dog-nutrition

 


 

 

What does my dog need to have a nutritionally balanced diet?

Dogs need a complete and balanced diet that has the right amounts of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in the correct proportions for their healthy growth and development. These nutrients need to be provided in a palatable, concentrated and highly digestible form so your dog can consume and absorb enough to meet its requirements. The diet must also be free of harmful bacteria, toxins and parasites. Don’t forget that water is one of the most vital nutrients and should be available at all times.


How much should I feed my dog?

Use the recommendations on the product label as guidelines or ask your vet to calculate it for you, to ensure you are not under or over-feeding your dog, and give as two meals a day for the average adult dog. Puppies less than 3 months old require three or four daily feedings and senior dogs need their daily requirements divided into several smaller meals.

Some dogs are prone to obesity and you may need to reduce their intake or change the type of food you are using to a light formula. Special weight reduction diets are available from your vet. A good test is to feel your dog’s ribs – a healthy dog should have a small amount of fat and muscle covering the ribs regardless of breed. Don’t forget your dog needs plenty of exercise and fresh water, too.

 

 


 

How do I choose the right food for my dog? What is meant by life stages?

 Life stages are simply the different developmental stages of your dog’s life. For each stage they have different nutritional requirements.

Growth diets for puppies contain higher levels of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to support their rapid growth needs. They are also suitable for lactating dogs.

Adult or maintenance diets are formulated to maintain the weight of an average adult dog and are suitable for pregnant dogs until they start nursing their puppies.

For less active or overweight adult dogs there are light formulas and obese dogs may need specifically designed weight reduction diets available from your vet.

Senior foods for the older dog contain less fat and fewer calories for their slower metabolism but have extra vitamins and minerals to maintain their health.top

 


 

Should I feed my dog bones?

The addition of a raw meaty bone to your dog’s diet is not a nutritional requirement if a complete and balanced diet is fed. Sharp bones can damage or puncture the intestines, and cooked bones that can also splinter causing punctures, damage the teeth and cause constipation. Alternatively, specially designed dental chews and chewing toys are available to help keep teeth clean and avoid these problems.

 


 

Can I feed my dog treats?

Avoid feeding your pet table scraps, as they may be high in fat, upsetting the nutritional balance of the diet, and cause weight gain or even pancreatitis. Feeding table scraps also encourages begging and your dog may become fussy, refusing his normal diet.Chocolate should never be given to your dog, as it is toxic to them.

Treats or rewards, however, are an important part of the special relationship between you and your dog and are a useful training tool. The main thing is to keep treats to a limit to be most effective. Your company is an even better treat for your dog! Some specially designed dental chews are also good for maintaining healthy teeth and keep your dog occupied, preventing chewing, boredom and destructive behaviour.top

 


 

What are Premium pet foods and why are they better?

When it comes to commercial foods, you get what you pay for. Premium pet foods made by reputable companies are of high quality and have a fixed ingredient profile or recipe. This means that the ingredients and their proportions are exactly the same in each batch, regardless of cost.

They are made according to higher manufacturing standards. Cheaper brands often have an open recipe, utilising the least expensive ingredients available at the time. The result is an inconsistent and poorer quality product that can be detrimental to your dog’s health - poor skin and coat condition, less energy or even diarrhoea.

The higher quality proteins and fats used in premium foods make them highly palatable and digestible. The proven benefits of this food include healthy digestion, weight management, adult oral health, skin and coat health, joint health.

They may appear more expensive than supermarket brands but they are significantly higher in nutritional density, meaning that you feed much smaller amounts and the bag lasts longer. Your dog also leaves less mess!

 


 

Is it better to feed my dog dry or tinned food?

As long as the diet is nutritionally balanced and complete it doesn’t matter which type of food you feed your dog. You can feed a mixture of dry and canned food if your dog prefers. Dry food is generally more convenient and economical than canned food. Dry biscuits also help to keep teeth clean. Always have a supply of fresh, clean water available. If your dog only eats canned food then you will need to provide special dental chews to help maintain healthy teeth.

 


 

Can I give my dog milk?

Milk is not an essential part of your puppy’s diet once it is weaned from its mother. Dog’s milk has a very different nutrient profile from that of cows or goats milk. Lactose in cow’s milk can also cause digestive upsets.

 


 

Are there things I shouldn't feed my dog?

Yes. Never feed chocolate to your pet - chocolate contains a substance which is toxic to your dog (and cat as well). Onions are also dangerous to your pet’s health and in large amounts can cause anaemia by destroying the red blood cells. Macadamia nuts are another dangerous foodstuff for dogs. As is garlic and grapes.

All-meat diets can be dangerous, especially for growing animals, as meat alone is deficient in vitamins and has an imbalance of calcium and phosphorous, which can lead to severe bone growth problems. Calcium supllemtation at the correct levels is required.

Never feed any cooked bones as they can splinter and cause gut perforation, as well as blockages in the intestine.