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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Basic Nutrients Every Pet Needs

Basic nutrients every pet needs

PetSmart Brent Carroll, D.V.M., Banfield, the Pet Hospital®

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Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful feeding is perhaps the best way you can contribute to your pet's prolonged good health.

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs

Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful feeding is perhaps the best way you can contribute to your pet's prolonged good health.

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs

  • Water is the most essential nutrient in any diet. Your pet's body is made up of approximately 70 percent water and will quickly perish without it. Make sure you allow your pet access to fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Carbohydrates supply energy and come from sugars, starch, and fiber from plant sources. Carbohydrates help energize the brain and muscles, making your pet bright and active.
  • Fats also supply energy and in the right amounts help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. But too much fat can lead to such obesity-related health problems as diabetes, heart disease and canine osteoarthritis.
  • Proteins are required for a healthy coat, skin and nails. Your pet's body uses the amino acids in proteins to make enzymes and hormones in the blood stream and to maintain a healthy immune system. Proteins can come from plant and meat sources, but cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein. For example, cats with a deficiency in taurine (a meat amino acid) can develop heart disease and blindness.
  • Vitamins and minerals help regulate many body systems. For example, your pet needs the minerals calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamins E and C help boost your pet's immune system during times of stress.
     

Many diseases result from a deficiency in vitamins and minerals, and in those cases veterinarians often prescribe supplements for sick pets. For example, doctors may use vitamin B to improve appetite, and zinc and vitamin E for certain skin diseases. Ask your doctor to recommend the best supplement for your pet's needs.

 

© Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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