Having a pup or even an adult dog as a companion at home fills us with immense joy. Yes? Of course. But owing a dog comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities.
There are some important do’s and don’ts of feeding your little furry friend.
1. Consult a Veterinarian
Firstly, do not formulate your dog’s diet without consulting a veterinarian. There are a variety of factors to consider before planning your dog’s diet like breed, age, weight etc. Do not feed them the same food throughout their entire life. Puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs, all have different needs when it comes to nutrient profiles. Always ensure you do not overfeed or underfeed your dog. Effects of excess weight include liver diseases, hypertension and damage to bones and joints. Being underweight also causes weakness and affects quality of life. It is also important to remember that a dog’s diet is also governed by its breed. All dogs are not the same.
2. Feeding Home Cooked Food To Dogs!
Most of us feed our dogs ‘human food’ or home made meals. Be observant of which human foods are good and bad for your dog. There are certain common household foods which are not safe for them. For example, chocolate. Although dogs love the smell of chocolate, it is very toxic to them. Similarly, onions, garlic , citrus fruits like lemon and orange, and beverages containing caffeine are also harmful. One should also be aware if their dog is allergic to any particular food item. For example, some dogs are lactose intolerant.
3. Is Your Dog Hydrated
See to it that your dog is well hydrated. This means making sure their water bowl is always filled and is changed daily so they can help themselves to water whenever required.
4. Always Feed Your Dogs Good Quality Foods
Do not get tempted to buy cheap foods. Dogs are carnivores, they need plenty of protein and protein is expensive. So the cheap dog food have cereal ‘fillers’ to bulk them up and preservatives which offers low nutritional value and is hard to digest. Feed the right food and your precious dog will receive the benefits including life expectancy and increased brain power.
5. Read Labels Before You Buy
Never neglect to read labels. Do not keep your dog’s food past the expiration date. It may lead to serious health problems.
6. How You Store Dog Food Maters
Make sure to store your dog’s food properly. It should not be allowed to be exposed to air as it will lead to food degradation and bacterial contamination. Therefore, always seal the bag or box properly after you are done with it.
7. Follow a Schedule
Always try to feed your dogs on a fixed schedule because they know when to expect food and get hungry around meal times.
8. Measuring Meals Is Important
At all times, measure your dog’s food. Don’t guess or leave the dog food out all the time. Free feeding can lead to over-consumption , weight gain and obesity. Also, do not give too many treats as calories from treats add up quickly. Replace treats with other options such as games or walks.
9. Designated Areas To Eat
Designate a special area for feeding. Be consistent with where you feed your dogs. Do not feed them in busy areas like kitchen.
10. Know What Your Dog Likes
What if you get same dish everyday in all the meals. You probably wont like it, right!Same way your dog too may not like same food in all the meals and it may have likes or dislikes for different pet food items. You can know about your dogs’ likes and dislikes with a bit of a trial and error method. Knowing what your dog likes improves his health as he will enjoy the food.
Feeding your canine friends the right way can be complex and confusing at first , but once you get the hold of it, its pretty easy.