The diet for each dog should be individually tailored to suit specific needs. After all, representatives of different breeds, even of the same age, have different detention, activity, and daily routines. Consequently, the need for nutrients will not be the same.
Dry Food or Natural Food?
When choosing between branded ready-made feeds and natural products, you need to keep in mind that each option has both pros and cons. Before giving preference to this or that option, it is helpful to find out what kind of food the puppy ate in the nursery (at previous owners).
If the owner plans to transfer the pet to a different diet, this should be done gradually. It is impossible to drastically change the type of food – this is a big load on the gastrointestinal tract. Unusual foods can cause indigestion and lead to more severe health problems.
Dry food is more convenient:
- the composition is initially balanced, there is no need to calculate the proportions of substances, add additives – vitamins, minerals, etc.;
- variety of choice – premium food has a wide range of products, it is convenient to select the most suitable type for different situations – for dogs of different breeds, taking into account their needs, pets of different ages, supporting and maximally nutritious for weakened and sick pets;
- there is no need to cook, which saves time;
- profitability – a portion of dry food for one dog is quite capacious, while sufficiently nutritious;
- small feed consumption;
- ease of storage – dry food has a fairly long shelf life, does not take up much space; you can take it with you on trips without any problems;
- price – even expensive food is about the same price as an adequately formulated diet made from natural products.
As Dr. Linda Simon notes in the review, a major benefit of feeding dry dog food is that it ensures good dental health. The dry kibble can crack off calculus and minimizes the risk of plaque building up over time.
Nutrition for large and medium-sized Dogs
These breeds are prone to obesity, which often leads to heart failure. In the diet for such dogs, the first place should be the quality of proteins and a high content of the vitamin and mineral complex. An inadequately balanced diet or inappropriate feed dosage may be indicated by spin problems or improper positioning of the limbs.
It is recommended to divide the daily amount of feed into two portions. The evening should be slightly larger than the morning. If the pet begins to gain weight, the portion is reduced. Also, once a week, organize fasting days, on which the dogs are not fed, but only water is given. But be sure to consult a veterinarian – some dogs are not likely to be subject to such experiments.
Small Dog Nutrition
Small dogs need more nutritious food. This is because small breeds are usually very active, which means they spend a lot of energy that needs to be replenished. The central place in their diet is given to carbohydrates and fiber.
They are found in sufficient quantities in cereals and vegetables, so these foods should be given to small breeds of dogs daily. Besides, for the structure of muscles and bones to be correct, animal fats must be present in the diet. The daily amount of food for them is usually divided into 3-4 feedings.
Nutrition of Dogs with Obesity
Excess weight is a health hazard and significantly reduces the pet’s quality of life. To help your pet get in proper shape, it is necessary to resort to a diet and monitor the quality of the dog’s physical activity.
All your actions must be coordinated with your veterinarian. It is worth remembering that obesity can provoke some diseases and become a signal of existing problems. Obesity should not be confused with puffiness.
You can switch your pet to a low-calorie, ready-to-eat diet to help control your dog’s body weight, as suggested by many dry and canned food manufacturers. In the case of feeding with natural products, it is necessary to control the number of portions and, if necessary, reduce the amount of feed. Still, at the same time, you can increase the number of meals a day up to 3 – 4 times. Such measures will help speed up your metabolism.
The consumption of cereals should be reduced as much as possible by replacing grains with fiber – fruits, vegetables. Meat and dairy products are selected with the lowest fat content.
Advice! It is helpful to constantly monitor your pet’s weight to monitor the progress of losing weight. Regular weighing should be done every week.
Nutrition of the Old Dog
With age, animals, like humans, decrease inactivity. There are changes in the work of the gastrointestinal tract and other body systems.
In dogs, the condition of the teeth gradually deteriorates. Old pets need to be provided nutritious and at the same time easy-to-digest food that is not difficult to bite and swallow.
It is convenient to give softer food, increasing the number of feedings to 3 – 4 per day, depending on the type and condition of the dog.
It is important to regularly introduce into the diet supporting complex vitamin and mineral supplements for elderly dogs, especially for large, obese, or already having joint problems. Consider giving your dog some complexes for the skin and wool, as well as vitamins to improve blood circulation.
How to choose Bowl
The dishes should be chosen based on the height and size of the dog, the length of its coat, and the shape of the muzzle. Besides, you should take into account the material from which it is made. One of the main requirements for dog cookware is its safety. Bowls should be stable and free of cracks or chipped edges so that the dog does not hurt the cheeks or tongue while eating.
Ceramic is considered one of the safest. They are environmentally friendly, but due to the fragility of the material, they have a short service life. Plastic bowls slide very easily on the floor and are therefore inconvenient to use. The most stable and durable are metal.
It is recommended for large breeds of dogs to purchase bowls on a tripod, which allows you to adjust the height. For pets with thick wool, dishes for food are placed on special stands.
Of the minuses, the following should be considered:
- it is essential to follow the storage rules correctly – if the packaging is damaged, a feed can deteriorate;
- when using such products, there is a danger of poisoning or allergic reactions;
- you need to choose at least premium class;
- cheap products do not contain anything useful and are often made from questionable components;
- It is necessary to carefully select a store or supplier that you can trust so that the food is not fake and is stored correctly until purchased.
If the owner prefers to cook natural products for his pet on his own, this option also has certain advantages like being independent in choosing fresh and qualitative products, which adds confidence. It is also easier to make adjustments to the composition and add any variety of constituent ingredients. And what is even more important is that it is easier to satisfy the desires of fastidious pets. Though it is not for everyone.
Disadvantages of feeding your pet with natural products:
- natural products for good nutrition are not enough, it is imperative to periodically add vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet;
- the owner needs to painstakingly select the proportions of feed ingredients on his own or constantly consult with specialists so that the pet receives all the necessary substances;
- preparation takes some time, and enough space is needed for storage;
- short shelf life.
In any case, the owner must choose the most convenient option for himself and provide the pet with healthy food.
Any owner wants to raise a healthy pet. Successful puppy development depends on proper feeding management. If the dog does not feel anxious, it is healthy and active, its coat does not hang in ugly tufts, but, on the contrary, is thick and shiny, then everything has been done correctly. Conversely, any change in the pet’s behavior or physical condition is a reason to change the approach to nutrition. It is advisable to first consult with a veterinarian because changes can be caused by a progressive disease that cannot be cured with one diet change.