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The Importance of A Healthy Diet For Your Dog

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You are probably aware that it is important for humans to have a healthy diet, but you may not have put much thought into dog nutrition. In fact, it is very important for dogs to eat a nutritious diet. When dogs eat healthily, they are healthy. In contrast, if dogs are eating the wrong food, or eating too much or too little food, it can cause health issues. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian specifically about what type of food and in what amount is best for your dog, because it will depend on their breed, size, health, and age. Yet while every dog is different, there are certain general guidelines you can keep in mind when feeding your dog that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.

Commercial Dog Food

Dog food, while it may not look particularly appetizing, is formulated to include all of the important nutrients a dog needs. Most include some kind of meat, grain, vegetable, and added vitamin. Commercial dog foods are completely safe and healthy for feeding your dog, according to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. You should take care to choose dog food that correlates with your dog’s specific size and life stage: puppy, pregnant, nursing, or adult. When choosing a commercial dog food, look for a label that says that it is “complete and balanced” according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Dog food that is “complete” has all of the essential nutrients needed by canines, while balanced indicates that they are the proper ratios of these nutrients.

If you are wondering whether you should feed your dog wet or dry food, there are advantages to both. Dry food may be better for dental health, while wet food adds more water into the dog’s diet, which may be a good idea for dogs who do not drink much water. Both are nutritious options, so it is really up to you what you prefer to feed your dog.

How Often and How Much Food Should My Dog Eat?

According to the AKC, puppies who are younger than six months should eat from three to four times a day. After that, they should eat two meals a day. After puppies reach adulthood, they can eat one or two times a day, depending on how often they exercise. In order to know what is best for your dog, it is wise to talk to your vet.

This same advice also applies to how much should be served to your dog at a time. You could use the serving size as printed on your dog food packaging, but it is also a good idea to consult with your vet about your dog’s specific breed, age, and activity level. While a young jack russel terrier will need a few meals a day to give them the energy to keep going, an older Chihuahua who rarely moves off your couch can probably get by on one meal a day.

The most common mistake among pet owners is overfeeding their dogs. It’s imperative to keep your dog at a healthy weight to avoid a variety of health issues and enable them to have an active lifestyle. Make sure your dog is eating the right kind and amount of food by talking to your veterinarian about their diet.

Can a Dog Be Vegetarian?

In order to feed a dog vegetarian, there is a lot of research to be done. Not all vegetables are safe for dogs to consume, which means that you will have to be cautious about what you feed your dog. In addition, your dog needs certain essential nutrients to thrive, so you will need to make sure you know what vegetarian sources are available to them. If your dog eating vegetarian is important to you, talk to your vet about how you can do so safely so that your dog is as healthy as possible.

Foods Not To Feed Your Dog

Not all foods are safe for dogs to consume. If you tend to give your dog human foods off your plate, you must be cautious about what you choose to feed them. According to the FDA, you should avoid feeding your dog fatty foods, chocolate, chicken bones, salty snacks, moldy foods, or raw meat, all of which can cause health issues for pets.

Some dogs may not be harmed by eating some of these foods, it is better to be safe than sorry. Much of it depends on a dog’s size, genetic mark, and how much of it they have eaten. For example, if a German shepherd eats a bark of chocolate, they may not experience any issues, which a small terrier may be quite ill.

Another thing to keep in mind when feeding your dog human food is that you want to make sure you are not inadvertently overfeeding your dog with this practice. Outside of their normal dog food, extra treats and table scraps should only account for ten percent of their diet.

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