The Importance Of Proper Dog Nutrition
We all want what’s best for our four-legged friends and among the many things to consider when adopting a dog, their nutrition and everyday diet should definitely be your prime concern. It is very important to be appropriately informed when it comes to your dog’s nutrition, which varies from breed to breed, as well as from one pooch to another. There are some basic nutrition rules, however, that should be known and followed closely, so that your dog remains healthy. Just like with humans, canine nutrition is closely connected to their physical and mental wellbeing, so here are some ground rules for making sure that your pet eats properly.
First of all, know your DON’TS. Many people believe that milk is a good treat, but the fact remains that, save humans, no other mammal should actually consume milk. Another common mistake is exchanging water for milk, which can cause significant digestion problems, not to mention diarrhea.
When it comes to meats, another nota bene should be mentioned. Contrary to popular belief, you should NOT feed your dog raw meat. Yes, dogs are descended from wolves, but their metabolisms have changed, as well as their physique, so raw meat (and eggs) can do them more harm than good and give way to different kinds of health problems. That is why you should always be sure to give your dog food that is cooked. Also, be sure that there are not any small bones hidden in the meat because they can cause chocking. Additionally, sugar is a big no-no for dogs. Bear in mind that it can be poisonous to dogs, so any kind of candy should be kept well out of their reach. Just because it’s not good for them doesn’t mean they won’t eat it, which is again, quite similar to human habits.
Things you should DO are quite easy to fulfill once you get the hang of it. First and foremost, you should pay attention that four basic food groups are present in your dog’s everyday diet – water, protein, fats, and vitamins.
Water is extremely important for keeping your pet’s metabolism in check. If your pooch needs a lot of exercise and you provide it daily, they will need a lot of water when they come home after an hour of running and playing. If you are feeding your dog mostly dry food, it can easily parch them as well. To help you find your way around the daily intake of water, think like this – for every pound of dry food your dog eats, a liter (or a quart) of water will be needed. But in general, water bowl should always be full, just in case.
As for proteins, it is no surprise that dogs need a significant amount of animal protein (18-22%) in their diet to feel good, but do mind the overfeeding problem. Too much protein will cause not only obesity in your dog, but also hyperactivity, and if you live in an apartment, you do not want a hyper dog on your hands.
Fats, in optimal quantities, are very beneficial for your dog, as they give them energy and make their coats silky and healthy. If you are ever temped to buy fat-free food for your fog, don’t, they need it to keep a balanced metabolism and have energy. When it comes to treats, cut them way down, they are often one of the main reasons for dog obesity.
Vitamins should be in your dog’s daily diet, but if you feel that the vitamin needs aren’t met, you should talk to your veterinarian, who will advise you exactly what vitamin supplements you should use.
When it comes to how many times a day your dog should eat, the answer is usually two smaller meals.
Finally, there are different opinions to choose from when it comes to wet food and dry food. Naturally, you should know what kind of food is best for your dog and what they like to eat the most, but most veterinarians suggest always using a mix of dry and wet food in order to maintain the balance in your dog’s digestion.