Nutrition Tips for Your DogBy Sam Weeks | December 22, 2020
A balanced diet is one of the best ways that you can protect the health and wellbeing of your dog. With a well-rounded daily food intake, your canine companion can be expected to live a long and healthy life.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to know what you should be feeding your dog. Packaging can be deceptive and factors including breed, age, size and health status mean that not all dogs have the same nutritional requirements.
Should you be concerned about your dog’s weight, level of energy or general wellbeing, consider reaching out to a house call vet to discuss food options. A simple change in diet may make a world of difference.
In the meantime, continue reading to discover our top nutrition tips for your dog.
Recommended pet food
Not all pet food is created equal. Without the proper knowledge, standing at the supermarket and trying to decide between different brands, flavours and types can be an overwhelming experience.
Generally speaking, commercial pet food is a good option for your dog — particularly if it contains a wide variety of meat, grains, vegetables, fruit and vitamins. Be aware that there are speciality forms of dog food for every stage of your pet’s life including puppy, pregnancy, adult and elderly varieties. Each of these contain specific ingredients to support your dog’s individual needs.
Dog food comes in both wet and dry varieties, and both have their benefits. Wet food is particularly good for dogs who don’t drink much water, whilst dry food can be better for a dog’s teeth. An optimum diet will contain a mix of both.
Treats and snacks
We love to reward our pets for all sorts of reasons, from learning a new trick to remembering to go to the bathroom outside. Treats and snacks are a great way to reward good behaviour, and show love and affection.
However, excessive snacking has the potential to turn into an on-going habit which can be detrimental from a nutritional perspective. Treats can add substantial calories to your dog’s diet, particularly if your pet belongs to a large family and is receiving several treats a day from multiple sources.
Try to limit the number of snacks your dog receives and consider swapping store-bought snacks for foods such as carrots, watermelon (seedless) or blackberries.
Foods to avoid
Whilst most of us know that chocolate is out of bounds for our four-legged friends, there is actually a long list of foods that are considered to be toxic for dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and serious gastrointestinal damage.
Always keep these foods securely packed and well out of reach of inquisitive paws:
- Onions, leeks and chives
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
If you believe your pet has eaten something that has upset their stomach, contact a vet immediately. They will be able to advise you on the signs you should watch for and the steps you need to take should your pet begin to show symptoms of distress.
Vets on Call is a house call vet service that brings professional vets to your door. Our easy app means that you can book an appointment to discuss your pet’s dietary needs at a time that suits you, without having to go through the stress of getting your pet into the car and waiting room. Contact us today to find out more.