How do you really know whether you are meeting your dog’s nutritional needs? A lot of pet owners think they are doing what’s best for their dogs when it comes to food, but they are really just relying on instinct and what they are told in adverts more than actual science. So in today’s blog we are going to look into what I the most healthy dog foods and some tips for having a healthy and happy dog.
Make sure you cover all the bases.
Your dog’s diet is just as complex as your own, and it’s essential that as a dog owner, you make sure they are receiving all the vital nutritional needs that they should be. If your dog is not getting the right vitamins and nutrients in their diet it can lead to upset stomachs; very dry or the opposite very oily skin, they can suffer from brittle bones and one of the biggest health problems for dogs weight issues.
But making sure your dog is on the right balanced diet is the foundation of your dog’s overall health – if they do not get the right nutrients, the best care in the world won’t really mean a thing. But when your dog is on the right diet, their defense against disease and disorders are stronger and they will be much happier and healthy.
Try not to just stick to one thing.
There are lots of prepackaged foods available on the market that will help cover the major nutritional requirements for a healthy dog. This is where many owners go wrong as they assume just because a company is telling your their food is good for your dogs that it must be; but you should still be a bit of research. Most people think that the biggest choice is to decide between whether to feed their dog dry or moist food, but in reality the best diet you can provide your dog is one that varies in ingredients, different textures, and nutritional value.
Don’t just feed meat.
Including meat as a portion of your dogs diet will give them many of the vital nutrients they need for energy and growth, but they also require fiber and carbohydrates too, which will help their digestion and stability. You can still give them a bowl of dry food every day if that is your choice of food and maybe give them a moist meal once a week as a treat, think how you would like it if it was the other way round and you were fed the exact same meal every day for the rest of your life, not very exciting is it?
Make your dog a real meal.
Just because the supermarkets and pet shops are full of different bags and cans of dog food doesn’t mean that’s all you have to feed them. If you cook for your family all the time, then why not give your dog the same treatment? I don’t mean feed them what you are having every night, especially if tonight you are having a curry, but did you know that dogs like veggies? So when you are having a roast dinner maybe cook some extra veggies and give them some of the roast too, they will love it.
So what is the best dog food to feed your dog?
Vets are often asked that question by many an anxious dog owner. We love our dogs and want to feed them the best that is available. However, with such a wide variety of dog foods available and the conflicting views on what is the best it can be very daunting and leave you quite confused. Some experts say that home made food is best for your dogs as you know what is going into it, others will argue that commercial dog food is better. And these days with the fast paced lives that [people lead their has been a bigger rise in the purchasing of commercial foods which has produced the massive influx into the market of different types and flavours.
Even if you cannot find time with a busy work schedule to prepare a homemade meal for your dog, or maybe you do not know where to start and are concerned that you may not give your dog the right ingredients for a balanced diet, you can still provide your pet with a good balanced dog food. The markets are full with prepackaged real dog foods that are like homemade dog meals. You can either you can purchase prepackaged meals to provide balanced nutrition, or you may buy a specific diet tailored to your dog’s individual needs, that can even be directly delivered to your door. These types of dog food can work out to be somewhat expensive, especially if you have multiple dogs in your household, but feeding your dog a good quality food can keep your dog healthy which in turn will lower your vet bills.
Canned dog food.
The most affordable and easily accessible dog food is the canned variety, and for some dog owners the prepackaged real food is out of their price range. Canned foods generally contain preservatives, which enabled them to have a longer shelf life, so if the canned food option is the one you choose always check the labels to make sure they are all natural and have the vitamins that your dog needs. You should always research the brand you are thinking of using, and If you are unsure contact the manufacturers if they are a good company that is passionate about producing a quality product they will always be happy and willing to answer and questions or concerns you have. Any company that can not put your mind at rest or will not give you straightforward answers to your questions should be avoided.
Things you need to consider.
There are a few factors you need to consider when choosing the right food to give your dog. Dogs do not all have the same needs, and they will have different nutritional needs depending on what stage they are at in their lives.
Dogs age: Puppies will have different requirements to adult dogs, and senior dogs different from younger adults, Just the same as humans do. So you need to make sure your dog has an appropriate diet to fit with their age.
Dogs breed, size and weight: All of these things will affect what you should be feeding your dog. Some dogs require a lot of exercise whereas others don’t, some dogs are overweight, some dogs are underweight, some may have medical conditions that require them to be on a certain diet, some dogs are allergic to certain foods, I had a shar pei that I fostered who was allergic to peas, potatoes and poultry and also had to be on a grain free diet, if she ate any of these foods it would affect her skin. Once I got her on the right diet we had no problems with her skin and she did really well, I made sure she still had the same as the others and would make her special treats and biscuits that in fact the others preferred to their own.
Dogs health: as I mentioned before my shar pei had to be on a special diet for her skin, and there are lots of dogs with medical issues that can sometimes be resolved by changing the diet. Dogs with diabetes need a special low glucose diet, dogs with allergies will require certain foods to be removed from their diets too. You should always talk to your vet about an appropriate diet for dogs with any health issues, they will be able to advise on the best and most affordable route for you to take.
Budget: As I have mentioned before some dog foods can be expensive, low cost brands will be cheaper and more affordable but may not be the best health wise for your dog, as they will use cheaper ingredients and be bulked out with cereal etc. so get the best you can afford for your dog.
Do the best you can.
Any good dog owner will already be doing the best they can for their furry best friends. Sometimes circumstances can change and you may find you cannot get the best most expensive food on the market for your dog, but just do what you can, if you have to go for the cheaper brands then just make sure they get plenty of veg etc with them so that they are getting what they need, cook them the odd meal rather than just sticking to the bought brands, give them the best variety you can and talk to your vet they will be able to advise you. Apart from that always ensure you dog has fresh water available at all times, and if they are on a dry food diet then they should definitely have water to hand.
If you supply your dog with the best food you can and ensure they are getting plenty of fluids, give them exercise and love, you will have a very happy healthy dog.