- Newsy Tips
- 7 Rules for Feeding Your Dog Correctly
- Top 5 Dog Allergies
- Dog Food Allergies
- Diarrhea in Dogs
- Dog Nutrition
- 9 Common Dog Poisons
- Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms, Care & Diet
- Pancreatitis in Dogs: Cause, Symptoms & Treatment
Especially for new dog owners! You probably want your dog to be healthy and happy; you want him to live a long and joyful life. Well, it’s all in your hands!
Paying attention to his diet is the first step.
This is my first post from Feed My Dog 101. I thought I should begin with the 7 most Effective Rules you should follow when feeding your dog:
#1. Fresh Water!
Provide your dog with a constant supply of fresh water! While your dog can resist up to two or three weeks without food, it will only take him a few days to die without water. Dogs use water just like humans do: for digestion, temperature regulation and absorption of nutrients. Your dog’s size, his diet and his physical activities determine the amount of water he needs. For instance, dry dog food contains less water than canned food, meaning your dog will be thirstier if you feed him only kibble.
Beware of the tap water as it might contain bacteria and harmful chemical compounds. I bet you don’t drink it so don’t give it to your dog! Or if you do, at least have it tested of boiled first.
#2. Keep clean!
Whatever diet you’re feeding your dog, hygiene is highly important! Try to clean your dog’s bowls daily, prepare and store his food in sanitary conditions. Spoilt food can endanger his health.
Don’t let him eat rubbish or leftovers he finds on the street and don’t let anyone else feed your dog – it’s bad for his feeding schedule and for his training!
#3. Feeding schedule!
Now, it depends on your dog and your time but I believe the best way to go is to let your dog have three meals a day.
Feeding puppies is a bit more complicated since they require more meals a day – around 4 – because their growing organism needs a constant supply of nutrients. Scheduling his meals is the first step for both crate training and housetraining and also helps you to prevent potential digestive.
Adult dogs should be fed at least twice a day; I would recommend three times a day. Most people feed their dogs after they eat for ensuring obedience and non-aggressive behavior.
#4. Same Food, Different Day!
It’s highly recommended that you feed your dog the same food for a short period of time – a week or ten days. It’s the best way to find out if your dog is allergic to a certain type of dog food.
Consult your veterinarian in order to determine the best diet for your dog’s needs. If you consider changing your dog’s diet do it gradually, by mixing the old and the new food until the old one slowly disappears. Pay attention to any sign of indigestion or diarrhea.
#5. Size does matter!
You don’t want your dog to get fat! Keeping your dog fit doesn’t involve only proper exercise; it’s about portioning your dog’s food too. There is no such a thing as a strict formula allowing you to calculate the exact quantity of food you should feed your dog. There are only some general references usually related to dry and canned food saying that miniature dogs like Chihuahua or Terrier should have around half a cup of dry food a day whereas the large-sized dogs like Boxer or Alaskan Malamute should eat between 2 and 4 cups of dry food a day.
No matter the size, don’t let your dog eat for more than 15 minutes and avoid feeding him between meals.
#6. Read the labels!
Check the list of ingredients before buying food for your dog. Ignore the aggressive marketing and try to consult your veterinarian before choosing a certain type of dog food.
First of all, if you consider dry or canned food, you should look for a National Research Council’s approval and a certification of the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Then take a minute to read the ingredients:
- Meat protein should cover 20%-25% of the dog food
- Carbohydrates 40%
- Fats up to 20%
- Vitamins and minerals around 1% each.
The meat protein should come from organ or muscle meat. The label should specify the exact origin of the meat: chicken, turkey, beef, duck. Avoid ambiguous words like: animal, meat etc.
Reconsider the foods containing animal protein (crude protein) or vegetable protein. The first ones are made of hair, lips and other inedible parts of animal bodies. The latter consist of corn, wheat and soy.
Dogs shouldn’t be fed corn or wheat! The first ingredient should be meat, real meat!
#7. Tricks or Treats?
Don’t treat your dog with goodies too often! Reward your dog with delicious treats only when necessary. If you just got a puppy, offering him treats is part of a successful training. However, in time, you should slowly decrease the number of treats, otherwise your dog might get confused and start rejecting the real dog food, this leading to digestive and behavioral problems.
Dog Training Tip #1