A diet that consists only of meat is inadequate for dogs. As carnivores, pets definitely need proteins derived from meat, but other ingredients are essential to meet their dietary requirement.
A well-balanced pet food should also contain fats, from which dogs derive as much as sixty percent of their energy. Vitamins and minerals are also necessary. The addition of carbohydrates to pet foods may not be essential, but this is a less expensive way to supply some of their nutritional needs.
Pets that are fed only meat risk serious nutritional deficiencies that can result in any number of complicated illnesses. As a consequence of prolonged meat-only diets, the body activates mechanisms which attempt to compensate for the individual’s nutritional imbalances. The disease called nutritional hyperparathyroidism is triggered by imbalance of essential minerals. This results in a dramatic decrease in bone density. The skeleton wastes away as the body tries to supply vital organs, such as the heart, with calcium. The bones become so thin and brittle that fractures spontaneously occur. A balanced diet is key to the prevention and treatment of nutritionally induced disease.