Loving your dog means providing them with the best care possible. From grooming, doctor’s visits, and exercise, possibly one of the most important aspects of pet-care is their diet plan. For dogs, they require simple, yet nutritious diets that accompany their unique dietary needs and health concerns. So, depending on your individual dog’s circumstances, dietary needs will be somewhat different. Consulting your vet is a good first step in being sure to choose the proper diet.
Portion control is essential in maintaining your dog’s weight, or helping him lose or gain weight. Feeding instructions are based upon the dog’s natural, healthy weight and should be strictly followed. You should consult your veterinarian to find out what a healthy weight for your pet is. Exceeding the recommended portions can cause dogs to rapidly gain weight, which is not good for their bodies; it is hard on their joints and on their organs—especially their heart. Over-feeding your dog is doing him a disservice; it shortens life expectancy and diminishes their quality of existence. Only you have control over how much food your dog eats daily, so its best to have the facts. Make sure your dog is getting the correct amount of food per day, and come up with a feeding schedule that works for you.
You should be able to properly read the labels on dog food items; this means knowing what to look for. One of the very first ingredients in any dog food should be a protein. Some dogs have severe allergies to various poultry and other grass-fed animals, as well as flax and grains that tend to be fillers in dog foods. Dogs need healthy proteins that give them much-needed minerals and nutrients to survive on. It is important to first consult your veterinary clinic so that you can be aware of any food-allergies your dog may have. A simple blood panel allergy test will shed light on any possible issues with your dog’s food source. Like humans, dogs require nutrients and minerals that keep their bodies in the best working-shape possible. This is best achieved by knowing what your dog needs in the various stages of his life. For instance, an older dog will require a different diet than a younger dog that is still developing.
Another important thing to remember is that typical snacks and treats for dogs are not desirable sources of nutrition—especially if they are loaded with preservatives and fillers. Look for dog treats that are simply protein—similar to jerky, so that there is no guessing what may be in the treat itself. Furthermore, giving your dog snacks and treats throughout the day should be kept to a minimum—especially if your dog is not very active. Part of a healthy diet plan for a dog is including exercise that is realistic for both you and your dog together to achieve. Several short walks at different times of the day may be easier for some, while going on hikes regularly may be part of others’ daily lives. Whatever the case may be, it is essential that both you and your dog get some form of exercise daily—why not try to get active together? Dogs can make some of the best workout partners.
It is a quite common habit for humans to feed their dogs table scraps and human food. Besides some fruits or vegetables (depending on your dog’s specific dietary needs and allergies), dogs should not be fed what you eat; their bodies are not designed to digest heavily processed foods (truthfully, neither are humans!), and their dietary needs are quite different from that of humans’. If you want to indulge your pet now and then, you can feed them selected fruits and vegetables. There are very little calories in these foods, and they are packed with nutrients that your dog will benefit from. There is a lot of contradicting information about what fruits and vegetables are acceptable to feed dogs, so just be sure to do your research before introducing new food items into your dog’s diet. While part of loving your dogs means feeding them well, redefining what “feeding well” means is vital to their health.