It’s not just about maintaining a healthy weight — a balanced diet provides your pet with the right combination of nutrients. Protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water all play an important part in keeping your pet happy and healthy. Read on to learn more about these nutrients and how they benefit your pet. Protein: Your pet relies on the essential and non-essential amino acids found in protein. This helps maintain muscles, repair cells, and produce hormones and antibodies. Fat: This provides a great deal of energy to your pet — more than twice the amount found in proteins and carbs. Fat also keeps skin and hair healthy, is necessary for absorbing some vitamins, and insulates the body. Carbohydrates: Carbs sometimes get a bad rap from humans, but they’re essential for healthy nutrition. These nutrients fuel your pet’s cells and provide energy. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is particularly helpful in promoting good digestion. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins A, D, E, and K and minerals like calcium and potassium help maintain the nervous system, boost immunity, strengthen teeth and bones, and maintain muscle health. Luckily, a well-balanced diet should already contain all of these. Water: Up to 70% of an adult pet’s body weight is made up of water, so it’s important your pet stays hydrated. Water plays an important role in digestion, eliminating waste, and regulating body temperature. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water. A balanced, nutritious diet will keep your pet in tip-top shape and prevent disease. Talk to a veterinarian if you need pet food advice, especially if your pet has a health condition or special dietary needs.