Nutritional Diets From Puppy To Elderly Dog
As man’s best friend, it can be easy to want to overindulge your dog, whether it’s to treat them for their cuteness and newly acquired skills as a puppy or as a special luxury during their twilight years. However, with the New York Times reporting that veterinary groups estimate that between 20 – 60% of dogs in America are overweight and at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, it may be time to take a closer look at our canine pal’s diet. Providing healthy substitutes to treats and using portion control when it comes to their food may prove to be showing greater kindness in the long run.
There are various factors to take into consideration when assessing your dog’s diet. For example, the breed and size of your dog will inevitably have an impact on the amount of food they should be eating as well as the amount of exercise they need. Their age will also have a significant impact on their diet since their nutritional requirements will change, as will their individual health circumstances. The importance of proper puppy nutrition revolves around setting up the foundation for proper brain, organ, and bone development. However, senior dogs may have acquired ailments that need tending to through variations in diet.
What to never feed dogs
While there are some foods that should not be fed to dogs that are dependent on their breed, there are certain foods that really should be totally avoided. There are differences in metabolic rate among species, and dogs have very different rates of metabolism to humans. As a result, there are some foods that you may innocently think you are treating your pooch with which are actually poisonous for them. These include chocolate, sweetcorn, grapes, and macadamia nuts.
Since puppies are growing dogs, they need to be fed more often, ideally three times a day until they are around six months old. At that stage, you can reduce their mealtimes to twice a day. You should be making sure that the dog food that you select for your puppy is labeled for growth to ensure that your puppy is receiving the correct nutrients needed for a growing pup. Puppies grow at the fastest rate during their life in their first five months so they need a higher calorie intake to keep up and fuel this process.
Older dog’s diets and nutritional requirements need to be tailored to the individual needs of the dog in question. In general, decreased activity as a dog’s age may lead to weight gain, so finding specially formulated food for senior dogs that are low in calories may be ideal in helping to shift the pounds while also creating a feeling of fullness. Making sure they are given the right amount of food and snacks in proportion to the exercise they get is another important evaluation an owner must make. Constipation is another common problem for older dogs. To help ease this issue, you can add a little wheat bran along with your dog’s regular food in order to increase the amount of fiber in their diet. Dogs, like humans, can suffer from bone and joint discomfort so the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate dietary supplements can help alleviate those pains.
Researching your dog’s needs and dietary requirements depending on their age and breed is an essential responsibility of any dog owner. Recognizing the changes in your pet’s behavior and health as they grow up will also help you identify their individual needs. A healthy diet will shine through their glossy coat and clear eyes and keep your dog happy and healthy for longer.