Healthy dog food tips every dog owner should know
You are probably aware of the expression “you are what yo eat”, and I’m sure that you take care to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. But I wonder if you pay the same level of attention to what your dog eats.Many dog-owners pay little attention to feeding their dog’s healthy dog food. They settle for a store-bought dry kibble, perhaps a few cans of dog chow, and supplement this with some table scraps for “variety”.
Little thought is given to what the dog actually needs in his diet. But actually, a dog’s nutritional needs are similar to ours. Like us, dogs are omnivores, which means they need to obtain nutrients from a number of sources, including meat and vegetables.This doesn’t mean that you should feed your dog a “human” diet, though, because dogs have very specific dietary needs.
Healthy Dog Food: What Your Dog Needs
Let’s start by discussing what a dog doesn’t need in his diet. For starters, dogs don’t need table scraps. Yes, he may love the tasty scraps you toss him, but if you don’t get started in the first place, he’ll never know what he’s missing.
Aside from the obvious health problems this causes (like obesity), feeding your dog scraps from the table often results in behavioral problems, like stealing food, or begging.The second thing that a dog doesn’t need is the corn-based fillers that make up the bulk of many commercial dog food brands. These generally lack the vitamins and nutrients a dog requires.
In fact, buying cheap dog food is a false economy, because your dog will have to eat more to obtain the same nutritional values. It also means he’ll pass more waste – and you know what that means!What a dog really needs is a diet that provides all the nutrients he would obtain through his natural feeding patterns. In the wild, a dog would get nutrients from freshly killed prey, roots, berries and fruit, grass, even insects.That’s not to say you should feed your dog bugs! There are much easier ways to feed healthy dog food in a balanced diet.
Healthy Dog Food: Feeding Your Dog the Right Nutrients
Let’s start by looking at the dry kibble you feed your dog. If it’s store bought, then chances are that it is corn based. If you’re not sure, check the ingredient list on the pack.Consider switching to a premium or super premium food. These contain less filler and more nutrients. They are more expensive, yes, but as stated above, you’ll need to feed less. You may find that the price comparison between a healthy dog food and a cheap brand is pretty much a wash.
Or you may decide that you want to cook for your dog – an excellent idea if you have the time. If so, go for lean, organic meats, like chicken or lean beef. Avoid fatty cuts and things like hot dogs, which are high in fat and sodium.You’ll also want to include vegetables and fruit in the diet. As omnivores, dogs need the nutrients obtainable from vegetables, and many dogs actually enjoy their veggies.
Be aware though, that not all fruits and vegetables are good for dogs and some are actually harmful. Things like onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, broccoli, mushrooms and potato peels should be avoided.You can also add rice or pasta for bulk, and incorporate things like fish and eggs into the diet. These should be cooked, not raw, and you should also be wary of fish bones. In fact, you should not give your dog any bone that he can chew up and swallow.
I would also advise that you talk to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Healthy Dog Food: How Much to Feed
According to a recent report canine obesity now affects 1 in 3 pet dogs in the US. This is a frightening statistic when you consider the catalog of diseases that have their root in obesity.If your dog is overweight you need to make adjustments to his diet and exercise routine right away.
A 50-pound adult dog only needs 2-3 cups of food a day at the most. Split this between 2 meals, served at set times.
After the meal clear any leftover food away. Dry kibble can be kept over till the next meal, while leftover wet food should be disposed of.Leaving food out is a sure way for your dog to grow fat. Most dogs will eat whatever you put in front of them, so if it’s there, they’ll finish it, even if they’re not hungry.It’s a good idea to let your dog work for his meal, even if its just getting him to sit before feeding him.Feeding your dog healthy dog food is not difficult, a good quality kibble, supplemented with some fruit and vegetables, plus healthy treats, is all it takes.