Did you know that the nutritional needs of dogs from food alone include 37 different essential nutrients?
All good quality fully manufactured dog foods have been carefully formulated to give dogs the precise balance of all the nutrients they need to thrive. Whether you choose a moist (“wet”) food or a complete dry food is entirely up to you and your dog. The most important thing is to check that the meal is a “full” rather than a “free” meal. Otherwise, you might buy a snack instead of a balanced meal.
Complete moist foods are supplied in cans, foil trays or bags and must be kept in the refrigerator after opening (no longer than 24 hours). Although dogs aren’t as fussy about smell and texture as cats, wet food is more attractive when served at room temperature. If you are feeding dogs moist food, don’t let them sit for more than an hour, otherwise it could attract bacteria and give your four-legged friend an upset tummy.
Dry food is very popular with dogs and owners. They are more concentrated in nutrients than moist feed, so they get the right nutritional balance in smaller portions. Plus, their crispy texture helps keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Always make sure to follow the feeding guidelines on the package, but don’t be afraid to make slight adjustments to the serving size based on your dog’s body condition.
Whenever you plan to switch foods either from wet to dry or from one brand to another, always make sure that you introduce the new foods gradually over a period of seven to ten days. While people are happy with a varied diet, dogs are creatures of habit when it comes to eating, and sudden changes in your dog’s diet can actually lead to stomach upset. Regardless of whether you feed wet or dry, always provide plenty of fresh, clean drinking water.
Providing your dog with well-deserved dog treats on occasion can build your bond and are an excellent training aid. However, feeding too many or improperly fed treats can unbalance your dog’s diet and lead to weight problems.
Dog foods, including cookies and chews, should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. You need to carefully read the feeding instructions on the packaging to make sure you are not indulging in too much! Always choose dog foods that are suitable for the size of your dog. If your veterinarian has recommended a strict no-treat rule, you can always withhold a portion of the daily whole feed and use it for treatment instead. It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your dog’s body condition and check out our dog food guide below to find out what components your dog needs in their diet and why.
Chocolate can be extremely harmful and should never be fed to your dog. As little as 3 ounces of cooking chocolate can kill a medium-sized dog
- Human Food / Leftovers: Your dog’s digestive system is different from yours and human food is often too salty or too high in protein, with insufficient minerals or essential nutrients to provide a balanced diet. If you want to treat them to the occasional home cooked meal, boneless white chicken is a great choice. It’s easy to digest, full of protein, and contains vitamins and minerals. Veterinarians recommend feeding dogs recovering from upset bellies frequently chicken and rice or white fish and rice.
- Raw Meat: While it may seem like a natural food to give canines, raw meat for dogs can contain bacteria that can make your dog sick.
- Bones: Especially small pieces of bone and fish bones, as these damage teeth and cause blockages in the throat or intestines. Chicken bones should always be avoided as they can splinter when chewed and cause real damage if swallowed. While they are traditionally fed to dogs, we do not recommend larger bones as they are also linked to bowel blockages.
- Toxic Food: They can be good for us, but dogs can get very sick and even die from eating chocolate, onions, garlic, and grapes or raisins.
- Dietary Supplements: If your dog is fed a complete and balanced pet food, you will not need to give normal, healthy dogs any dietary supplements. If you have dogs with special nutritional needs caused by pregnancy or an illness, ask your veterinarian to recommend a balanced diet that is specifically tailored to their needs. Adding your own supplements that are disproportionate to other nutrients can lead to skeletal deformities and other problems.
If you would like more information about a balanced dog diet or have other questions, please contact us
PETCARE EXPERT TEAM