Any life placed in our care is a matter of great responsibility. Same goes for our dogs- canine and furry bundles of joy that are forever loyal to their masters and look up to us.
As dog owners, it is essential to give the highest possible care to our beloved pets and diet is an important part of the care regimen.
It is imperative to follow a healthy routine when it comes to feeding our dogs- reasons being, we are setting their biological clocks and training them on what to expect and when.
Choosing a canine diet carefully is of utmost importance.
Here are 10 things that you can do to ensure that your dog is eating the right food.
- Do not be fooled by the advertisements:
So here is the thing, the people who are responsible for marketing have a biased interest since they are paid to promote the product. In other words, you should not get carried away with all the advertisement. And the best way to avoid being fooled by ads is by being educated on labels and ingredients of the food product you are trying to give.
- Understand how the products are labeled:
Dog food labels contain the product name, ingredient list, net weight, caloric information and other relevant information related to the food.
There are a couple of things to be understood while reading a dog food label like the nutritional adequacy, guaranteed analysis, feeding guidelines, etc.
It is the statement that indicates if a food meets the AAFCO regulations, the claim made when AAFCO has tested the product.
The minimum required crude proteins, water, fats, fiber and the maximum amount of fiber and moisture in the food is the guaranteed analysis. This is not the amount that is present but, what should BE present.
These indicate how the food should be given to your dog- quantity, and the number of times often.
With these three necessary things, you will often come across terms that can mislead you such as premium or ultra-premium.
All this is just advertising jargon. However, some terms are recognized by AAFCO such as natural, organic, holistic, etc. They are more valid and indicate the quality of the food.
- Put your dog on a homemade raw diet:
Give your dog food that’s filled with the goodness of natural foods rather than synthetically manufactured food.
It is essential that we realize that many times the nutrients are destroyed during the manufacturing process.
Fresh food, on the other hand, is incredibly dense in nutrients that work to promote better your dog’s health.
- Do not cook your dog’s meat:
When you prepare for your dog, make sure not to cook it. You see most animals in nature eat their meat raw and if you do want to give cooked meat to your dog only sear it slightly.
- Make sure the ingredients in your dog’s food are nutrient dense:
When you are choosing a meal for your dog, make sure that it contains all the essential nutrients required for your dog’s well-being including proteins, antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
It is essential to keep in mind that on an average, a dog needs about 18%-25% of protein, 30%-70% of carbohydrates and 10%- 15% of fats.
The antioxidants are required to help your dog’s immune system while Omega fatty acids help to promote dog’s skin and coat health.
Some of the most essential vitamins required by your dog’s body are Vitamins E and A; and other minerals such as sodium, chloride, phosphorus, potassium, etc.
- Take care of your dog’s mouth healthy:
Sometimes, we are so into taking care of our dog’s diet and nutrition that we tend to forget to take care of their teeth and gums.
It is imperative to take proper care of their teeth and gums- brushing is probably the best way
Also, give them lots of healthy food to chew on such as carrots, and you can also consider coconut oil which acts as a tremendous canine toothpaste.
- Get rid of Gluten:
Gluten is harmful to any dog as it leads to the waste products being retained in the body causing extreme strain on your dog’s kidneys and liver.
One word: Keep gluten away from your dog.
- Make sure the quantity and timing are right:
It is essential to give your dog the right quantities of food- overfeeding will lead to obesity and giving less food will eventually lead to your dog being malnourished. Both these situations are very unhealthy for your dog.
Obesity later leads to joint and bone problems whereas; malnourishment may lead to your dog losing out energy and becoming weak.
Feed your dog the right amount about two to three times a day. And remember, besides the quantity, timing is critical as it will help train and discipline your dog.
- Give plenty of water to your dog:
It so happens that while we are focusing on the food, we forget to give enough water. The truth is dogs need plenty of water to keep their energy levels high.
Also, water also helps dogs to absorb nutrients into their system and
- Keep the feeding bowls clean.
It is essential to clean the bowls in which you give your dog food. A great way would be to wash your dog’s bowl with warm water and vinegar.
Vinegar has disinfecting properties, and once it dries out, there is no smell left.
Here you go, just some little tips that you can incorporate into your daily lives to make your dog’s life a little healthier. An important thing to remember is that end of the day; you will be best able to address your dog’s nutritional needs based on your lifestyle and dog’s age, activity and breed.
Consult your vet or pet expert if you have any doubts and do remember to take your dog regularly for his wellness checkups.
You are the one who is responsible for his well-being- so it is up to you to do all it takes to give him the very best of care.