Most dogs will eat anything, food or otherwise! Your favourite shoes, your expensive bag or your Sunday dinner. Dogs don’t care. They just love to chew and eat.
But how do we know what foods are right for them? What food is the correct choice? There are some factors to consider before deciding on what food you will be feeding your furbuddy. It’s our responsibility as dog owners to ensure our dogs have a healthy diet that is suitable for their needs.
A healthy dog is a happy dog.
What to feed your dog? For good health.
Types of food
It can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing which type of food to feed your dog. There are so many types and brands it is hard to know where to start! A good place to start it to discuss with the breeder or if you are rehoming, the person who has cared for the dog. If this is not an option for you remember there is a lot of information regarding feeding and food types available. Try your local library or online.
A wee bit of research before getting your dog is a good idea, it will benefit you and the dog.
We are lucky our dog Mac is a placid wee guy and has never had issues with food, he can be fussy with treats though! Strange behaviour for a Labrador I know.
When we rehomed him we were told he was fed dry food. We saw no reason to change this but we wanted to give him the best we could afford. I checked all the labels on many brands of dry food, eventually settling for one that had no artificial colours or additives. Happy to say there were no issues and we were pleased with our choice. We tried tinned wet food on occasion but I can’t stand the smell and we saw no benefit in changing. We have never considered the raw feeding regime. It’s not a feeding regime we fancy.
Choosing the right food for your dog
The age of your dog is the most important factor when choosing to dog food. From puppy to senior, and working and nursing, buy the dog food designed for the life stage and lifestyle of your dog. The breed and size of your dog should also be considered when deciding on feeding regime and portions. There are foods available for dogs of all ages, sizes, and health requirements.
A handy calorie calculator
|Dog Calorie Calculator by TrainPetDog|
There are also dog foods available to aid hyperactivity in dogs. I had a chance conversation with a dog trainer one day and she told me about a brand that has all-natural ingredients and nothing added to bulk the food, also this food did not have a high-calorie count.
We gave it a try, and are so glad we did. It is our dog food of choice now. I find it more economical to buy the 12kg bag, and getting it delivered to my door is so convenient. This particular dry food is designed for service dogs. This food is designed to have a calming effect and assist with alertness as obviously these amazing dogs have an important job to do.
If you are in doubt or having feeding issues it is always good to seek advice from your vet. And for your dog’s health and well-being stick to the recommended portions, always, well as much as you can not easy saying no sometimes! Some general information and history of dog food are available through this link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_food
What not to feed
Very important you make yourself familiar with foods and liquids that are poisonous to dogs, there are many. Eating chocolate for example can be fatal to some dogs. Our wee furbuddies will eat anything they come across so try not to leave food unsuitable for them within their reach. That can be easier said than done with some of our more inquisitive dogs. My husband had a dog growing up that took advantage of a family reunion in the living room and ate the full roast dinner that was prepared!
Eating something poisonous is a truly horrible experience. An ill dog can be very costly and nobody wants a hefty vet bill. It’s also emotionally heartbreaking to see your beloved dog suffer.
I’ve listed a few that come to mind but there are many more.
Dogs and owners may have their own feeding times. What suits the household can determine when and how often you feed your pooch. Some dogs like to graze throughout the day and some like Mac will scoff the lot in one go. I am glad to say I discovered a way to slow Mac down. He always ate really fast and sometimes his stomach would be distended afterward and appeared to be uncomfortable. I put 2 empty egg cups in Macs food bowl, he has to manoeuvre the egg cups about to get to his food. Thankfully such a simple idea solved a huge problem.
How active your dog is should also be considered when deciding on food and portions. We feed Mac half of the daily portion in the morning and again in the evening. We give him a bit more if he has had more exercise than usual.
Also, we should mention treats, we all love to give our dogs treats. It’s hard to resist their wee faces and sad eyes I know! But if you do give a lot of treats just ensure they are healthy and low in calories.
Mac loves a Pizzle, low in fat, lasts forever and good for cleaning his teeth.
A happy and healthy dog
So lots of things to consider when choosing the correct food for your wee furbuddy. Establishing a good feeding routine is also very beneficial to your dog. It serves as part of their training and bonding with you, they love to please us and they respond well to our praise and encouragement.
The bottom line is…. fall in love with your dog, it is a lovely experience getting to know them. Know all their wee preferences and dislikes.
Our ultimate goal as dog lovers and owners is to have a happy and healthy dog.
I welcome any feeding tips or photos of your dog to share, please feel free to comment.