A balanced diet is vital for maintaining optimum health, not just for humans but also for dogs. As pet-parents began to educate themselves regarding proper dog nutrition, they came to know about the common mistakes they were making. Now a higher number of dog-parents stress upon feeding food that contains all vital nutrients. Some have transitioned from commercial to home-cooked food for dogs as the clean eating campaigns rose to popularity. In spite of all the efforts for our dogs’ well-being, there are some rules that we may overlook. So here I bring you a list of 5 mistakes that you must avoid while feeding your pooch!
Ensure If the Food Will Suit Your Dog
Every dog has different dietary needs depending on its breed, size, and age. It is essential to know if your dog is allergic to any ingredient if he is you will need to either eliminate the element or find a substitute. The correct type of food should meet the criteria and contain all essential nutrients.
While cooking your pooch’s meal at home, you will need to consider each recipe carefully and tailor it according to your baby’s needs. You will also need to find out the places where you can find each constituent.
Not Measuring Your Dog’s Food
It is critical to measure your pup’s caloric intake and ensure he consumes the correct amount. After you’ve determined the type of food for your dog, the next step is to calculate the feeding amount. Overeating may lead to obesity while eating less than the requirement can cause deficiencies and weaken the immune system.
If you are feeding kibbles or any good quality dog food, look for feeding instructions on the pack. You need to know not just the quantity but also the feeding times. Get a standardized measuring cup and measure out the stated amount. When you are aware of your dog’s caloric intake, you can make sure his exercise regimen reflects the same.
Sudden Transition from Store bought to Home Cooked
Another common mistake that you may make is suddenly switching your dog from store-bought to homemade food. Although your goal is to improve health, the rapid change may affect your dog’s digestive system. Dogs aren’t like human beings when it comes to trying out different foods; any new ingredients may irritate and upset the stomach.
Begin by adding 25% of the home-cooked meal with 75% of your pup’s regular food. Keep a close eye on the way his body reacts to the ingredients. If you notice loose stools, try adding a little bit of pumpkin to your dog’s meal. If he seems to be getting accustomed to the new food, increase the percentage from 25 to 50% and after 5 to 6 days another 25%. Remember being patient is critical; don’t force your dog to switch to the new food at once.
Table Scraps and High-Calorie Human Foods Are a Big No
We have the habit of giving into those big eyes staring at us asking for the leftover of turkey on the table. While we mean well, we are increasing the probability of our dog developing adverse health conditions. The scraps of homemade food are high in calories and other minerals that aren’t suitable for the dog.
The same goes for particular human foods that some parents feed as treats to the dogs. Hot dogs, peanut butter, are examples of such items. If you want to treat your dog with peanut butter, make it at home as the commercial one may be high in fat and sodium. Similarly for a 20lb pup, eating one hot dog, equals to the human consumption of 3 hamburgers. Refrain from all treats that have high-fat content, and feed only natural ingredients that are full of nutrition.
Not Consulting the Vet
I just can’t lay enough emphasis on consulting with the veterinarian. Always inform him what food you give your dog as that information will help him treat your pooch better. Also, the vet can suggest you if the diet will suit your pooch and if it fulfills the nutritional needs. This is critical mainly if you are feeding homemade food as you may go wrong with a lot of things.
If you have been making any one of these mistakes, don’t stress out. You can take corrective measures, and you will see the positive change in your dog’s health.
Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.
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