Educational Resources

(3000) Core Area:    ANIMAL SCIENCE


(3170)             Unit Title:      DOGS

             (3175)             Topic:            FEEDING AND NUTRITION


Topic Objectives:       Upon completion of this lesson, the student will be able to:


Topic 3175A: Understand nutrient requirements for dogs depending on use or age


Topic 3175B: List different types of feed that are fed to dogs


Topic 3175C: Know the content of commercial dog food




I.         NUTRITION.


            A.        Forty three individual nutrients are needed by warm-blooded animals (including humans).

                        1.         Four groups of nutrients.

                                    a.         Proteins.

                                    b.         Fats.

                                    c.         Carbohydrates.

                                    d.         Vitamins and minerals.


            B.        Proteins -- building blocks of the body.

                        1.         Proteins comprise much of body tissues - heart, muscles, brain, nervous system, etc., etc.

                        2.         Proteins are needed to build these tissues during growth and repair them after full growth is reached.

                        3.         Proteins make up most of the hormones and enzymes that keep the body's processes working.

                        4.         The antibodies that fight infections are mostly proteins.

                        5.         Proteins are the sole source of nitrogen, which is needed by every cell in the body.

                        6.         Proteins are found in largest amounts in meats, soybeans, and fish.

                        7.         Proteins are found in largest amounts in meats, soybeans, and fish.

                        8.         Growing dogs need at least 17% of protein in their daily ration -- more if possible.


            C.        Fats - furnish energy.

                        1.         Fats in diet supply essential fatty acids for proper growth and development.

                        2.         Fats are a concentrated source of energy.

                        3.         For every 3000-3500 calories consumed beyond the needs of the body, one pound of fat is deposited in the tissues.


            D.        Carbohydrates -- furnish energy.

                        1.         Carbohydrates consist of sugars and starches.

                        2.         They are a less concentrated source of energy than fats.

                        3.         Grains (wheat, oats, corn, barley, etc.) and mature legumes (beans, peas, etc.) are the best sources of carbohydrates.


            E.        Vitamins and Minerals.

                        1.         Vitamins are needed for all sorts of body processes -- growth, reproduction, digestion, nerve response, resistance to infection, etc., etc.

                        2.         Minerals have many uses:

                                    a.         Calcium - for bones, teeth, muscles, blood.

                                    b.         Iron - for blood.

                                    c.         Sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, cobalt, iodine, are among the other minerals needed.




            A.        Dry dog food.

                        1.         5-10% moisture.

                        2.         21-23% protein.

                        3.         8% fat.

                        4.         35% carbohydrates.

                        5.         1300-1700 calories/pound.


            B.        Canned dog food.

                        1.         65-78% moisture.

                        2.         10-12% protein.

                        3.         6% fat.

                        4.         3-5% carbohydrates.

                        5.         650-700 calories/pound.


            C.        Soft-Moist dog food.

                        1.         20-25% moisture.

                        2.         20% protein.

                        3.         7% fat.

                        4.         35% carbohydrates.

                        5.         1200 calories/pound.



Body Puppy Adult 1-7 Years 8 yrs +

wt. under ______________________________

#'s 12 months House Active Working House











































































































































































* These are average requirements per day; individual requirements may vary according to age, size, breed, degree of activity and temperature. The changes in daily needs obviously take place gradually, not abruptly, as the dog grows older. However, out of necessity, this table is calculated on a "point-in-time" basis, e.g. a puppy's caloric requirements per pound of body weight peak during 4-16 weeks (giant breeds 4-24 weeks) and then gradually decline as it matures. 




            A.        Ask the breeder for enough dog food to feed your puppy for the next couple of days.


            B.        Be sure to understand how your puppy has been fed.

                        1.         Beginning the second day, gradually change to the puppy food you will use.

                        2.         After three or four days the pup should be completely changed over.

                        3.         If a dry food, add enough liquid based upon package instructions to partially moisten it.

                        4.         Feed the puppy morning, noon, and evening.

                        5.         Feed what the puppy will clean up in about 15 minutes.


            C.        Dry food for puppies and dogs is much more economical than canned or semi-moist burgers.

                        1.         The caloric value is much greater per pound because it contains much less water.

                        2.         It is important to get your puppy on the dry type at this time as he will then eat it with enthusiasm throughout his life.

                        3.         A high-quality balance puppy ration is best because puppies require extra protein, calories, vitamins and minerals for proper growth.




            A.        A major factor in maintaining a healthy dog is proper feeding.

                        1.         For good health the dog requires a daily ration of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water in adequate and proper proportions.

                        2.         Dogs which do not receive a balanced ration may suffer from nerve and muscle disorders, skin disorders, diarrhea, fatigue, low reproductive efficiency, emaciation and many other diseases and impairments.

                        3.         Proper feeding will help make your dog more enjoyable in increase his years of living a healthy life.


            B.        Prior to 1945 most dogs were fed table scraps or home formula food consisting of a wide range of products.

                        1.         Cheap cuts of meat occasionally supplemented their diet.

                        2.         Today, because of scientific study and modern technology of animal and livestock feed preparations, one may feed the dog properly and with ease by using commercially prepared food.

