A nutritious diet is vital for maintaining the health of our canines. The optimum combination of nutrients boosts immunity, lowers the risk of diseases, and helps in keeping your pup at an ideal weight. Our dogs don’t care about nutritional values as long as they find the food delicious. But as pet-parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our furry friend eats a healthy diet. Of course, discovering the perfect formula isn’t an easy task and requires experience. You will make mistakes and gradually learn what best suits your pooch, but don’t worry we are here to help you out. Here we bring you five dog nutrition mistakes that you must avoid, so keep on reading.
Homemade vs. Commercial Dog Food
We all want to know the answer to this question- Store-bought or Homemade? The debate goes on and on as each dog-parent has a different experience. Just like humans, there is no fixed formula for dogs. Each type has its pros and cons, and the decision depends on multiple factors. Commercially available food is convenient especially when you don’t have the time to cook for your dog. It is also easy to store, doesn’t require a lot of hassle. However, a homemade diet if customized correctly according to your dog’s needs is a great option. You need be extremely careful while cooking for your dog as it is difficult to achieve a balance of nutrients.
If you think that you won’t be able to do justice to the cooking procedure, a commercial food is a better option. Canned food is preferable because of the higher protein content and moisture that can make your pup feel full.
Overfeeding Your Pup
Another convenience that comes with dry kibble is the ease of feeding. You can just leave it out in your pooch’s bowl in the morning before you leave for work and he can eat it whenever he likes. The problem is that our pets may eat more than they should. About commercial food are overweight or obese, and the primary cause is being overfed. If you are giving commercial dog food, always read the instructions on the pack. Measure the recommended quantity using a standard cup or weighing and ensure that your dog doesn’t eat more than that.
Switching Between Different Types of Food
If you’ve decided on wearing the chef’s hat and cooking for your pooch, then that deserves appreciation. However, if he is habitual of eating kibble, please don’t change the food at once. The food may contain ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction. The sudden transition may also lead to an upset stomach. Be patient while making the switch. Begin by mixing 25% of the homemade diet with the older one, and when you are sure, it suits your dog increase it to 50. Be slow yet steady, if your dog refuses to eat, don’t give up. Once your dog becomes accustomed to the flavor and doesn’t indicate any allergies, switch the food altogether.
Avoid the Junk Food!
You may be wondering what junk food is for dogs? Well, there are various types of foods that are harmful to our animals. Although many human foods are excellent for dogs, you should not share every item that you eat with them. Some parents feed their pups high-calorie treats such as hot dogs, cheese or buttery popcorns. Such foods with high-fat content may lead to obesity, and hence should be avoided. You can prepare treats for your dogs at home using natural ingredients such as chicken, beef, salmon, and veggies.
Don’t Trust the Labels
If every brand states that the food is balanced and wholesome, don’t just believe what they have claimed. An excellent trick to buy commercial food is to go for the one that has minimum ingredients mentioned in the packet. Also, avoid foods that have grains specified as the first ingredient. You want to feed your dog a protein-based diet and not entirely grain-based. Avoid foods with labels that are difficult to comprehend as chances are they may contain a high amount of fillers.
So, follow these five tips before cooking or purchasing food for your pup. Hopefully, with time, you’ll be able to provide food that guarantees optimal health.
Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.