Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Feeding Your Canine Companions

Food is important in any living creature’s life. Be it us human beings, dogs, cats or even plants, we all need food to sustain ourselves and help us grow. Whether you’re getting a new dog or trying to take your pet’s health more seriously, food is one of the first things that should be on your mind. Feeding your loving pet properly is the key to helping them live a healthy lifestyle.

What do you feed a dog?

This is the main question and most people would simply answer “dog food”. Though they are correct, it covers and extremely broad range of things that may or may not count for the breed or age of your dog. There’s not a single answer and if you’re serious about caring for your dog (or plan to) then you need to do your research about dog breeds and what to feed them. For starters, learn to read dog food labels. Most labels will show what is actually contained in the food itself, and some labels are even targeted towards certain ages or breeds. If you’re unsure how much of each nutrient your dog needs or how many calories they should be consuming, then consult your veterinarian for advice.

Wet vs dry dog food

Dogs can be fed wet or dry food depending on their preference, convenience and their dietary needs. Dry foods are great for dogs that have good teeth because they’re usually harder and need to be chewed. Wet foods, on the other hand, are moist and can be found in canned or pouch form. These contain liquids which mean that the actual food content is lower, and your dog will need to eat more wet food than dry. Wet food also helps when a dog is lacking liquid intake from drinking water, helping to stave off dehydration. There are many online resources to help you learn more about dog food, and it’s recommended you do ample amounts of research and also experiment by feeding your dog different types of food to see what is better for them.

How much do you feed?

Most store-bought dog food will contain serving amounts, but another way to tell how much you need to feed your dog is via a visual inspection. If your dog’s ribcage is visible, then they are underweight. However, if their stomach is parallel to the ground, then they are most likely being overfed. These are just rough guidelines, so it’s important to consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about your dog’s weight. A great way to check if your dog is eating enough is to use a calorie calculator and manually adjust portions to their needs. Much like humans, there’s no magic number due to the countless situations your dog can be in and the number of breeds that are around. This is essential when your dog seems to be constantly hungry. Overfeeding a greedy dog is a common problem that has to be avoided, so keep an eye on their weight and consider speaking to a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has an eating disorder.

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