                                    a.         Because of the extra effort and cost of securing, mixing, and storing, few people attempt to mix their own rations.

                                    b.         Dogs are carnivorous (meat eaters) by nature, but they can use a wide variety of cereal and other food stuffs.

                                    c.         If foods high in starch such as cornmeal, oatmeal, potatoes and other cereals are added to the ration, they should be cooked because raw starch can cause diarrhea.


            C.        Some families with intentions of feeding their dogs only the very best ration feed primarily an all meat diet consisting of various cuts of meat they may find on sale.

                        1.         A diet of this type is not only unbalanced, but costly.

                        2.         Meat is low in calcium and high in phosphorus.

                                    a.         Over a period of time calcium will be reabsorbed from the bones causing them to be weak, and also may cause loosening of the teeth.

                                    b.         Wild animals that subsist primarily on meat also devour the bones which are high in calcium, thus balancing the calcium and phosphorus in their diet.

                                    c.         Rations prepared commercially that are advertised as "all meat" usually have mineral and vitamin additives, which make them complete rations.

                                    d.         Check the label, making sure it states complete and balanced nutrition.




            A.        Commercially prepared dog food comes in dry, semi-moist and the canned or wet form.

                        1.         The dry form may be meal, expended pellets or crumbles.

                        2.         The semi-moist is in the burger or patty form and the wet is canned.

                        3.         It is important to have full knowledge of them because their food value, moisture content and cost per pound vary greatly.


            B.        Commercial dog food is recommended because it contains all the required nutrients in their proper balance.


            C.        It would be quite difficult to formulate a dog ration containing all of the required nutrients from table scraps and other foods with assurance that all the requirements had been met.


            D.        Commercial dog food has good keeping qualities and enables one to maintain a dog in good health with relative ease.




            A.        Full grown dogs or those one year of age or more should be fed only once per day.

                        1.         Some large or giant breeds or heavy eaters should be fed twice a daily.

                                    a.         You may decide the most convenient time and then continue on the schedule.

                                    b.         Dogs should be fed the same time each day since, like humans, they are creatures of habit.

                        2.         Hunting dogs should be fed at night as they will perform better if they have had time to digest their food before hunting.


            B.        If you dog is a poor eater, you may need to encourage him with praise when eating.

                        1.         Stirring the food and holding the food dish for him may also be of help.

                        2.         This bit of extra attention my pay off with a poor eater.

                        3.         Do not do this unless necessary, or often, as he may learn to depend upon your attention.




            A.        The stud dog does not require a special diet or supplement.

                        1.         His physical condition is important, and you can control this by either enforcing or limiting his exercise and feeding a proportionate amount.

                        2.         A stud dog will be more effective as a breeder if he receives enough exercise to have good muscle tone.


            B.        A dog that is too fat will not be aggressive and is likely to be an ineffective breeder.




            A.        Most hunting dogs are used for hunting only one or two days per week because their masters do not have more available time.


            B.        For top performance, a hunting dog must go through a training period to get into physical condition to meet the strain of the hunting season.

                        1.         Dogs in training or when hunting expend much more energy than they do when only serving as a family pet.

                        2.         During the first few days of vigorous work, they will lose weight rapidly.

                        3.         They may expend more energy than they can obtain from their regular ration.


                        4.         This can be avoided by adding lard or bacon grease to the ration.

                        5.         Fat is high in energy and will offset the expended energy.

                                    a.         No more than 3-5 percent should be added as it may cause diarrhea and upset the diet's nutritional balance.

                                    b.         Also, many owners of hunting dogs change to a more dense food with higher protein and energy during the working period.




            A.        Table scraps may be added to dog food and serve a useful purpose.


            B.        Table scraps are mainly carbohydrates, meat trimmings, greases and gravies which are low in protein, vitamins and minerals but are high in energy and fat content.

                        1.         Dogs will usually eat commercial food with more relish if table scraps are added.

                        2.         This is not to say that table scraps must be added.

                                    a.         Many people are frugal and really want to feed their table scraps.

                                    b.         If scraping them together and adding them to the ration is bothersome, their economic value is probable not worth the extra effort.

                                    c.         If you have an irregular amount of table scraps or if you have several dogs and do not have enough for all of them, you should not add them.

                                    d.         Feeding them on an irregular basis will cause your dog to pick at his food when they are not added.




            A.        Don't allow your dog to have any small bones.

                        1.         Fowl and chop bones splinter when broken, leaving sharp edges which may become caught in the throat or impact in the intestines and cause great misery.

                        2.         This impaction is very difficult to treat.


            B.        Dogs obviously enjoy chewing on bones.

                        1.         Those that live outdoors enjoy burying them and often make trouble for the gardener in the family.

                        2.         The only safe bones to provide are knuckle and leg bones which are too large for the dog to splinter.

                        3.         Dogs that are fed primarily soft food for several years without any large bones for chewing may develop tartar and stains on their teeth.

                        4.         Feeding dry dog food on a regular basis will help.

                        5.         If the tartar is heavily built up, you should have it removed by a veterinarian.

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