Whether you like adopting your family, trying to manage the weight of your senior dog, or raising a new puppy for the first time, knowing how much (and how long) to feed your canine partner is crucial to his health. Although feeding your dog is not a very complicated task, there are several key factors to keep in mind when monitoring your dog’s nutrition. In this article, you will learn useful suggestions to help you determine the amount of food to feed your fur baby, including user guides and tips.
Your dog’s diet: factors that affect your dog’s nutritional needs
Just as humans rely on adequate nutrition to support their health, the same rules apply to the dogs-in fact, research shows that providing your dog with the right amount of high-quality dog food can ensure his lifespan and physical condition in the coming years. Besides, it should be noted that although feeding your dog too little can lead to nutritional deficiencies, overfeeding your dog may lead to obesity and many other health-related problems, including arthritis, congestive heart failure, Cushing’s disease, skin diseases, and even certain types of cancer. Therefore, it is necessary to find a dietary balance for your dog, as well as proper care and exercise-your dog’s quality of life is directly related to the type and amount of food you feed your four-legged friend.
As mentioned above, there are many factors to consider when choosing dog food. Factors that directly affect your dog’s dietary needs include:
Weight: Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight is not only beneficial to his health but may extend his life cycle. Choosing a dog food that suits his size, breed, and specific dietary needs is critical to his peak condition and overall health. Discuss recommendations with your veterinarian, including specially formulated dog food, especially if you are trying to incorporate a weight management program into your overweight dog’s daily routine. For obese dogs, you may need to feed them less than the recommended amount indicated on the package.
Activity level: Although the feeding advice shown on your cub food package is based on an average adult dog with a normal activity level, it may not apply to the lifestyle of your vague friend. For inactive dogs, you may need some control, while active dogs that exercise every day may need more food. Working dogs, such as dogs grazing cattle on pastures, may require a higher calorie intake. Your veterinarian can tell your dog how much/how many times it needs to be fed and the best pet food options.
Age: The age of your dog is also an important factor because the nutritional needs of a puppy are completely different from that of an adult dog, if you are not sure about the type of food you feed him, please consult your veterinarian. The same is true for adult dogs. Their needs are different from those of senior dog companions. Consult your veterinarian to understand how these different life stages affect your dog’s nutritional needs, including how much/what type of food your dog needs to maintain his optimal health.
Health: For most healthy dogs, once you have determined your pet’s dietary needs, his nutrition plan should not attract too much attention. On the other hand, if your dog has any known pre-existing health conditions, such as canine food allergies or diabetes, taking necessary precautions (including restriction of diet and, in some cases, medication) is necessary Yes, to the health of your dog. Your veterinarian can advise you on appropriate dog food, as well as meal times and serving sizes.
For dogs with food allergies or food intolerances, it is important to observe how your dog responds to different foods (for example, if you are changing food and he is trying a new brand for the first time). Some signs of a dog food allergy include:
- Itchy, red, or inflamed skin
- Slowly scratching his ears, face, paws, and back
- Big watery eyes; discharge around the eyes
- Recurrent ear infections; constant head shaking
- Red lower abdomen and matte coat
- Red, brown, or bronze nail bed
- Bronze around the lips
If you notice any of these symptoms, ask your veterinarian to perform an environmental allergy test, a food allergy test, or a food allergy elimination diet. However, most experts recommend an elimination diet only under the supervision of your veterinarian, because it is difficult to determine why your puppies are allergic to yourself and the root cause behind it.
Fortunately, there are many safe hypoallergenic dog foods on the market to choose from, especially suitable for dogs with food allergies. Natural supplements for dogs are also worth considering to further optimize the nutritional needs and overall health of your four-legged friends.
How much should my dog eat?
You have known your veterinarian, and you have found the best brand of dog food for your beloved dog-but the question remains: how many dogs do I have? As a general rule of thumb, the needs of puppies are quite different from those of adults, as shown below:
Puppies: Your puppy needs a few small meals throughout the day-most experts recommend a minimum of five meals a day, and 4 meals a day at 3 months of age; at 6 months, your puppy should only Have a meal. Besides, please consult your veterinarian to ensure that your dog’s nutrition is suitable for his age and breed size. There are many specially formulated dog foods specially designed for puppies and puppies to ensure that your friends get the nutrients they need to thrive.
