This Article is About
dogs
calories per day
feed time
animal protein
health consequences
healthy lifestyle
western societies
dog owners
green beans
Feeding Tips For Dogs - The Right Way To Feed A Dog
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Feeding Tips For Dogs   -   The Right Way to Feed A Dog

Do you honestly know the correct way to feed a dog? Sounds simple, but in reality most dog owners do not have a regular feeding schedule in place, and for many pets, food is available all the time. Faced with those big appealing eyes, it's hard for owners to accept that it's up to them to set the feeding habits, not the dog! The health consequences of overfeeding can be dramatic. It is the main reason why more than 50% of all dogs in western societies are now overweight.

So what tips can we use to promote a healthy lifestyle and good feeding practices? Here are 10 pointers you could try.

1. Find out the dog's ideal weight given their age, activity level and general health. Vets and online sites will provide the relevant information.

2. Set up a daily feeding routine and stick to it. This includes feeding at the same time every day. Do not make food available at all times. If the meal has not been eaten after 20 minutes, take the food away, and at the next scheduled feed time, put it back down.

3. Get to know how many calories per day your dog needs to maintain a healthy weight. Again, vets and online sites can provide this information.

4. Read the information on the food packaging and try to work out how many calories per serving. Packaging avdice varies enormously. Infact some brands do not include calorific content at all. Vets can recommend feed and advise on calories per serving. Information is also available online.

5. Cut down on commercial treats. Most are high in fat. Vets agree that no more than 10% of a dogs daily calories should come from treats. Try to replace with more natural treats such as raw vegetable for example green beans and carrots which are much lower in calories.

6. Don't estimate food amounts. Always use a 8oz measure. Estimation usually leads to overfeeding

7. As a rule check the ingredients on food labelling and select a high quality feed which is high in animal protein and grain free. Lower quality feed includes more carboyhdrates which give no nutritional benefit, and are the main cause of canine obseity.

8. Try not to change a dogs diet too often. Regardless of what pet owners think, dogs do not mind the same food every day. Their digestive systems get use to a regular diet. If you do have to change the feed, make the transition gradually over a period of weeks.

9. Keep fresh water available at all times. Among other things it helps aids digestion.

10. Above all monitor the dogs weight and activity and make adjustments accordingly. In general, the older a dog gets the less active they become and the fewer calories they need per day. Most commercial dog food manufacturers take this into account, so try to buy feed which is appropriate to the age and lifestyle of your pet. Any feed being advertised as providing "complete balanced nutrition" should do just that.

The purpose of this article is to help people avoid mistakes with feeding. My 9 year old Labrador is overweight because for years I used a feeding regime which was not appropriate. He is now on a calorie controlled diet to manage his weight loss which has caused a certain amount of disruption and distress. I believe this could have been avoided had I taken more time to notice his lack energy of energy and chubbier appearance.

So before feeding treats or scraps from the table, ask yourself - does the dog really need this? Sometimes, doing the right thing for your pet is often the hardest.


Street Talk

C. Hughes  

In fact most reputable brands in the US are certified using feeding studies by the AAFCO. Look for this label and you can be assured the food you are using is up to standards. Nice article.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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