Dog nutrition is a very important aspect of owning a dog. Its health will depend on the kind of diet it gets. It is no longer sufficient to just put a plate of leftovers in front of the dog and forget the rest. A dog requires a well-balanced meal to remain fit and healthy. Nobody likes a dull and lethargic animal. Just like people, when given the right diet, dogs will be healthier and happier. It is important to know the proper balance of essential nutrients in meat and vegetable products to reach this goal.
Though there are many packaged dog foods available on the market, it is always preferable to prepare dog food at home. One can get an idea of the correct proportion of nutrients required, as well as the vitamins and supplements that need to be added. Just make a bag full of homemade dog food and add it to its daily meals. The best dog food ratio is 50% meat, 40% vegetables, and 10% carbohydrates. Dogs require protein and fat for growth and maintenance. If the dog is a working dog, it requires more proteins and carbohydrates as it burns more calories every day. Furthermore, a dog’s dietary requirements change with age.
As a pup, the dog can be fed 3-4 small meals, but a full-grown dog should ideally be fed once a day or given two smaller meals a day. If the dog seems like a fussy eater, it may be so because it is already full. It is important to let the dog feel hungry and only then feed it, as overeating can lead to obesity. Pet owners may feel like they are depriving their dear pet of something, but they must always focus on their dogs’ health first. Moreover, when a dog is eating, one must not sit or stand nearby and watch it intently, since dogs tend to be possessive about their food and need their privacy and space too.
If the dog is given packaged food, then it is the owner’s responsibility to make a careful choice of the food that is bought. The food companies label their foods as healthy and nutritious, but how much nutrition is actually there? Consider a dog food that claims it is full of meat or beef. One must always ask questions if such food items are available at very low prices. It is likely because the food actually contains useless fillers. Many brands claim that their products are full of proteins and fibers, but they actually contain indigestible substances. Fillers such as corn, wheat, or gluten are added, but they provide only empty calories and no proper nutrition. Thus, it is very important to read between the lines when buying dog food.
Dogs prefer meat in their diet. They can be given chicken, lamb, beef etc. However, steer clear of meat by-products as they contain feathers, skin and beaks. The dog can also be given dry food that consists of 90% dry ingredients and 10% water. When dry food is bought, it is important to ensure that it contains grains, meat, fruits, herbs and the like. Vegetable products are good for a dog as long as meat is also a part of its meal. Meat provides the necessary proteins and vitamins for growth.
Water is an important part of a dog’s diet. Keep it properly hydrated. Give the pet clean drinking water several times a day. This helps prevent overheating and dehydration in a dog. Keep a bowl full of water in one corner of the house where the dog can go and lap it up as and when it feels thirsty. With the right kind of diet, a dog can remain healthy for a long time.