Dogs are what they eat, just like us. Here are some awesome tips for a healthy diet…
Feeding your dog: what should you choose? Dogs are mammals, same as us; if we eat too much and do not exercise frequently, we will gain weight and become fat. We also tend to be sleepy and do not want to move if we eat food that is not good enough for our system.
Bad diet habits could cause health problems, from cardiovascular diseases to diabetes, our skin and hair may look unhealthy and if we must go to the toilet, it would be not very pleasant.
Dogs are no different. If they eat too much and never exercise, they can become overweight, if we do not feed them correctly, they can also feel sleepy and without energy. Whatever your dog eats might affect and reflect in its skin and coat. Dogs can actually suffer almost the same diseases as humans, such as tumors, diabetes and heart problems, heart attacks, etc.
Feeding your Dog: Essential Aspects
It is important to understand that establishing a proper diet for our dog is essential. Just like us, dogs are what they eat. Unfortunately, they cannot tell us when they feel something is wrong or whenever they have a stomach ache because of something they have eaten.
Most of us pay attention or at least consider the benefits of a healthy diet; you should do the same with your dog’s diet, as its needs are not too different than ours. They need the same vitamins and minerals but just in different quantities; they also need proteins, carbohydrates and fat.
Their stomach works similarly to ours. There are not many differences, as we said before if we eat too much and move too little, we will gain weight, for dogs it is exactly the same.
And again, remember that being overweight can cause problems in our bodies. For dogs it is no different.
Feeding your dog: Is it Right to Give Them Table Scraps?
Obviously, the answer is “NO”. You must ask yourself, is this food a dog should eat? Fatty and fried food we eat, that is not actually healthy for us, should not be eaten by your dog either.
We all, or many of us know that chocolate is extremely poisonous for dogs. But did you know that grapes and raisins are also poisonous for them? They can cause some kidney problems if they eat them in big quantities, even onions (fresh or powdered) must not be fed to dogs.
Another reason we must not give them table scraps is that some dogs can choke because of the little bones some meat has, like chicken or turkey.
If your dog eats table scraps, it will get used to eating only that kind of food. With table scraps your dog will lack the essential nutrients that it needs, also you must consider that some powder flavoring we use can cause problems to the dog.
Feeding your Dog: Types of Food We can Choose for our Pup
Even though many dog lovers can get mad about the idea of giving processed food to dogs, there are many others that completely trust the quality of dry dog food. There are several brands and many factories.
Nobody can say which one is the best. You and your dog will have to work together as a team. Your part consists of reading the labels and nutritional information on the packages of the food you are about to buy.
Feeding your Dog: What Makes it Healthy?
Healthy feeding is not cheap; regardless of the brand of food; you should always read the labels, this way you will learn a lot about the contents of the food you give your dog.
The first ingredient on the label is the type of meat, for example chicken or lamb. If the label only says meat, it could mean any type of meat. Also you can find secondary products on the label such as, entrails; this is good and healthy food for dogs, in fact it is natural for them to enjoy this type of food, like their ancestors, the wolves.
If you buy dog food with these ingredients, it does not mean that your dog will become a wild animal. Dog food can contain animal organs, liver, heads and legs, for example chickens; but it is prohibited by law, to add hair, horns, teeth, hooves or feces.
Ingredients such as animal organs or liver have a high percentage of natural vitamins and minerals; if these are present in the dog food you buy, it will have a highly nutritious and healthy content.
Feeding your Dog: Calcium
You must pay careful attention to the amount of calcium that your pet ingests. Calcium helps your dog’s teeth and bones; but if you add too much calcium to your dog’s diet it can cause bone anomalies. On the other hand, if the diet has poor calcium content, your dog can develop diseases such as rickets or Osteomalacia, which is a softening of the bones; if this happens the bones could break due to the weight of your own pet.
Feeding your Dog: Proteins
We recommend that the food you provide your puppy has at least 28% of protein content, 18% for adult dogs, and 28% in pregnant dogs or in lactation period.
Often, dog food can contain large amounts of proteins; this is not dangerous, as the dog expels the proteins through urine. However, if your dog tends to have kidney problems, too much protein could cause kidney failure.
Feeding your Dog: Fibers
You must always check that the food you give to your dog has fiber as an ingredient. A proper amount of fiber can vary between 2 or 4.5 %. If the diet has too much fiber, it can alter your dog’s stomach, causing diarrhea, among other unpleasant incidents.
Usually, your veterinarian will recommend a diet with high contents of fiber to dogs that suffer weight problems, diabetes or hypoglycemia (high levels of sugar in the blood). Make sure that the dog food you purchase does not have chemical preservatives; you can find this information on the label.
Feeding your Dog: Ingredients to Avoid
A lot of dogs tend to have soy allergies; which is why it is best to avoid dog food or any product with this soy; otherwise dogs can have unpleasant issues in their stomach.
Search for the following words in the labels: Ethoxyquin, BHA (beta-Hydroxybutyric acid) or propyl gallate; if you see them be very careful. Ethoxyquin is used as a preservative in many foods, and can be hard to avoid.
These components can have toxic effects, but there are still a lot of opinions about the dangers they may cause. The best thing you can do is a little research about Ethoxyquin if you are considering it as an ingredient in your pet’s diet. Keep in mind that sometimes Ethoxyquin can appear as E324 in some labels.
All ingredients in dog food are fit for human consumption, it appears on the label as suitable for human consumption, but this does not mean that you can eat dog food, because it’s designed to fit only the nutrition needs of your pet.
Some people think that dog food ingredients come from the same factories that produce human food. Beware for deceitful advertising, when buying good and quality dog food.
Find a Pet Shop
In this section, you can find the best pet shops. The best professional will be the one that:
- Adjusts to your needs and schedule,
- You can contact through various ways,
- Works near your location,
- Is kind, attentive and answers all your questions,
- Works with good quality equipment.
You may be interested in reading another article related to the feeding of our friends such as: