Understanding Nutrition: How To Feed Your Pet Correctly

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Nutrition is just as important for our pets as it is for us. Getting the right nutrients will keep your dog happy and healthy. There is no set formula that tells you what and how often to feed your dog, but every dog is different.

The same stands for cats, rodents, and other pets. However, we really want to talk about dogs.

You see, nutritional needs differ from breed to breed of dog. Size, age, health and so on can all also affect how much and what you should be feeding your dog.

You should always ask your vet if you are unsure about something in regard to your pups diet. However, we have a few guidelines for you to keep in mind with your dogs’ food intake.

If you have a dog and a cat we really recommend checking out Walkies and Whiskers for the best knowledge on how to feed both of your pets.

Anyway, let’s get down to why you should be thinking about what you put in your dog.

Why Is It Important?

Dogs need all their required nutrients to stay active and healthy. Just like us, they need particular nutrients to function properly. Nutrition is more than just food value, it gives the body what it needs to work optimally.

So, for your dog to be fun, happy, bouncy, and full of life, they need their nutrients!

Buying Commercial Dog Foods

Commercial foods do not look the best, but they are designed to meet your dog’s needs. They will have meat, grains, vegetables, vitamins, and fruits in them. They are safe and they are very good for feeding your pet.

However, should you buy this, you should be certain to buy commercial food that is appropriate for whatever stage of life your dog is in.

Puppy food and older dog food will be different as they need more of different nutrients for their health.

Commercial food should also be labeled as being complete, and balanced.

Complete states that the food has all the nutrients it should, whereas balanced is stating that the nutrients that are in this food are in the adequate ratios for the age of the dog.

If you are struggling to choose between wet food and dry food, consider this. Wet food provides more moisture. This means that wet food is best for dogs that do not drink a lot of water, as their food will provide them with the hydration they need.

Alternatively, dry food is better for their teeth, so a dog that perhaps has a history of tooth problems, may be better off eating dry food.

How Much Should Your Dog Eat & When?

This depends on the age of your dog.

How much your dog should eat is subjective to the individual. For puppies under 6 months old, they should be eating 3-4 times a day, once they reach 6 months then they will be able to eat 2 times a day.

As an adult, one or two meals a day is ideal. However, it also depends on the size of the meals you are giving them, and how active they are.

If you are unsure of how much and when you should be feeding your dog, ask your vet as they will be able to give you a better answer.

This also counts for how much you give them. Each package should have serving sizes guidelines on the packaging. However, your vet can give you more specifics based on your dog as an individual.

A young border collie who is super active will need a lot more food to keep them at optimum than an older Jack Russell who will sit in your lap for half the day.

Overfeeding dogs is a very common problem.

Are Dogs Carnivores?

Dogs need a balanced diet. Since we domesticated them for so long, they tend to eat a more balanced diet. This means they are carnivorous but can be omnivorous.

Dog diets need a lot of time and research put into them. Trying to make a dog vegetarian will usually fail as they need to have a significant amount of protein.

Then again, do remember that every dog is different, some dogs will strictly be carnivores, others may also meet requirements through eating plants.

The dietary needs of dogs and their digestive systems have made them more omnivorous. They can meet their nutritional needs through eating animal products and plants.

Proteins and fats are needed, but they need to be of good quality. A well-balanced dog diet needs amino acids which come from protein, and essential fatty acids that come from fats.

These are needed to carry out biological reactions and build and sustain their body tissues.

What Should You Look For In Your Dog’s Food?

When looking at commercial dog foods you should feed them the highest value food you can afford. The quality is more important than anything else.

Every ingredient in the food will be weighed when it is added to their food, and fresh meat types of ingredients will contain a lot of water which can be lost as the food is processed.

Hence, a dry diet that has corn as a primary ingredient may be more superior to food that has meat at the top of the ingredients list.

Dry Food Vs Canned Food?

There is no difference in nutrients and how digestible food is between wet and dry. This is a choice based on lifestyle, budget, and preferences.

Some dry kibble is formulated as a dental diet for removing plaque, and wet food is better for getting hydration. Nutritionally though, there is not much difference.

Does Breed Matter With Feeding?

There are some breeds that will have more specialized diets that are common in where the dog ails from.

Inbreeding and genetics also play a part in the diet that will be optimal for your dog.

You should consider the breed, lifestyle, and age of your dog when you choose food, if you are unsure, always ask your vet!

Read more:

Easy Ways to Make Your Dog Happy

Steps to Take If Your Dog Eats Grass Frantically

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