A big part of taking care of dogs is ensuring they get a proper dog diet. It’s not just buying the most expensive dog food, or giving your dog enough food, but finding food that is high-quality, as well. Check out these dog diet tips to help you out!
Dog Diet Tips to Keep Your Dog in Tip-Top Shape
Caring for a dog is a huge commitment. It’s not enough that you feed them every day, you must also think about the quality of the food you’re giving them. I know there are tons of other things to think about like grooming, training, and taking your dog out for a walk. But if you set aside your dog’s diet and nutrition, your efforts will just go down the drain. So if you’re a new pet parent and still at a loss as to what to give your dog, check out these dog diet tips:
1. Give high-quality food
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Let’s just admit it now, pet owners always have a tendency to purchase cheaper dog food without actually thinking how this will impact their dog’s diet. Dog owners with big dogs are very prone to shortchanging their little pals when it comes to food because large dog breeds eat a lot. Some resort to low-quality food, while some feed their pets leftover food scraps. Beat the temptation and put your dog’s health first!
But how do you choose the best dog food? First things first, bring your dog to the vet! The vet is the only person who can really tell you what’s the best dog food for your pooch. Vets can also advise on food for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs. Remember, a dog’s diet and nutrition needs also change as the dog ages. Thus, it is important to take them to the vet.
2. Make homemade dog food
— VegAnnie (@VegAnnie_) April 25, 2017
Just like you, your dog needs a well-balanced diet. Sometimes, you just can’t get the diet you need from commercially sold dog food. Plus, if you’re also on a budget, making homemade dog food is a really great way to go.
There is one thing to keep in mind with DIY dog food, though. While achieving a complete and well-balanced diet is the goal, it doesn’t mean that the goal must be achieved in every single meal. The fact is, to achieve this goal, the diet is spread out to a week or two week’s diet. Nonetheless, what’s awesome about healthy homemade dog food is that you control what you put in there, which means you’re sure of the quality of the ingredients you use, as well.
3. Say no to leftover food scraps
Sure, your pooch loves it, and you’d give everything to see your pet so excited and happy. But please, do not sacrifice your pet’s health. As mentioned earlier, there’s always that temptation to give your dog leftover food scraps, but it’s really something you must resist at all cost!
Are you aware that leftover food that people eat can lead to diarrhea, pancreatitis, and obesity for dogs? Worse, some leftover foods are actually toxic to your furry pal — like chocolate!
And you must also know, human food can drastically change your pet’s appetite. Food that people eat is very tasty to your dog, and if your dog gets too used to it, then he starts to only want it. That means he won’t eat his dog food anymore, which can cause behavioral problems for your dog.
4. Keep him hydrated
Apart from dog food, you must also constantly keep your furry friend hydrated. Imagine wearing fur all day long, even when the sun is all the way up. Well, that’s what it’s like for your buddy! Dogs are always in need of water to help cool their body.
Furthermore, dogs need water to replace the bodily fluids they lose when they pee or poop. It’s important that you leave plenty of water for your dog. I suggest leaving more than what he needs, especially if it’s a hot summers day or for accidental spills.
5. Do not overfeed
Please, please, please, do not overfeed. It’s not yet time to start counting calories (unless your dog is already overweight), but please, do not feed your dog more than the food he needs. Even though you love seeing your dog eat those delicious dog treats, you have to take control.
Do you know that obesity in dogs causes long-term effects? Obesity instantly takes a toll on your dog’s internal organs, joints, and bones. And unfortunately, most of the effects are irreversible, and can no longer be treated with exercise or changing your dog’s diet. Some of the bad effects are exercise intolerance, heat intolerance, hypertension, diabetes, liver disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and much more.
To know if your dog is overweight or borderline obese, bring him to the vet for a regular check-up. This way, you can treat the problem right away or prevent obesity ahead of time.
6. Give fresh whole foods
When it comes to a dog’s diet, nothing beats fresh whole foods. It’s actually the same with humans; we all benefit from the live enzymes and fiber from veggies and fruits. Fiber is very important to dogs as it helps improve stool movement and digestion.
Ideal vegetables for dogs include lentils, peas, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, celery, green beans, and edamame. However, giving vegetables to dogs should also be kept in moderation.
As for fruits, you can give your dog apple slices, banana, watermelon, berries, orange, pineapple, pear, peaches, and mango. With fruits, it is very important that you remove any pit or seed as this can cause blockage in a dog’s intestine.
7. Raw coconut oil for weight maintenance
If your dog is on the heavy side and will need to lose weight, you can give your dog raw coconut oil or virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. Truth is, you can’t just cut off your dog from fats because his body also needs good fats.
With raw coconut oil, it is high in healthy saturated fat that is composed of fatty acids that the body doesn’t store. The coconut oil is immediately converted into energy when it reaches the liver. Yes, your dog will have more energy, which means that he will require more exercise. It’s actually a good thing because your dog will have the extended stamina to work out and that will make your dog leaner.
Nonetheless, do not forget about giving your dog Omega-3 fatty acids as well. This is good for the heart. For your dog, give him flaxseed, chia seed, and hemp seed.
Want to give homemade dog food a try? Here’s an easy recipe from Rodney Habib:
It does take a lot of effort to become a responsible pet owner. It takes commitment and more than that, it takes heart to really care for your pooch. It can be overwhelming at first, that’s understandable. But do not worry as we are here to extend a hand and help you out. Heed these dog diet tips to ensure your dog’s overall health and well-being. A dog in tip-top shape will be happy, which means a more enjoyable relationship for the both of you!
Do you have dog diet tips you can share with us? Sound off in the comments section below!
Now that you know what food to give your dog, what about his dental health? Check out these 5 Dog Teeth Cleaning Tips!