Keeping our pets healthy is one of the most critical tasks we have as pet owners. Aside from ensuring that your dog gets adequate exercise and stimulation, dog owners also have to ensure that they are providing their furry friends with a healthy diet.
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Diet is one of the biggest contributors to a dog’s wellbeing, which is why their nutrition should not be taken lightly. The eating habits you set up for your dog often can make the difference between a long, healthy life or one that is cut short due to inadequate nutrition.
If you are a dog owner who is looking to plan out your dog’s diet perfectly, this is the article for you. Today we have a look at all the components that contribute to a healthy diet for a man’s best friend, so read on to find out more!
1. Focus On Portion Control
You’ve probably heard it before – a dog gets into a bag of food, gorges itself, and ends up sick. Portion control is as important for humans as it is for our furry friends. When it comes to feeding your pooch, understanding its unique needs is important. Different breeds of dogs require different amounts of food, which is why you should always consult your veterinarian when looking to craft a perfectly portioned diet for your dog. The general rule of thumb is that a growing dog needs ½ cup of dry food such as Orijen dry dog food for every 4.5 kilos of weight. Other factors such as whether your dog is pregnant, old, or overweight, will also affect the amount of food needed per day. Always remember that puppies often require food more often throughout the day, so always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure of what sized portions are ideal for your dog’s personal needs.
2. Don’t Leave Fresh Whole Foods Out
While most of us assume that dogs of all breeds enjoy chewing on a bone or a thick piece of meat, it’s important that dog owners don’t leave fresh whole foods out of their pooch’s diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits are an important component of a dog’s diet, as they provide them with essential vitamins, enzymes, and roughage, which aids digestion and keeps your dog regular. Shelf-stable dog food is often void of many nutrients due to the cooking process, which is why you need to supplement your dog’s diet with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Do keep in mind that there are certain fruits and vegetables that dogs should avoid, including cherries, avocado, onion, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, and grapes. Always do your research before feeding your dog new fruits and vegetables.
3. Stick To Raw Meat
Whilst it may be tempting to cook your dog a fat juicy steak, you are actually better off feeding your dog with raw meat. The cooking process often depletes the nutrient content of foods, which is why you should avoid cooking meats for your dog. In fact, did you know that aside from us humans, most species on the planet survive entirely on raw foods? Since dogs are biologically similar to wolves, the benefits of including raw meat in your dog’s diet include a healthier coat, teeth, more energy and healthier skin.
4. Avoid A Stink Up
None of us like to talk about it, but the reality is that sometimes our dogs stink up the place when they pass wind or go to the toilet. Whilst this is just a part of nature, there are certain things you can do to reduce the potency of your dog’s digestive system. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you avoid feeding your dog gluten. Pet foods that include gluten derived from corn is often added to commercial pet foods to prevent fat in the food from turning rancid. Whilst this keeps pet food fresh, it causes waste products to be retained in your dog’s body and can affect kidney and liver function. Not to mention, if your dog’s digestive system can’t absorb or utilize certain byproducts, it’s going to end up passing through them as gas or stinky stool.
5. Focus On Oral Health
Just like humans, it is important that your dog’s oral health is kept in order. Healthy gums and teeth are essential to avoid issues such as canine gum disease, which is why you should avoid feeding your dog too many commercial treats. Whilst many treats market themselves as beneficial for gum health, they also often contain unhealthy ingredients that can negatively affect your dog’s health. This is why we recommend brushing your dog’s teeth, and gums instead of relying on commercial pet treat to do the job for you. Another fantastic way to preserve your dog’s oral health is to allow them to gnaw on raw bones, which will keep their fangs sparkly white. Vegetables such as Carrot and Zucchini are also fantastic options that help exercise your dog’s jaw and assist in removing plaque buildup.
6. Avoid Cheap Supermarket Brands
Whilst cheap supermarket brand dog food is often the most affordable option to feed your pets, and it is also some of the worst food you could be included into your dog’s diet. Many cheap brands of dog food are full of artificial preservatives, colors, and dyes and often bulked up with fillers such as corn gluten meal and wheat gluten meal. A lot of the meat content in supermarket brand foods are often comprised of meat byproducts instead of quality cuts. We always recommend purchasing a premium brand over dirt cheap options – think of it as investing in your dog’s health. Always stick to trusted brands and brands that veterinarians recommend. This will help you avoid any potential health issues down the line and help keep your dog healthy, happy, and well-nourished.
7. Pay Attention to Hydration
Last but not least, pay attention to your dog’s hydration levels. Water is life and a critical component to a healthy diet. Water is responsible for keeping your dog’s skin elastic, regulating body temperature, and many other vital functions in your dog’s body. Unfortunately, we live in a world where most tap water all around the world is contaminated with up to 150 chemicals, depending on which part of the world you are in. This is why we highly recommend you purchase a water filter for your taps at home. Water filters will help remove impurities from your tap water and can turn ordinary water into a cost-effective source of healthy hydration for not just your dog but your entire family.
We hope that this article has given you some insight into how you can perfectly plan out your dog’s diet. With a little research and investment in high-quality pet foods, you’ll be able to keep your pooch happy, healthy, and vibrant for many years to come.