Dogs are not very strict carnivores, and you can feed them a variety of foods. Meat is the leading dog food, but a dog can also get nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Such non-meat products not only act as fillers but are great sources of vital minerals, fiber, and vitamins. The best dog food is one with a combination of meat, fruit, grains, and vegetables. Such food is good for your pet’s digestive system. Here are six dog diet and nutrition tips that actually work.
1. Don’t Cook Meat
While humans can’t eat raw meat, it is nutritious for a dog. Cooking a dog’s meat is one way of destroying its beneficial nutrients. Cooking meat denatures it, and this makes it hard to digest. High-intensity ultra-processed foods are also a source of cancer and should not be fed to dogs.
2. Watch Portion Size
Overfeeding a dog regularly, even a very active one, makes it add weight. You can ask your vet the right amount of food to feed your dog every day and stick to it. Make sure to ask this based on the dog’s age because the portion size must be different at different ages.
Additionally, let other members of the family know the dog’s schedule to avoid double-feeding. Also, keep in mind that sometimes dogs beg for food because they are bored or smell something delicious, not because they are hungry, so don’t give in.
3. Give Enough Water
Giving your dog enough food every day won’t help if you don’t give it enough water. Dogs excrete lots of heat when they play and cool off as they lose water via the mouth and feet pads. Dogs that work long hours, especially need to drink lots of clean water. Lack of water leads to dehydration and poor performance. When going for long walks with your dog, pack some water for both of you.
4. Look at a Diet’s Nutritional Value, not its Ingredients
People tend to use their food philosophy to determine their dog’s meal plans. While your first choice may be meat-related diets, someone else’s might be plant-related. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the meals have all the right nutrients suitable for your dog.
5. Frozen Meals
Choked frozen foods have gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. They may be a bit expensive but are worth the price. Also, rehydrated or freeze-dried foods have the same nutritional value as frozen fresh foods. What’s more, all they require is water. Since these foods are close to whole-foods, they are just as nutritious.
6. Consider the Dog’s Age
One of the things that dog owners forget when feeding their dogs is that dogs are not the same. You need to take into account the dog’s individual differences when buying their foods. One of these differences is age. Not considering the age of a dog when buying dog food can lead to serious nutritional issues because there is no one type-suits-all dog food. Sometimes your aging dogs need a new diet. For example, older dogs may be more prone to particular diseases and have different nutritional needs compared to younger dogs. This means that they should be fed differently. Mature dogs are more likely to have liver diseases, degenerative joint disorders, and obesity. This means that you should consider their health risks before you come up with a meal plan.
Human beings need to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of clean water, and the same case applies to dogs and other pets. Use these tips when feeding your dog and watch its health changed for better in no time. Don’t forget to groom your dog regularly. Besides exercise and nutritional diets, cleaning your dog is also crucial. You can start by looking for a dog shedding brush to kick-start the journey of grooming your pet dog.