Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Having a pet is one of life’s greatest joys. Loving your pets means providing them with the best care possible – routine vet checks, a safe environment to live in and most importantly, a healthy and nutritious diet that will keep them healthy and happy for a long time to come. If you have recently adopted a dog, this is definitely the article for you. Today, we have a look at how you can go about planning a doggy diet for your canine companion, so read on to find out more!

1. Research Before Purchasing

When it comes to purchasing commercial pet food for your dog, it is important that you do all the research you possibly can before purchasing. Whether you are purchasing your dog food online or at the store, it is always advised that you spend a little time researching into the brand, the quality of the food and have a look at what ingredients are in it before feeding it to your dog. The first ingredient in any quality dog food should be a protein, so keep a lookout for this. If the first ingredient is anything other than a protein, give that brand a miss.

Many dogs are allergic to fillers such as flax and grains that are used to bulk out dog food, and you will ideally want to avoid dog food that contains too much of this, if any at all. It is a great idea to consult your vet to have your dog checked for allergies, as well as getting recommendations of exactly what nutrients your dog needs. Depending on the age and breed of your dog, you may be required to put it on a special diet. Research is vital, so spend a little time looking into exactly what your canine companion needs. Their health will thank you!

    2. Avoid Overfeeding

Whilst you may be unable to resist your pooch’s puppy dog eyes when it begs for more food, it is important to take note that overfeeding your dog may have dire consequences. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for an overall healthy life, so portion control is essential. You can consult your vet to get your dog weighed, and portion food out in accordance to how much a dog of that weight requires. Exceeding portions can cause your dog to gain too much weight rapidly, putting strain on its joints, organs and heart. Overweight dogs also have a lower life expectancy, so keeping track of exactly how much your canine companion is consuming is essential.

     3. Avoid Feeding Shelf Stable Food

Whilst the occasional treat of shelf stable dog food is fine, it is important that the bulk of your dog’s diet consists of fresh meats and whole foods such as vegetables. The issue with shelf stable food is that they do not contain any live enzymes, and rely on synthetic supplementation to make up for the loss of nutrients and vitamins during the industrial cooking process. On top of that, commercial food found on supermarket shelves tend to have a lot of additives and fillers in them, which will do your dog’s health no good on the long run. Dog biscuits, tinned food and treats have their place in your dog’s diet only as a treat, so ensure that you are feeding your companion as much fresh grub as possible.

     4. Keep Certain Foods Out Of Reach

What your dog doesn’t eat is just as important as what your dog does eat. Contrary to the popular belief that dogs eat basically anything, there are certain foods that are toxic and even deadly to dogs. The foods to avoid at all costs are Chocolate, onions, garlic, fatty foods, salty foods, citrus fruit, raw yeast dough and raisins and artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol which have been proven to cause death in dogs. Ensure that all these foods are kept far away from your dog, or in locked cupboards. If by some chance your dog has gained access to these foods and has consumed any of it, it is of utmost importance that you rush them to the vet immediately.

     5. Avoid Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps

Last but not least, it would be wise to avoid feeding your table scraps to your dog. Aside from some fresh fruit and veggies, your dog should not be sharing your dinner. Their bodies are not able to handle highly processed foods, and it is not uncommon for dogs to start vomiting after consuming too much “human food”. Furthermore, if you are eating something that you have purchased, you won’t know if there are ingredients in the food which could be potentially fatal for your dog.

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We hope that this article has given you some useful insight into how you can go about planning a doggy diet for your new canine companion! Bon Appetit!