Are You Feeding Your Dog with the Right Food?

9:51:00 PM

Are you feeding your dog with the right kind of food? If you’re a dog owner, you should consider this question seriously, as what you feed your dog directly affects his health condition. How do you know which dog food is best for your pet? Here are some points to consider:

The age of your dog. Dogs have different nutritional needs depending on how old they are. “Puppies” need higher levels of protein and fat than adult or older dogs do. It’s very important not to feed an adult dog with food that is especially made for younger dogs.

Your dog’s breed. Specific dog breeds also have varying nutritional needs. Larger dog breeds such as German Shepard, Labradors and Great Danes need foods with high calcium content because they are more prone to bone and joint problems.

Your dog’s level of activity. How active is your dog? Again, a dog’s nutritional need also depends on his level of activity. Obviously, work dogs or active dogs use up more energy than dogs that don’t do much physical activity.

Your dog’s health condition. Is your dog overweight or underweight? Does your dog have allergies? (Yes, dogs can also be allergic to certain food ingredients.) Does your dog suffer from a particular disease or health condition? Does he have a problem with digestion? You need to work closely with your vet to make sure that you feed your dog with a diet that’s perfect for his condition. 

Your Budget. Of course, feeding your dog daily is a long term commitment so it’s also important to think about your budget. Most high quality dog foods (holistic dog foods and organic dog foods) in the market are obviously more expensive than ones of lower quality.  

Be realistic. If you can’t afford to buy high quality ready-made dog foods all the time, why not make your own? Look for homemade dog food recipes online and ask veteran dog breeders or your veterinarian if it’s suited for your dog. REMEMBER to consult your vet first before introducing a homemade dog food.

Dry or Wet Dog Food. Hard or dry dog foods may help in the development and care of your dog’s teeth. Older dogs may prefer wet dog food because they’re softer, easier to chew and easier to swallow. Whichever you choose, make sure that the dog food does not contain “fillers” which can be bad for your dog’s health.

What does the label say? Before buying any kind of dog food, scrutinize the label. Don’t just rely on the brand’s “cute” or “impressive” packaging. Some labels put the good ingredients first on the list but contain a lot of “fillers”. Stay away from dog foods that contain “by-products”, chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors, additives, or flavors.

So-called “by-products” are actually unused inner parts from slaughtered animals (poultry or meat) such as spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bones, lungs, intestines, fat tissues, etc. Avoid labels that says “animal fat” which are actually a mix of tissue fats from different meat sources. Examples of preservatives used in dog foods are BHA, BHT, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, ethoxyquin, Propylene glycol, etc. Frequent consumption of these can bring about health problems and diseases.

Proper Nutrition. According to dog health experts, a healthy dog food meal must contain 40% meat, 30% fiber and 30% starch. Dogs primarily need protein but they also need starch and other nutrients found in vegetables. 

Dog food Manufacturer. Make sure that manufacturer goes through strict quality control tests by the USDA, APHIS, and EU. The company should have a complete customer contact information on the product label, just in case you may have any concern about their product.

More tips on feeding your dog:
  1. Don’t forget to give your dog fresh water after each meal.
  2. Experts recommend that adult dogs be fed twice a day for proper digestion.
  3. Dog foods that contain sunflower seed oil or fish oil are great for your dog’s skin and coat.
  4. Don’t change your dog’s food frequently as this can cause problems or complications in your dog’s digestive system. If you need to switch your dog’s diet, do it gradually.

Don’t feed your dog with everything you eat! Some human foods are okay for dogs to eat but there are certain human foods that are toxic for canines! Dogs must never be fed with chocolates, coffee, onions, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, mushrooms and alcohol. Doing so can pose health problems or can lead to fatal results.  

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