There are a lot of different kinds of dog foods out there and plenty of owners who don’t mind sharing their human food with their furry friends, either. However, many people don’t realize how truly sensitive dogs are to their food. A few bad habits, even if they seem minor, can not only be harmful but fatal to our favorite fur-balls. How do you make sure you’re not feeding them to sickness?
Adapt to their specific needs
When it comes to buying dog food, cheap and generic is never the answer. Different sizes of dogs have very different needs and not just in the size of meals you feed them. They have different fat and protein content needs as well. Keeping your dog healthy is all about figuring the specific needs of the breed. As a rule, it’s best to stick with dry foods when possible as wet foods tend to have a much higher fat concentration. If your dog has got used to wet food and won’t touch the try, you should consider mixing it in with a little water to help them adapt.
Know exactly what’s in it
Most packaged dog foods you buy nowadays are going to have some processing going into it. That’s not a terrible thing, as it helps food stay fresher for longer. But it’s true that dog foods with more whole-food ingredient content tend to be healthier for them. This is just as true for treats as it is for what’s in their bowl. Treats with more natural ingredients like duck treats for dogs contain much of the nutrition they would get straight from nature if they’re living on a wild diet. Make sure you check the labels to compare the percentages of real meats in the food you give them.
Don’t go overboard
A lot of people have got into the habit of “topping up” their nutrition with supplements. There are some risks to going overboard, however, and it’s a lot easier to go overboard with dogs. Yes, certain supplements can help them be healthier, fighting off the effects of arthritis, inflammation and more. But supplements can have adverse health effects as well. Too much calcium for your dog could, for instance, result in anything from constipation to seizures in your dog. If you plan on introducing any supplements to their diet, it should be for a specific dietary need that you’ve confirmed they’re not getting and with the advice of your vet.
Know what you should never give them
Dogs seem like hardy little creatures so people tend to assume that they’ll be fine eating just about anything when, in reality, the opposite is true. Foods that are perfectly good for us are toxic for them. Chocolate is one we all know, but there are plenty of other dog-toxic foods to make sure you never share with them, including cooked bones, corn, fish, and more. Instead of having to remember every single toxic food, get out of the habit of giving them food on a whim. If you want to give them the very occasional extra treat, always look up whether it’s toxic on the net.
It pays to pay careful attention to the nutritional content of what you’re feeding the dog and going to invest a little extra in making sure they’re getting the exact right diet for their breed. Treat your dog’s nutrition with as much care as you should treat your own.