Is your dog getting all the nutrients they need from their diet?
A nutritious, balanced diet is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Protein should make up about 18% of your dog’s diet. Animal protein from meat and fish offers the balanced protein dogs need. Dogs also need fats to keep their coat, skin, nose, and paw pads healthy. About 9% to15% of an adult dog’s calories should come from fat. Carbohydrates aren’t a natural energy source for dogs. Their bodies can make use of carbohydrates for energy, but they get most of their nutrition needs met by fats and protein.
Treats can play an important role in rewarding good behaviour, however keep dog treats to a minimum and make sure to balance your dog’s diet with the types of treats you are giving. Did you know that dogs also eat and enjoy some vegetables. Fruits and vegetables for dogs can provide nutrients in their diet. Plus they make a tasty treat!
Water plays a vital role in healthy dog nutrition. Your dog can’t survive without plenty of clean water. Refill your dog’s water bowl daily and be sure to give extra water after energetic activity such as a long walk or game, and in hot weather.
If you give your dog bones ensure that they are raw. The bone must be large enough so that the dog cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth or swallow the bone whole. Please note that too many raw bones may lead to constipation. Generally 1-2 raw bones may be offered per week with a few days in between each serving.
The amount of food required will depend on the dog’s size, breed, age and level of exercise. Take note of the physical appearance of your dog for an indication of their health.
- Underfed – ribs are highly visible.
- Ideal body condition – can feel and see the outline of the ribs. Dog has a waist when viewed from above. Belly is tucked up when viewed from the side.
- Overfed – Dog has no waist when viewed from above. Belly is rounded when viewed from the side.
Obesity boosts a dog’s risk of degenerative joint disease and chronic pain. Remember to be careful exercising your dog during warm weather due to heatstroke, which is a danger for all dogs, no matter how fit they are. Always consult your vet before starting any diet or exercise program or diet if you feel your dog is underweight or overweight.
Just as with humans, it is important to feed your dog a diet that consists of high quality balanced premium food that is appropriate for the life stage and health status of your dog.