For your dog’s best health and long life, you should take care of feeding him a balanced diet high in nutrition and plenty of fresh, clean water.
Image Courtesy: thedogproblems.com
Just like humans, animals too have their own particular nutritional requirements. Dogs must eat what dogs must eat. And in general, your dog must not eat what you eat.
This is pretty clear. But then, what exactly should your dog eat? This question confuses most dog parents because there are a lot of confusing advices out there. You can take help of an animal specialist hospital like Gordon Vet in North Turramurra vet to get the correct advice.
Basics of Dog Food
As per the PFIAA (Pet Food Industry Association of Australia), the food your dog eats should provide him 4 essentials:
- Proteins and other minor nutrients
- Vitamins, minerals and important micro-nutrients
- Fats, including essential fatty acids
The prepackaged food you buy for your dog must consist of the above-mentioned 4 essentials in correct amounts and ratios. However, sadly, you can’t take it for granted that all prepackaged dog foods provide a correct balance of the essentials, since some don’t.
The PFIAA suggests checking the labeling on dog foods carefully. Check if there is a statement saying that the food has been made to the standards of an internationally acclaimed organisation like AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
PFIAA’s Tips for Selecting Dog Food
- The nutritional proportion of the food must be such that the nutritional requirements of your dog are met by eating a reasonable portion of food. Your dog’s stools must be well formed and should not be loose, which is a sign of the food’s proper nutritional density.
- It should taste good! It’s of no use, how nutritionally ideal the food is if your dog dislikes it. Your dog should eagerly wait for eating the food. Food that’s not eaten has NO nutritional advantages. Image Courtesy: petpact.com
A raw food revolution is going on recently that has touched humans as well as animals. A diet that is more natural can be healthful for your pet, more eco-friendly and if made properly, nutritionally balanced and good for digestive and dental health. But before you start feeding raw to your dog, consider a few factors, like:
- Several people find prepackaged food convenient because it provides less worry about having a variety essential for health. To make a wholesome homemade diet, around 50 ingredients are required. The key is variety.
- If you feed your dog raw, you should pay attention to all the micronutrients your pet requires. Feeding the same type of meat every day and only muscle meat is NOT a balanced diet. Keep changing meats, consider offal and make sure that your dog is eating various vegetables too.
- Never feed your dog meats that consist of Sulphur preservatives. They cause thiamine deficiency and are connected to allergies.
- Mince should never be fed raw.
- Bones should not be cooked.
- Pay keen attention to safety of food (wash hands and keep hygiene).
- While feeding bones, hard bones like beef shin bones can chip teeth; hence ideally your dog must eat meat off the bone.
- Dogs that eat meat and bones predominantly will usually suffer from constipation. So, make sure they are getting fiber too. Feed your dog vegetables, psyllium husks or oat bran if he often suffers from constipation.
- There is no need to add salt in your dog’s food, because dogs don’t have a taste developed for salty foods.
- Avoid garlic, onion and stock powders that consist of these things.
- If you are not sure about whether your dog’s diet is balanced, you can consider a multivitamin.
High fat diets are not tolerated well by many dogs and can cause pancreatitis in some cases that may be painful and costly to treat. In such a case, you may have to contact Gordon Vet in North Shore for example.
Consider all these things while choosing food for your dog so that you can keep your dog in the best health.