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What do dogs need in their diet

Agria supports the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and we're proud to partner with Butternut Box, who have helped create this guidance to help you get a complete understanding of dog food.

Most vets will recommend feeding your dog a ‘complete’ diet, but as a new pet parent, you might be wondering what on earth that means…

Complete dog food: in a nutshell

For a dog food to be labelled 'complete', it must meet regulations laid down by the European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF). These regulations define the levels of all the vital nutrients a dog needs, with the word 'complete' indicating that no supplementary foods will be required in your dog's diet. A dog can stay fit and healthy by eating that complete food alone.

What is complementary dog food?

Complementary dog food refers to items which can be fed alongside complete food. They are ‘incomplete’ in that they need to be combined with other foods (usually meat) in order to deliver all of the nutrients your dog needs on a daily basis. Mixer biscuits are an example of a complementary food. These are also subject to FEDIAF rules.

It is important to ensure that you are feeding the right balance between complete and complementary food sources. Feeding an incomplete diet could lead to deficiencies in nutrients, vitamins and minerals and can cause growth problems, poor skin health and hormone imbalances.

Ingredients to look for in dog food

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer for this. All dogs are unique in their daily nutritional requirements. Various things factor into this, including life-stage, activity level, health conditions etc.

Protein should make up the majority of their diet, followed by fat, both of which will likely come from meat and fish sources. It is essential for growth and repair, as well as providing energy. Look for foods with as high a meat content as possible.

Next up is fibre, which will be supplied through consumption of vegetables and complex carbohydrates. This will keep your dog’s poos healthy as it aids digestion.

Last, but certainly not least, we have vitamins and minerals. The list of benefits is endless, some of the most important ones being their contribution to building strong bones and supporting immune responses.

We would like to thank our lovely partners at Butternut Box for providing this guidance.

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