Dogs 12 months and older: Although two meals a day are traditionally recommended for most healthy adult dogs, this actually depends on your dog’s activity level and other factors covered so far. Your veterinarian can provide you with more information about your dog’s personal dietary needs.
Mealtime and your dog: frequently asked questions
Although you may have found a complete and balanced dog food that is perfect for your pet’s weight, activity level, age, and overall health, there are naturally additional concerns for your beloved dog-after all, He is part of the family. Here are some common questions related to your dog’s mealtime:
Q: Is expensive dog food really necessary?
Answer: When it comes to dog food, its quality does exceed quantity. Although you don’t have to buy the most expensive dog food on the market, choosing high-quality products is better for your dog’s health for much reasons-poor-quality food actually generates more waste and can cause digestive (and other health) problems. It is full of substandard ingredients and usually ends up costing more (because you have to feed your dog more to satisfy him). Be sure to read the labels for by-products, corn syrup, fillers, and other chemical additives, and if your budget allows, choose an all-natural/organic brand based on experience, the shorter the ingredient list, the better dog food.
Q: What is the best way to introduce new foods into my dog’s diet?
Answer: Become familiar with your puppy’s new food, because their digestive system is usually sensitive to any type of dietary changes. If you are trying a new dog food, mix it with the old brand and increase the ratio every day for ten days until your dog eats the new food. If you notice any signs of indigestion-including vomiting, poor bowel movements, or constipation, stop feeding your dog new food, and if symptoms persist, please contact your veterinarian’s office immediately for the next steps. Although it may be self-evident, always provide fresh and clean water next to your dog bowl.
Q: Is the trash on the table a restricted area?
A: One of the most common problems is that feeding your dog table fragments may become a problem for many reasons. Although the “human food” sampled occasionally is not harmful (depending on what you provide him-see below), experts advise against it. Feeding your dog’s fat fragments may cause weight gain, and the pup’s stomach may be too irritating due to the fiber content. Raw meat is particularly dangerous because it can be infected by bacteria, and the bones can damage his teeth and block his digestive system. Feeding cat food to your dog is also not a good idea because it is specially formulated for cats and lacks the proper balance of vitamins and minerals for dogs. Finally, the big taboo is chocolate, because it can be toxic (in some cases, fatal).
Although this is not an exhaustive list, please avoid feeding your dog the following foods:
- Chocolate: Chocolate (especially dark chocolate) contains theobromine, which may cause increased heart rate, irritability, and vomiting. It can be fatal if consumed in large doses.
- Dairy products: Your dog cannot digest the lactose found in dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, butter, ice cream, etc.
- Fruit: Usually high in sugar and acidity, it is best to avoid feeding your fruit because it can also cause stomach problems.
- Garlic: It is also part of the onion family; when consumed in large quantities, garlic may cause asthma and dermatitis. However, garlic tablets are sometimes used as a natural insect repellent-be sure to get approval from your veterinarian and follow the instructions carefully before any type of homeopathic treatment.
- Onions: As we all know, onions can cause anemia in dogs.
- Potatoes: Due to the high starch content, experts recommend feeding your dog potatoes because they are not easily digested by dogs and may cause health problems.
- Raisins and grapes: Grapes and raisins are also toxic to dogs and may cause kidney (kidney) failure.
- Besides, there are many household and garden plants/flowers (such as daffodils) that are toxic to dogs, with symptoms including mild skin irritation, severe poisoning, and death.
Q: How can I prevent my dog from eating too fast while eating?
Answer: If your dog tends to gobble up, he is likely to ingest a lot of air, which often leads to stomach upset, gas, hiccups, and other digestive problems. There are several ways to solve this problem-first, try to put a large object (such as a tennis ball) in his bowl, as this will induce him to take a smaller bite.
There is also a specially designed “slow feeding bowl” that can make your dog get rid of this habit. Eating too fast may also indicate territorial behavior, as households with more than one pet may cause your dog to be anxious while eating. If this is the case, reduce your dog’s competitive needs and feed him separately if possible.