Dog Food Nutrition – We have discussed this before. Feeding healthy dog food, nutritious dog treats, and supplements will allow your dog to live a long, healthy, and happy life.
We have talked about feeding the right portion of food to your dog. To start out, you need to feed what is suggested on the ingredient label. But you should not stop there. You should check your dog each week to be sure you are feeding the optimum amount of food.
The best way to do this is to fill your dog’s rib cage. You should be able to feel a thin layer of flesh over the ribs. If you can’t feel the ribs, you are probably feeding your dog too much food. If you feel only ribs and no flesh, you are probably feeding too little.
It is critical that your dog is being fed the right amount of food.
The right type and amount of treats are critical. Most treats you buy in a store are not healthy for your dog. They provide little or no nutritional value. Instead, the treats should be functional. They should be fed for a specific purpose – dental health, antioxidant, etc.
Since treats are very fattening, 1-2 treats per day are sufficient.
We have discussed table food on this blog. I let Mary-Jo Sawyer, a registered dietician, discuss this in more detail in her article “Practical Nutrition: Dogs have their own nutritional needs.” Here is a quote:
We may love man’s best friend, but the worst way to show it is by giving them “human” food. Dogs do best if they eat dog food.
Marketing strategies make it difficult to know what dog food to purchase. Shaughnessy said: “It’s not that they’re bad foods. Certain foods may not necessarily be tolerated by your dog.”
If your dog has food allergies or intolerances, your vet can recommend the best food. Otherwise, find one brand, and stick to it.
Portion control will help keep your pet’s weight under control. An average 60-pound dog needs 1 cup of dog food twice daily. That cup should be 8 ounces, so make sure you’re using a cup that small.
Don’t feed your dog table scraps. If you already do, cut back by 10 percent. It will be easier on your pet’s digestive tract and help with weight control.
Vets are busier after the holidays — dogs as well as their owners may overindulge. Your pet can experience more gas, vomiting or diarrhea. And greasy, fatty meals can lead to pancreatitis.
But you can show love and affection to your dog by offering treats. Select one or two treats and regularly reward your dog. Dogs don’t need all the flavors and varieties, or the extra calories.
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