Being a dog parent is no easy task. You need to learn everything that you can do to keep your pooch healthy and happy at all times. You can start doing this by carefully studying the different dog food brand names and choosing the best one that meets your pet’s nutritional needs and taste.
To be sure your canine friend enjoys optimum nutrition to stay healthy and happy all the time, follow these four tips below:
Tip #1 – Focus on the label
No matter how convincing advertisements may be, it’s never a smart practice to refer to those for reliable information on pet nutrition. The people who produce the ads and the people who formulate the food are not one and the same.
It only makes sense to focus more on the product labels than on what you see on TV. This way, you can carefully examine the nutrients that come with the pet food and make the right purchase.
What are your dog’s nutritional requirements?
The nutrients a dog can get from his food are his main source of energy which is necessary for growth and development. Below are five things that dogs need for the best health.
These give your dog the most concentrated form of energy. Fats are vital for your canine’s cell structure which produces hormones. They also play a key role in vitamin absorption. Any deficiency of essential fatty acids may reduce growth and increase skin problems.
This is the basic building blocks for tissues, organs, cells, enzymes and other body components. Proteins are crucial for maintenance, growth, repair, and reproduction.
Carbohydrates provide dogs energy and are vital for reproduction and intestinal health. There’s no minimum requirement for carbohydrates, but remember that there is a minimum requirement for glucose. Excessive glucose consumption may cause diabetes in your dog.
» Vitamins and Minerals
These are necessary to normalize your pet’s metabolic functions and maintain fluid balance. A canine’s body cannot synthesize vitamins and minerals, so it is important for your pet to get vitamins and minerals from his diet or through immune boosting dog supplements.
Water is necessary for keeping your pooch healthy and happy. Your dog must have clean water available at all times to prevent dehydration. In addition, dogs can get moisture from the food he eats. Both wet and dry dog foods have the moisture content, although wet ones contain more.
Tip #2 – Feed your dog a variety of ingredients.
Inflammation is a major cause of diseases in dogs. According to one report, arthritis in canines is on the rise by about 82% since 2007. Arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints in dogs. If untreated, this can trigger joint damage and lead to restrictions on mobility.
Dogs can avoid diseases by eating good quality commercial pet foods high in anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants.
Tip #3 – Don’t overfeed your pet
The amount of food you give your dog should be based on his need to lose or gain weight, aside from his dietary needs for his age. According to a 2016 clinical survey by APOP, 54% of dogs are obese or overweight, which makes it more important to avoid overfeeding them. If your pet is already overweight, feed him early in the day so his body has time to work it out.
It’s normal for a pooch to be skinny during his younger and active years, but as he grows older, he will begin to gain weight easily. So don’t overfeed your dog in his early years just to make him heavy. His proper weight will come in naturally over the years.
Tip #4 – Make time for exercise.
Your dog’s diet and exercise go hand in hand in keeping him healthy and happy. You can walk your dog every morning for at least 20-30 minutes after feeding to help regularize his bowel movements. Regular exercise also prevents your dog from becoming obese.
Aside from exercise, love, and care, your dog’s nutrition is a great contributor to his well-being. As such, deciding what to feed your pooch isn’t something that you should take lightly. Make sure your canine friend gets the nutrients he needs every day so he can be his usual playful, healthy and cheerful self.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Origen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.