As a responsible pet owner, you want to love, raise, and nurture your dog as best as you possibly can. One of the ways in which you do that involves being aware of your dog’s diet and nutritional needs. Adult dogs need specific dietary regimens to live their best lives. That involves focusing on getting the most out of their pet food and utilizing supplements for preventative measures and proper care. Do you know what that would entail? Find out everything you need to know about a dog’s nutritional requirements during the adult stage of life.

The Adult Stage: Nutritional Needs for Adult Dogs 

When it comes to dogs, food is their love language. Few things are stronger than the connection between your dog and their treats. There’s a power in mealtime. It builds trust, connection, friendship, and reliance on you (their master). But you can’t simply focus on feeding them food that tastes good, you need to provide them with nutrients that will help them stay strong and healthy at any age

This involves identifying which, if any, vitamins and minerals are lacking in their diet. These deficiencies can then be remedied with nutritional supplements.

Know What to Look For

The Association of Animal Feed Controls Office provides an official stamp of approval on any food, brand, or nutrient supplement that they deem appropriate for a fully grown canine. Be sure to look out for this mark of approval from the FDA as you research brands of dog food. 

The AAFCO doesn’t just assign nutritious values to dog foods, they also investigate the quality of:

  • Additives
  • Coloring
  • Flavoring
  • Preservatives

Once stamped with the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) seal, you can rest assured that you are feeding your dog a top-quality meal.

Nutrients to Focus On

Just like with humans, the key to establishing a well-balanced diet pattern for your dog requires that you provide them with a healthy balance of the core food groups:

  • Carbohydrates – As your dog’s primary source of glucose, carbohydrates are the main energy source. 
  • Proteins – We know that protein is essential for the growth and strengthening of bones, hair, and teeth, but they are also crucial for brain development and the creation of neurotransmitters.
  • Fats – Although it depends on the dog’s breed, in healthy moderation, fats serve as a vital energy supply.
  • Vitamins – Vitamins play critical roles in strengthening your dog’s immune system, aiding the prevention of disease, and assisting in the creation of antibodies.
  • Minerals – Minerals such as calcium are a crucial aid to bone development. However, it’s important to remember that an adult dog is likely to use less than half the amount of calcium that a growing puppy would need.
  • Water – Guidelines suggest that dogs should drink at least 0.5 ounces of water per pound of body mass. Alternatively, puppies should drink approximately half a cup of water every hour.

Benefits of a Nutritional Supplement

Nutritional supplements work to provide bioavailable amounts of these precious nutrients, so that your dog can live his or her best life—one full of vitality and excitement. Nutritional supplements are known to:

  • Support muscle recovery
  • Create a healthy gut biome
  • Strengthen the immune system and prevent disease
  • Enhance joint health
  • Condition healthy skin and fur

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Just as every dog has a unique personality, breeds may also vary dramatically in health, temperament, and maintenance needs. As such, different dog breeds require diverse kinds of nutrients to supplement their lifestyles. ASPCA talks about the concept of maintenance energy, which is the amount of energy required to support the basic energy needs of varying breeds. 

For example, a working herd dog might require a meal based off 70% maintenance energy. Whereas a little Yorkshire Terrier, content to spend all day curled up on an armchair, might only need a 10% maintenance energy fill. 

Pet owners of multiple breeds know how inconvenient it can be to stock up on multiple meal options to create bespoke dinner options for each pet. Fortunately for you, there are nutritious dietary meal supplements able to remedy this situation. With these, you can let your dogs enjoy the same meal ingredients but top up your larger animal’s plates with nutrient supplements to support their health and well-being.

Happy Dog, Happy Home

They say that a happy and healthy life starts in the kitchen. This expression also applies to your canine friend‘s health and well-being. So, prioritize your dog’s health and happiness by taking the time today to research and strategize a meal plan that includes all of their dietary needs and provides a nutritional supplement for added care. By investing in your dog’s nutritional needs, you’ll ensure their longevity and happiness.  


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pet Food.

ASPCA. Dog Nutrition Tips.

Pet MD. Choosing the Best Dog Food.

Dr. Melinda J. Mayfield-Davis, DVM, WCHP-AH, brings over 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine.  She is the Technical Services Veterinarian with Innovacyn, Inc., parent company of Vetericyn Animal Wellness. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University and now resides in Southeast Kansas with her husband, two children, four dogs, and six horses. Prior to working with Innovacyn, Dr. Mayfield owned and operated the Animal Care Center in Columbus, KS.

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