A well-balanced, nutritious diet is at the very core of keeping your furry best friend healthy and happy for the entire duration of his life. However, choosing the right food for him is much more complicated than one might think. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making a final decision on what to feed your best friend:
Know your Dog
There are various factors surrounding your dog that will directly impact the food that you buy. For instance, a puppy will require a very different diet to a senior dog, and an active dog will require a very different diet compared to a more sedentary dog.
Other factors to think about include your dog’s breed and reproductive status. For example, if your dog recently had puppies and is lactating, she will require more calories on a daily basis compared to a male dog or a female dog who has never given birth.
Speak to a great vet, like Heart + Paw, if you are unsure about any of these factors.
Examine the Ingredients
It is safe to say that not all dog food is created equal – hence the reason why it is so important to examine and understand all of the different ingredients included before choosing a brand. Steer clear of any food that contains high levels of sugar and starchy carbohydrates as these can contribute to weight gain, as well as oral decay and plaque build-up.
Watch out for Allergies
Regular digestive upsets in dogs, or itchy, inflamed skin is often a sign that they are suffering from an allergy. While this allergy may be brought about as a result of environmental factors, such as grass, it can often be attributed to the animal’s food.
In almost all cases, the dog will be reacting to the carbohydrates included in the kibble and may need to be switched to a grain-free diet.
Consider Feeding a Raw Diet
Many pet owners out there have opted to feed their dogs a ‘biologically appropriate’ raw diet. They are of the belief that this is how a dog would eat in the wild, so it must be better for them than processed food made by humans. There are various advantages to feeding a raw diet; however, it does not work for all dogs, and there are a few risks associated with the practice.
Some benefits of a raw diet include a healthier, shinier coat, increased energy, cleaner teeth, and healthier skin. However, some risks include consuming dangerous bacteria lurking inside raw meat, which can lead to digestive problems and, in some cases, even death. Eating bones also poses numerous risks. For instance, the dog could choke or face an internal blockage or puncture. Breaking teeth as a result of trying to bite through particularly thick bones is also a common occurrence.
It is, therefore, important for each individual pet owner to evaluate whether or not a raw diet is right for them and their animals. It is always worthwhile to consult with a vet for advice before making a decision.
Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to make the best possible selection for your fur child. Here’s to maximum digestive health for many more years to come!