The building blocks of protein are essential amino acids (required in their diet) and non-essential amino acids which they can produce themselves. Suitable animal proteins include turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, egg and fish.
The protein provided by vegetable sources is known as incomplete protein and comes from vegetables, fruits, cereals and soy. Ideally 40% of a dogs diet should come from protein and 50% of a cats.
Fats are an important part of pet nutrition and provide a concentrated energy source for your pet.
Fats help insulate and protect internal organs, are used in the production of some hormones, and assist in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 must be provided by the diet and can be found in foods such as sardines. Adequate fat in the diet also helps keep the coat in good condition.
Carbohydrates provide fibre and assist with digestion in the small intestines.
Of course too much can cause unpleasant effects such as excessive flatulence! Carbohydrates consist of cereals (such as corn, oats and wheat) and starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Vitamins and Minerals are necessary for a healthy pet and ideally should be provided by a normal balanced diet.
Although essential to good pet nutrition too many additional supplements can cause more problems than they solve, so beware.