Energy in a Dog's Diet


"Energy in a dog's diet is necessary to address when you notice lethargic behavior in your dog. Changes should include a correction in the balance of proteins and carbohydrates as well as vitamin or natural supplements."


Energy level from your dog's diet is important. Just like people, dogs get energy from the food that they eat. Most dogs eat commercial dog food, and most commercial dog foods provide a fairly balanced diet. If your dog has special dietary needs due to a health condition, talk to your veterinarian about the best brand of food to feed your dog. You can also read dog food reviews for supplementary knowledge. Puppies should be fed a brand of food formulated specially for puppies, because they need more protein and fat in their diet than adult dogs.

Some people prefer to feed their dog a homemade food for energy in a dog's diet. This is not the same thing as just feeding your dog table scraps, which you should not do. If you want to feed your dog a homemade diet, take the time to learn about nutrition for dogs first. A homemade diet can be very healthy for dogs but it is important that you educate yourself about your dog’s nutritional needs.

Conditions that Could Cause Dog Lethargy

  • Depression
  • Boredom
  • Obesity
  • Nutritional Deficiency
  • Inadequate or inappropriate diet
  • Liver sluggishness or disease
  • Intestinal worms
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Poisoning
  • Anemia
  • Kidney failure
  • Heatstroke

Carbohydrates for Energy in a Dog's Diet

Dogs, if left in the wild, would primarily eat protein foods with carbohydrates making up no more than 30% of their diet. Commercial dog foods, however, contain anywhere from 30-70% carbohydrates. This is primarily because carbohydrates are a more affordable food source than protein. Dogs are able to get energy from carbohydrates in their diet as well as from protein, which is why we are able to feed them diets high in carbohydrates.

If dogs get more carbohydrates than they expend in energy, however, the carbohydrates turn to fat and the dog gains weight. Excess carbohydrates can be unhealthy for your dog.

There are two types of carbohydrates. The kind of carbohydrates dogs need for energy are soluble carbohydrates. Soluble carbohydrates are the starchy part of a plant that can be easily broken down in a dog’s digestive tract. Soluble carbohydrates are found in grains such as corn, rice, wheat, barley, and oats.

An insoluble carbohydrate is fiber. Fiber does not provide any energy to dogs.

Protein in Canine Diet for Energy

Dogs also require protein in their diet for energy and to build muscle. Actually, they require amino acids that they can only get from protein foods. There are 22 amino acids, and dogs can synthesize 12 of these. The other ten- arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylaline, threonine, tryptphan, and valine- they must consume in their food.

If dogs get more protein than their body needs for energy and muscle, it is excreted in the urine. It may also be stored as fat.

Vitamins Add Energy in a Dog's Diet

Like people, dogs get energy from vitamins and minerals in their diet. B vitamins, particularly B12, are important for energy. Vitamin B12 is found in meat products. Iron is also important for energy, and is also found in meat products.

Homeopathic Dog Energy Boost (Natural)

Dog lethargy or lack of energy could have many causes. While some need attention from a veterinarian, you can try home or natural approaches to help overcome energy problems and add energy in a dog diet.

Herbal remedies combine Chinese, Indian and European medicinal herbs chosen for their energy giving properties as well as their positive effect on systemic health. Judging from the many testimonials we have read, dog owners have found dietary supplements useful for dogs that appear sluggish, listless and disinterested in life.

Ingredients in these types of supplements include:

  • Eleutherococcus senticosis (Siberian Ginseng) - A botanical cousin of Panax ginseng, this herb has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years to to sharpen physical and mental performance and endurance. Recent research has clinically proven that regular use will help to increase physical and mental performance, withstand stress and boost immune functioning. Siberian Ginseng has been approved by medical authorities in Germany as an invigorating tonic for fatigue and to protect against and recover from illness.

  • Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) is well-known as an all round tonic and energizer and helps to promote healthy circulation.

  • Arthrospira platenis (Spirulina) is a single celled micro-organism found in the sea and is widely used as a source of chlorophyll. Widely used for its nutritive properties, Spirulina contains high concentrations of protein, vitamins (including B12 and folic acid) and carotenoids. This sea algae has been medicinally used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a tonic to boost energy, relieve arthritis, enhance liver functioning, improve resistance to disease and all round systemic health.

  • Emblica officinalis (Amalaki) - is a well respected Ayurvedic remedy which helps to rejuvenate and revitalize energy, enhance well-being and combat aging and decay. It is also a very rich source of vitamin C.

A good commercial source for information and the possible purchase of these types of supplements is PetAlive Energy Tonic to Naturally Restore Health and Vitality to Pets