Just like humans, canines require a balanced diet to lead happy, healthy lives. To protect your pup’s well-being, it’s important to pay close attention to their nutrition and ensure that they have all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber necessary for their lifestyle.
Different breeds have specific needs, but every dog owner can provide healthier meals for their pets by following these important tips.
Include “The Big Six”
The six essential nutrients dogs need are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Without enough nutrients, dogs are prone to suffering from health problems and become more susceptible to illness and disease.
The best thing you can do is consult with your veterinarian about the best dog food for your pet. In general, higher quality food that is good for your dog will be more expensive. Feeding your dog the cheapest food is like giving your children McDonald’s every day; it may fill them up, but it lacks the nutritional benefits of a nutritionally sound meal, and eating it regularly can actually lead to weight gain and heart disease.
Dogs are adaptable to different feeding schedules; some owners like to give their pet one meal a day, while others prefer two or three. However, you should avoid letting your dog eat too much at any given period, as this can cause bloating and other digestive problems.
There are some dog breeds prone to digestive trouble, including great Danes, German shepherds, and Labrador retrievers. To help prevent your dog from life-threatening bloat, feed them no more than 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food at a time. Feeding them early in the morning and again in the evening will give their bodies plenty of time to digest.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may want to talk to your vet about alternative diet plans, including nutritional dog food toppers. This will get them those vital nutrients without forcing them to eat more or to eat food their stomach isn’t accustomed to.
Look at the Best Options
You should always talk to your dog’s vet about the best food options for your dog. It may be that your dog can thrive on a vegetarian diet or your vet may advise a more natural diet. If you want to have more control over the nutrients your dog is getting from their food, you can also explore alternatives to traditional store-bought food. There are many recipes available for homemade dog food, cooked meals, and dog treats.
When considering your pet’s nutrition, it’s important to make sure that you never feed them any human foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of the most common include chocolate, onions, coffee and soda, alcohol, garlic, milk, nuts, and grapes. Many foods that humans love to consume can have life-threatening complications when ingested by canines. If you’re ever unsure about what to feed your dog, ask your vet first.