MyBowl: What Goes into a Balanced Diet for your Dog?

PetMD Editorial
Updated: October 03, 2014
Published: August 04, 2011
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Optimal Health

Just like with people, our dogs also need balanced nutrition to maintain health and wellness. People rely on tools to understand their own nutritional needs, but there aren’t any similar tools for dogs. To help dog owners learn the basics of balanced nutrition, petMD and Hill’s Pet Nutrition worked together to develop MyBowl, a special interactive learning tool. MyBowl was created to teach dog owners the essential features of a well balanced meal to help ensure optimal health of their dog. MyBowl will demonstrate how a dog food should provide certain amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats/oil, and vitamins and minerals, and help owners apply that knowledge to better understand the dog food label.


MyBowl’s largest section is made up of carbohydrates. Carbs provide energy and keep blood sugar levels steady. They contain some vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber for digestion. You will find carbohydrates listed in the ingredients list on the back of the bag. As you roll over the carbohydrate section, you will find examples of quality carbohydrates, as well as important information regarding this important nutrient and its sources.


The next largest segment of MyBowl comes from protein. Proteins are essential sources of the building blocks for strong muscles for growth and maintenance. On a dog food’s ingredient list, look for high-quality sources of protein. These sources can include meats, meat meals, eggs, or even soybean meal. You will find more information about these and other protein sources as you spend more time exploring the content available in MyBowl.

Fats and Oils

Another important segment of MyBowl represents fats and oils in the diet. Believe it or not, these ingredients are actually essential for a balanced, healthy diet. Not only do fats provide energy, they make food taste good, promote heart health, and keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny. On the food’s ingredient list, look for high-quality sources of fat, as you will discover from reading through this area of MyBowl.

Vitamins and Minerals

Just like humans, dogs need certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and strong. These sections of MyBowl are very small, as these ingredients are usually added to dog food recipes as vitamin and mineral supplements. Common fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and meats are the initial source of vitamins and minerals. This is why fruits and vegetables are included as ingredients in dog foods to help provide adequate, natural levels of nutrition that also taste really good.


Finally, you will notice that next to the MyBowl image, a bowl of water is shown nearby. This is because water is also essential to a dog’s good health. Clean, fresh water should be made available at all times along with a healthy, balanced quality dog food. With the guidelines presented by MyBowl, dog owners should get a better understanding of their dog’s nutritional needs to live a long, healthy life.