Most pet owners will do everything to keep their dogs happy and playful. Unfortunately, that often included giving them an extra scoop of dog food, human food scraps or too many treats which can make your dog overweight and even shorten their lifespan. So, if you really want to have a happy canine, provide it with a balanced diet of natural food that will keep them energized, strong and healthy for many years! Here’s how to properly feed your pooch.
What to feed your pet?
The best dog food is the one that has been produced only for dogs, offers a complete balance of nutrients and contains beneficial, natural ingredients that will make your pet thrive. Both wet and dry natural foods that you choose for your pet should have the same quality and balanced nutritional value, so you don’t really have to worry about types. You can let your dog decide which type it prefers, since each pooch is different. However, make sure to choose the food that is complete rather than complimentary. You don’t want to be feeding your dog treats instead of balanced meals!
Natural dog food is free of animal by-products, additives, toxic pesticides and other chemicals that can cause allergies and other health issues. It also boosts the immune system, encourages healthy weight and even improves life expectancy. All in all, it provides your dog with all the nutrition it needs to have a happy and healthy life!
Read the label
Like human food, dog food that you buy should have a complete nutrition label that can help you choose a quality product, compare foods and gain insight into what you’re feeding your pup. Again, just like human food, these labels can often be hard to understand. However, as long as you see meat as the first ingredient, you’ll probably make a good choice. Meat should always be listed first, which means it’s the main component. Also, don’t just look for any words that contain ‘meat’ in it. Vague labels like ‘meat’ or ‘meat meal’ usually means that the product contains animal derivatives and by-products. Instead, search for specific meats like lamb, beef or chicken. You should also look for natural dog food that contains no additives and no grain. These natural foods not only offer your dogs a balanced and healthy diet, but are easy on the stomach while providing plenty of energy to run, play and cuddle! Another thing you should keep an eye on with labels is the ingredient list. The shorter it is and the fewer unknown words it contains the better!
Be moderate with portions
No matter how natural your dog food is, you must be careful how much and how often you feed your pup if you want to provide it with a balanced diet. Otherwise, you’re risking weight problems and various other health issues. For instance, puppies under 6 months must eat about three to four times a day, while once they turn 6 months, you can reduce their feeding times to two. When it comes to adult dogs, most experts advise one or two meals, depending on your pup’s activity levels. Portion sizes are also important. Almost every pack of food you buy has a serving size guide at the back. However, you can always consult with your vet who will tell you what’s best for your dog’s age, health condition and breed.
What about treats?
An occasional treat will definitely not harm your dog! As a matter of fact, well-deserved treats are a great way to bond with your pup, train it and give it a little something extra between meals, especially if you have a very active pooch. However, if you give too many treats and choose the wrong kind, you can ruin your dog’s balanced diet and cause weight issues. Most treat packets have feeding recommendations and an ingredient content, so choose the natural type and don’t over-feed your pup.
Unlike cats, dogs can survive on a meat-free diet. However, even though they are natural, not all veggies are safe for your pup and most dogs prefer meat, so it might be tricky to get them to eat what you serve. If you want to feed your dog a vegetarian diet, just know that it will take a lot of research, planning, training and prep in order to provide the animal with all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals and give them a well-balanced diet. Your vet can help you with the right information, but unless you’re really ready to dedicate a lot of time, money and research, it’s better to raise your dog as the omnivore it actually is.
If you want to be a good dog parent, a balanced diet is key to having a healthy, strong, active and happy dog. So, choose the food carefully, read the label and be moderate with feeding. Once you find a feeding system that fits your pup, stay true to it and your dog will be forever grateful!
Contributing editor at Ripped.me
Contributor at TheWellnessInsider
Contributor at NaturelyShop