Date Published: June 26, 2014, Updated: June 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm, Author: admin
Just like humans, dogs need to eat properly in order to stay healthy. Thus, it’s no surprise that mealtime is often a welcome and happy event. However, pet owners can sometimes cause nutritional or health problems for their furry friends by feeding them incorrectly. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes to Fido and his food.
What is The First Ingredient?
The first ingredient should be a protein (chicken, beef, etc.) and not a grain or something you can not pronounce. Ingredients are listed in order of % volume. Therefore, if the majority of the food is grain, then it is the first ingredient. If the majority of the food is chicken, then that would be the first ingredient.
Read the Ingredient Labels
No matter if you buy your dog food online or in a store, make sure to read the labels and watch out for artificial preservatives (like BHA/BHT) and other questionable ingredients. Some dog foods contain additives or chemicals that are less than ideal for consumption. Reading labels is especially important if your dog is allergic to certain ingredients or has certain dietary needs as prescribed by your veterinarian.
If you want to change your dog over to a different dog food, do so gradually, rather than switching their diet all of a sudden. Unless needed, try not to change dog food brands too often.
Follow Pet Food Guidelines
This might seem like common sense, but a puppy and a full grown dog should not be eating the same types of dog food. Similarly, pet food formulated with a large dog in mind will provide too many calories for a smaller dog. Make sure you follow the feeding guidelines for your dog’s specific needs. The dog food you choose should be both age and size appropriate.
Even if you bought the right kind of kibble, make sure to follow the instructed amount of food (usually in cups) so you don’t over feed your dog. Also, rather than 1 big meal or leaving a bowl of food out all the time, feeding your dog 2 to 3 smaller meals a day tends to works well.
Don’t Forget Water
Especially when eating, make sure your dog always has access to a clean bowl of fresh water so they can stay hydrated. In general, if you leave a bowl of water out, most dogs will manage themselves when it comes to how much they need to drink. Be aware however that some dogs tend to drink too little or too much, so keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits. Puppies especially need to be monitored.
Make sure you clean and refill the water bowl on a regular basis. Your dog will also need more water in certain situations, such as after exercising, during hot summer weather, or if they only eat dry dog food.
Be Wise with Treats
Dogs love treats, and they can be a fun tool when training and rewarding your pet for good behavior. Treats like bully sticks are great for your dog to chew on that also can help clean their teeth as well. However, like all good things, moderation is important. To keep your dog at a healthy weight, make sure to reduce their amount of regular food appropriately when you give them a treat so they don’t consume extra calories.