help prevent unwanted weight gain and associated diseases.

Superior antioxidants support a healthy immune system and long life.

1 Wang G, Zhai W, Yang H, et al. The genomics of selection in dogs and the parallel evolution between dogs and humans. Nature Communications 2013;4.
2 Saetre P, Lindberg J, Leonard JA, Olsson K, Pettersson U, Ellegren H, Bergström TF, Vilà C, Jazin E. From wild wolf to domestic dog: gene expression changes in the brain. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Jul 26;126(2):198-206.
3 Macronutrients. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, Roudebush P, Novotny BJ, editors. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. 5th Ed. Topeka, Kansas: Mark Morris Institute, 2010; 81-96.
™ Trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. ©2016

Related Pet Care Articles