Your companion is part of your family and like any member of the family, you want to provide the best for them. How you feed you dog is a huge part of that, and sometimes it can be tricky to get right. How many times a day should you feed them? Can they eat a vegetarian diet? What if my pooch is overweight? Here are three things to consider when deciding how to provide the best nutrients for your four-legged friend.
Different strokes for different folks
Dogs need a lot of protein in order to maintain their lustrous skin and coat. They also need fats and vitamins like you do, but big dogs and small dogs need different amounts. A puppy needs to eat about 1,000 calories a day, spread throughout the day to keep their stomachs full.
An adult dog may only need to eat once a day, but this may need to comprise over 2,000 calories for an active and large dog. An older dog who moves around less may not need more than 500 calories and a pregnant and lactating dog will need more than any of them. It is important to know your dog and their needs in order to make sure they are getting enough.
Dry food, semi-moist, wet or homemade?
Most pet-owners feed their pooches commercial dog food and this is certainly easy to get hold of and quicker than creating your own canine gourmet dishes. When making your choice at the supermarket, check the water content of wet cans. The higher the water content, the lower the meat content and the worse it is for your pooch.
Check that dry food and wet food has a good balance of proteins (a named meat like lamb or chicken is usually a better bet than the generic ‘meat’ label) and fats. Avoid any added salts or sugar. Homemade food is great for avoiding additives and is a fabulous way to use up leftovers. Rice, vegetables, and fruits are great additions to a bit of turkey or roast beef. Your pooch will enjoy the variety!
Like us, your dog loves a treat. These need to be given in moderation. Choose funny shaped foods or accompany the treat with a cuddle and a kiss so your pooch really gets the message! Do not compromise on the quality of these either. Like the rest of your dog’s diet, treats should be of the highest quality that you can find.
If you want to discover more, download our fantastic Canine Nutrition Diploma Course to learn more about the basics of feeding your dog and some tips for keeping your pooch healthy.