What your dog eats can have a big impact on their overall health. By providing your pooch with a healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of them developing various health problems later in life. Here are just a few tips for maintaining a healthy diet for your dog.
Consider the breed and age
When choosing a diet for your dog, it’s important to consider their breed and age. Smaller dogs will generally require a different diet to larger dogs – smaller breeds of dog generally require higher-energy and more nutrient-dense foods than larger breeds of dog (although larger dogs need greater portions). Meanwhile, puppies generally need specialist dog food and shouldn’t be fed adult dog food.
Opt for high-quality dog food
Not all dog food brands contain the same amount of nutritional value. Many low-quality brands are filled out with carbs and pumped full of artificial flavourings – your dog has more chance of gaining weight while eating these foods and may not get all the vitamins and minerals they need. For this reason, it’s better to invest in high-quality dog food brands. Just be wary that expensive doesn’t always mean healthy – there are some pricey dog food brands that are very fattening. Your best option is to read nutritional reviews of dog food brands online.
Track sensitive foods and allergy triggers
Just like humans, dogs can develop intolerances or allergies to certain foods. Make sure to track any foods that cause unusual symptoms such as diarrhea or swelling on the mouth. Sensitive dog food could help your dog with any tummy issues causing them upset. When it comes to allergies that cause mouth irritation meanwhile, you should try to find triggers with the help of a vet so that you can avoid foods with such ingredients.
Get their portions right
Some breeds of dog will keep eating until they’re sick. It’s important to portion food correctly so that your dog isn’t over-eating. Large portions won’t just make your dog overweight but could also increase the risk of developing bloat – which can be painful and potentially dangerous. You can look into the recommended portions online.
Be careful with scraps and treats
You should be careful about giving your dog scraps of human food. Some human foods like dairy may give your dog an upset stomach, while some foods like chocolate, grapes and onions can even be toxic. Most human foods are safe but could still be fattening in the long run, so make sure that your dog isn’t getting too many leftovers. You should also be careful of dog treats. Some dog biscuits and chew sticks can be very fattening – you should limit how much of these foods you give to your dogs.
Talk to a professional
If you’re unsure as to what food you should be giving your dog, talk to a professional. This could include a vet, your dog’s breeder, a trainer or a dog nutritionist. You can also get professional advice online through blogs and sites (but make sure that they’re written by trusted experts).