Feeding your dog goes beyond filling its dinner bowl. You need to think about nutritional requirements, a balanced diet, hygiene and a healthy start. Just like us, dogs need a good diet for a healthy, enjoyable life.
Keep reading for great tips on what you should and shouldn’t be feeding your dog.
1. Read the Label
For good energy levels, a dog’s diet should be high in meat protein. So, if you’re buying canned dog food, opt for turkey, chicken or pork. Some grains and vegetables are great for helping your dog’s digestion, but meat is a required part of their diet. Typically, a 20-30% protein content is a good balance.
Also, while you don’t necessarily have to purchase the most expensive food on the market, don’t skimp on your dog’s food. Quality is important when it comes to your dog’s diet.
2. Don’t Give a Dog a Bone
Not only does feeding scraps off the table to your dog promote bad habits, but small and soft bones (especially chicken bones) can break and create splinters in your dog’s throat and digestive tract, causing them to either choke or experience a lot of discomfort.
3. Stay Away From Dairy
Milk and cheese may be excellent sources of calcium and protein, but they are not appropriate for most animals and cause serious diarrhea, especially in adult dogs. Just like humans, many dogs experience varying levels of lactose intolerance, so milk and dairy should be avoided.
4. Chocolate is Lethal
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be lethal to dogs. Methylxanthine, alkaloids and theobromine are all found in chocolate, but are almost indigestible by dogs. Vomiting, hyperactivity, urination, diarrhea, and seizure are all symptoms of chocolate poisoning and could all lead to coma or death.
5. Raw Fish and Eggs Should Be Avoided
Unlike a cat, a dog shouldn’t be eating too much raw fish. This can cause thiamine-deficiency which leads to weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite and sometimes, though rare, death. Meanwhile, excessive consumption of raw eggs can lead to skin breakouts and loss of hair. While not deadly, this can be uncomfortable and unpleasant for the animal.
6. Find the Right Amount
Avoid over-feeding your pet. Just like in humans, obesity can lead to a large number of health problems like heart disease and an increased risk of stroke. Most dogs enjoy a measured amount of food twice a day, so don’t overindulge your favorite furry friend. A persistently overweight dog faces health risks just as do humans, so routinely providing too much food is actually harmful.
Health problems can be the result in a dog that does not eat good quality food. Foods filled with fatty products and do not have sufficient protein are not recommended. A puppy, for example, should be fed food that is designed for dogs of that early development period. And the opposite is true for canines getting up in age – there is also food specifically to meet their health needs.
With the right diets, dogs are designed to live fairly lengthy and quite contented lives. By doing your part with their nutritional needs, you can actually enhance both.
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