What should I feed my dog?

April 13, 2012

The right kind of food that will maintain the health of the pet has always been the concern of pet owners. A vet would recommend a brand of food, dog owning friends would recommend another. With the vast selection of dog foods all hyped to contain all the essential nutrients for the dog’s growth, choosing one that would fit the pet’s nutritional needs would be very confusing. Should I give my Fido canned foods or dry kibble? BARF diet is now gaining acceptance but would I allow my dog to eat raw meat when I am aware of the potential dangers from E. coli and Salmonella? Should I take the time to prepare home cooked meals for my pet? What is good for us must be good for the pet as well. Perhaps it would be better if I feed my dog table scraps. These are the common considerations a pet owner would have when it comes to feeding the dog.

Food is one of the essential things a dog owner has to get for the new pet. Initially, the food that must be given to the new puppy is the same as the one given by the breeder. It is therefore important to check with the breeder what kind of food the puppy is receiving. Changing the puppy’s diet abruptly can result to diarrhea and other serious digestive problems. A change in diet that can result to digestive problems is not much of a concern if the new pet is an adult dog. This commonly happens if the pet was adopted from a shelter. Unlike puppies, adult dogs can handle a change in diet without showing adverse reactions.

A dog’s nutritional needs would change throughout its lifetime thus there are things that must be considered when choosing the right food for the pet. A highly nutritious diet that contains higher amounts of proteins and calories must be given to puppies and growing dogs. This kind of diet is needed by the rapidly growing bodies. Older and less active dogs would not need as much protein and fat. To ensure the proper growth and development of the pet its diet has to be specifically formulated for its age and activity level. Feeding the dog commercially manufactured food has this advantage. Dog food manufacturers aware of this need have included feeding directions according to the age, stages of growth and activity level.

Most vets would recommend dried food over canned or moist food. Dry food becomes less expensive that tinned as the 10% water content of dried food makes it more filing. Tinned food has 75% water content. Due to the higher water density more amount of moist food will be necessary to satisfy the dog. Dry kibble ensures chewing action that strengthens the dog’s jaws and gums. Additionally, dental problems are less common in dogs fed dry kibble as this kind of diet prevents tartar build up. However, canned food is generally preferred by dogs. Canned food has an appetizing smell and taste much better than dry kibble. To stimulate the appetite of dogs in a kibble diet, canned food can be added from time to time.

Can the dog have human foods? Pet parents that have the time have provided the pet with home cooked meals that contain meats, veggies and fruits. This kind of feeding though may not give the dog a balanced diet unlike commercially manufactured dog foods. Some pet owners have taken to feeding the dog table scraps. This kind of feeding is not recommended by dog experts as table scraps would not be a complete diet for the pet. Moreover, this kind of feeding can result to health issues as not all people foods are safe for the dog. Some human foods are extremely dangerous if ingested by dogs.

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