What Your Dog Should Be Eating: Knowing Your Furry Friend’s Nutritional Needs

You are what you eat and that’s as true for animals as it is for humans. Just as we as a species have a tendency to compromise our health with fast food, sugary or salty snacks, heavily processed meats and a general aversion to vegetables, so too can animals face ill health if they’re not getting the right nutrients. Even if you have pet insurance, veterinary bills can be an unwelcome expense, yet it’s an expense we court regularly when we don’t properly consider our dog’s nutritional requirements and feed them the right foods.

 

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Canine McDonald’s

 

You wouldn’t (hopefully) feed your kids a Bic Mac and fries every day of the week, every month of the year. To do so would cause their cholesterol to skyrocket, their liver to turn to pate and their risk of heart disease and obesity to increase exponentially. Yet, when we buy cheap canned foods we run that very same risk when it comes to our pets. If we as educated adults choose to ruin our bodies through poor dietary choices then we’re free to do so, but much like our kids, our pets have no say in the matter. That means it’s up to you as a pet owner to know the dangers of some of the mass produced canned foods on the market.

 

Many canned dog foods are found to have excessive quantities of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical which can compromise both your pet’s health and your family’s. Studies show that BPA can increase fat storage and obesity, damage reproductive health and increase the risk of cancer. Do your homework on your chosen brand of dog food, and if necessary substitute it for a more nutritious brand that uses as few ingredients and chemicals as possible and natural dog products made in the USA.

 

Know your dog’s nutritional requirements

 

Just like humans, dogs of different ages, sizes and weights have totally different nutritional requirements. To ensure your dog’s health, you need to correctly identify them. Puppies, for example, have just been weaned so are prone to sensitive palates. At first their food will need to be mixed with warm water or puppy milk replacement. Create a thick, soupy mixture that they can eat and digest easily. Puppy food is richer in vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids than foods intended for their their adult counterparts. Similarly, older dogs have smaller appetites and put on more body fat while gaining less muscle mass than their younger counterparts. Therefore, they need more lean proteins and increased fiber content since older dogs are prone to constipation.

 

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Portion control- It’s important for dogs too!

 

Dogs are natural scavengers who are hard-wired to eat as much as they can because they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Since they don’t know when to stop, we have to do the work for them, so portion control is extremely important for dogs. Using a pet food portion calculator can help you to determine the right amount you need to feed your dog.

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