Whether your dog is high- or low-energy, your canine needs the right balance of nutrients to lead a healthy existence. Just like humans, dogs are omnivores and can get their daily intake from both plant- and meat-based foods. The best dog food should provide the six most important elements: water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Knowing your dog’s breed, lifestyle, and health conditions can help you make sound decisions about your canine’s food intake. Here is more on what makes the best dog diet.
Dog Diet 101: What Makes Dog Food Good?
Below are some strategies for providing your dog with the best dog food you can afford. Keep in mind that every dog is unique and some require specialized diets. On the whole, the following are beneficial suggestions:
Read and Research
Peruse the ingredient list on the dog food packaging, especially the first five ingredients. The ingredients are listed according to percentage of weight. If you research the ingredients online, you will find which ones are good and which ones are bad for your dog’s diet. If certain ingredients are unfamiliar to you, ask the dog food company or your vet for more details. If you still aren’t convinced or don’t understand how certain ingredients are beneficial for your dog, then consider another company. You can’t trust the commercials you see on TV or the Internet to give you the full scoop about the nutritional value of various dog foods.
Incorporate Fresh Food
Nothing beats fresh (organic, if possible) food. Sometimes, a tight budget can prevent incorporating fresh food, including vegetables, fruit, and (preferably raw) meat into your dog’s diet. Dogs generally retrieve their energy from proteins and fats. Sometimes, the seemingly unlikely part of the fresh vegetable is the most nutritious, such as the stems of broccoli. And sometimes, items you may not have thought of as appetizing canine food can have a real impact on your dog’s well-being. For example, raw coconut oil can provide tremendous energy, and sardines can provide Omega-3 fatty acids. Ultimately, combining canned, kibble, and other processed food with fresh food, particularly those high in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, can help your dog get all the necessary nutrients.
Your Dog’s Teeth Matter
Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like an unpleasant chore for you and your canine, but dental health is crucial. If brushing isn’t feasible, then giving your dog a bone, a carrot stick, or a zucchini can help your canine keep his pearly whites bright.
Keep in mind that your canine should eat different amounts throughout life. Puppies need to eat a lot and often. Dogs over the age of seven may require diets lower in sodium and higher in proteins. For the average adult dog, eating equally-balanced meals two or three times a day is a good rule of thumb. Most indoor, neutered adult dogs should eat a lower-calorie diet. Limiting treats is a part of this balanced approach for a great dog diet. Just as moderation is good in the human world, it rings true in the canine world as well.
How much water your dog should drink each day depends on a variety of factors, such as weight and activity level. On average, a ten-pound dog needs a little over a cup of water a day. Clean water is crucial.
Keep in Touch with the Vet
Forming a solid relationship with your dog’s vet can ensure that your canine is receiving regular checkups, weigh-ins, and medical care. The vet can help determine what your dog’s lean weight should be, so you can feed your canine the right number of calories per day.
If you happen to be in the Somerset area, the Animal Medical Center staffs experienced veterinarians who can provide nutritional recommendations just right for your loved one.