Dog Nutrition

Nutrition, last updated 18th, Mar 2013, Kritika Ponia

Dog Nutrition

It is very important for you, the owner, to pay attention to your dog’s nutritional needs. Your dog is not the same as you and you can’t feed him what you eat. Some foods such as onions, garlic, raisins, chocolates and grapes are poisonous for dogs. If you give them such foods, they will suffer from numerous problems. You have to understand that their needs differ from yours and you should cater to those needs if you want your dog to live healthily and to grow well. The best way to ensure complete dog nutrition is to go for a holistic diet. Just as the name suggests, holistic diet will ensure that your dog gets what he deserves and this will ensure all-round development. When you say ‘holistic’ dog food, it actually means including natural foods in his diet along with whole ingredients.

Check the labels when you make your purchase:

It is ideal to go for natural foods only, because they are safer. You should, however, be very careful about what the labels read. Some may be very misleading and you might end up feeding your dog something harmful. Even though your intentions were right, your dog will end up harmed and sick. Don’t go for something that says gourmet or premium. Go for something that says natural or organic. This will help you find the best because when a label reads either natural or organic, it means that it meets some criteria. For example, any dog food that is labeled natural can’t have even one synthetic ingredient. The ingredients must be mineral, animal, or plant for sure. Talk about organic and you will find different types such as 100% organic and plain organic. 100% organic means there are no processed ingredients at all. Simply ‘organic’ means that there may be a processed ingredient or two in the dog food. Another label will tell you that it is made out of organic ingredients. This means that a few ingredients are organic in that food. Thus, you have to be very careful while going through the labels. And remember not to EVER buy a dog food product without going through the ingredients to begin with. Carry out a research before going to the store if you must in order to be absolutely sure about what you are buying. What you feed your dog will decide his health and how long he will live happily. Don’t take such a huge decision lightly and pick the first pack you find. Dog nutrition, always keep in mind, should be your priority.

What are the healthy foods for dogs?

If you want to follow a holistic diet, make sure his diet consists of whole grains, poultry protein, barley, oats, organic ground beef, pork, or lamb, organic eggs, etc. Did you know that a strict holistic diet must contain at least fifty percent whole grains? Steam or boil the grains if you choose to make the dog food yourself. If you want to buy from the store, check the labels to see if whole grains are included. Vegetables are also important for complete dog nutrition. His diet must have at least fifteen percent vegetables. Again, the vegetables should be steamed or boiled. You can give him raw vegetables too, though. It all depends on what you dog likes. Finally comes the meat. Organic meat can be given raw but not taking the risk is safer. Boil it or steam it. If you are buying pet food, ensure that it has all these ingredients. There are many pet food brands in the market today that provide all these. Your job as the owner is to look for these brands. Again, don’t be careless!

If you want, you can focus on a completely raw diet for your dog too. The diet can revolve around raw meat and raw vegetables. This is ideal because, let’s face it, if your dog were left in the wild or had grown up in the wild, he would have survived on raw food only. Giving raw bones is also a good idea because they help your dog keep his teeth clean. A raw diet is ideal because it helps in a number of ways such as avoiding too much shedding, aiding dental health, fighting fleas and allergies, improving digestion, enhancing the immune system, and so on.

How about supplements? Are they important for dog nutrition too?

If the vet recommends Dog supplements, you should go for them. There are specific supplements for specific needs of dogs. For example, if your dog is suffering with joint pains, you can give him chondroitin or glucosamine. If your dog is taking rigorous training, he will need a number of supplements such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, and various vitamins. Talk to the vet about your dog’s requirements and whether or not he needs supplements. Do the needful accordingly.

What kind of treats can I give my dog?

The market is overloaded with treats for dogs. But how do you decide which the best ones are? Again, go through the labels. Before that, learn about harmful foods for dogs such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocado, yeast dough, and the other foods mentioned at the start of the article. Steer clear of these. Buy treats made out of vegetables or meat so that your dog is safe and listens to you happily because at the end he will be rewarded with a very healthy and very delicious treat!

Lastly, remember that the more natural foods you opt for, the better it is for your dog’s health. Natural foods are always safe and healthier. They will give your lovely pets the required dog nutrition and ensure that they live long and happy.

On your part, do your best to keep him healthy and you will have years of irreplaceable love and loyalty, which will surely change your attitude towards life. Dogs are the Gods of frolic and only when you treat them right will you actually be able to appreciate their presence in your life.

You are the best in the world for your dog. You know that right? Live up to his expectations then!

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