The health and a long life start with your dog with the diet. The four-legged friend needs a balanced dog nutrition with all important nutrients, so that all metabolic functions can work flawlessly.The dog nutrition can be done in different ways. You can, for example, feed your animal with ready-made dry and wet food or opt for the barefoot. It is important in the food selection only that all important nutrients are included and the energy needs of your animal is covered.
Healthy Dog Nutrition Tips
By nature, dogs are not just carnivores, but rather prey eaters. They feed on prey prey animals. In addition, there are still innards and the contents of the stomach and intestinal tract. As a result, the wild relatives not only eat raw meat but also plants and grasses.
If necessary, they also deviate from prey to berries or fruits. As varied as the natural diet of the wild relatives is, so varied should this also be at home with your dog. The entire diet plan includes around 25 different vital nutrients.
The basic ingredients of healthy dog nutrition include:
- trace elements
- Fats are first elementary energy suppliers in dog nutrition, but also serve as a flavor carrier. They can have animal or vegetable origin. In particular, animal fats comply with the natural diet of the dog. In dog food, for example, they are made from beef tallow, lard or poultry. In addition, vegetable fats are often contained in the form of oils, such as thistle oil, corn or sunflower oil.
Carbohydrates are also an important source of energy. Starch counts as a type of sugar, which is particularly important in dog nutrition.
Proteins , however, are needed for cell building and tissue regeneration. Young dogs need more proteins than adult dogs.
Important vitamins for dogs include vitamins A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6 and B12. Vitamin C also occurs in the organism, but is produced in the body of the dog. Intake is not required in normal healthy dogs, and may even be detrimental.
Important trace elements that the dog needs include iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt, fluorine and selenium.
It is important to know that both a lack of nutrients and an oversupply in the dog can cause various complaints and illnesses. This can be recognized, for example, by the trace element iron. In order to maintain healthy body function, the supply of iron through the diet is required. However, an overdose can also be toxic.
The Amount of Feed
Healthy dog nutrition is made up of all the important nutrients. The right dose of nutrients, but also the amount is crucial. The individual needs of the animal are to be considered, because every dog is different.
The following factors should be considered:
- weight and height
- the activity
- pregnant or nursing dogs
These factors can not only affect the amount, but also the nutrient composition.
The weight and size of a dog can be easily determined. However, a small dog needs relatively more food than a large quadruped. Many experts assume that a medium-sized, normally active dog must consume about 57 kilocalories per kilo of body weight daily. In small dog breeds, the amount of kilocalories per body weight can be significantly higher.
And even pregnant or lactating bitches and puppies are dependent on more food. But that changes with age. For example, older dogs often require less food, but in particularly old dogs the need for certain nutrients increases again.
To find out the right amount, you can stick to the manufacturer’s specifications for ready-made food. These provide exact feeding recommendations for each feed. Homemade feed requires a precise calculation.
Recognize Good Dog Food
Good dog food contains all the essential nutrients in balanced composition. A look at the ingredients list can provide information. Based on the order of ingredients listed, it can be seen how the ratio in the finished product is composed.
Ingredients such as meat flours and herbal ingredients speak for high-quality ingredients. However, preservatives, colors and flavorings are not included. Also on sugar or genetically modified ingredients can be dispensed with the health of the dog.
Often the terms crude ash and crude fiber are on the packaging. Raw ash is an inorganic component. This would be left over if the feed burned at high temperatures. Raw ash is composed of different components such as salts and minerals. Three to five percent crude ash in dog food usually speak for a high-quality feed.
Increased amounts should not occur in the feed. Because the increased intake can cause health problems, such as kidney damage or tartar. Raw fiber is on the list of ingredients, however, for the included fiber. These are needed by the dog for digestion. A share of two to three percent crude fiber is considered optimal. For diet or senior food, higher levels of crude fiber may also be considered.
If the feed is declared as complete food, then your animal needs no further feed. This food then contains all the important ingredients as well as vitamins and minerals in sufficient quantities. Supplementary feed, on the other hand, can not be used as the sole feed, but merely serves as a supplementary diet.
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Advantages and disadvantages of dry or canned food
In the dog food is offered in a variety of variations. Before you decide on a manufacturer and a variety, it is often the decision between the dry food and canned or wet food. Both dry and canned food is available in different qualities. With both alternatives, you can opt for high-quality food.
Dry and canned food differs above all in the water content . In dry food, the water content is often only a few percent, while it is often in canned food at 40, 60 percent and higher.
The advantage of dry food is often that it is often cheaper to buy. Because dry food is more energetic, which means your dog will consume less amounts of food. As a result, not so large quantities must be purchased.
The packaging often consists of large bags or boxes, which can be avoided by packaging canned food and bowls. One of the other advantages is that the food does not stick to your teeth. Whether the solid components promote the abrasion of dental plaque , however, is controversial.
The benefits of wet food are often acceptable. Canned food usually tastes more intense, which makes many dogs prefer the taste. Due to the high water content, wet food is particularly suitable for dogs who drink little water. Obese dogs can benefit from a further advantage in particular. From wet food, dogs can at least consume more in quantity, without the required calorie intake is exceeded.
Both types of feed thus have their own advantages and disadvantages. As a dog owner, you can freely decide which benefits outweigh you. The choice in dog nutrition does not have to be limited to the feeding of wet or dry food, but a mix of both variants is also possible.
Barf as an alternative to ready-made feed
Barfen represents an alternative for feeding with ready-made animal feed. BARF stands for ” b iologisch a rtgerechtes r OHES F utter”, ” b ones a nd r aw f ood” (bone and raw food) or ” b orn a gain r aw f eeder’s “(reborn raw feeders).
Also with this special nutritional form for dogs is put on the natural menu. Raw feed, as the animal would find in its original habitat, is preferred. Thus, the diet at Barfen is mainly composed of raw meat and offal.
In addition, some bones are fed. The diet is supplemented by small amounts of vegetable foods, such as fruits, vegetables and cereals. Supplements can optimize the vitamin and mineral balance.
In particular, when dogs suffer from diseases or intolerances, they can often benefit from the barf. As a pet owner, you have control over the selection of natural and untreated ingredients and can feed your pet exactly what it can. Unwanted ingredients can be easily eliminated. Many supporters of this diet also see the benefits in that the dogs are fed particularly healthy and healthy.
In addition to the advantages, there are also the disadvantages to be considered at the barfen, because on the raw food, the dog can absorb pathogens. Thus, viruses and bacteria, such as salmonella, killed during cooking, which can be avoided food infections. In this special diet without cooking, it depends on a good meat selection and meticulous hygiene during preparation and storage.
In addition, feeding bones is often viewed skeptically. Because on brittle and splintering bones, the animals can seriously injured and even internal injuries can be a result.
Fixed feed times without constant feed change
If possible, your dog should be fed at fixed times so that he can get used to it. Ideal is the feeding after exercise and exercise. This gives your dog the opportunity to rest after a meal. The digestive system can then work peacefully.
How often a dog should be fed depends in particular on the size of the dog. For a medium-sized dog, one to two solid meals a day are sufficient during normal activity. Especially large dogs often need smaller but distributed meals throughout the day. The digestive tract of these dogs often responds sensitively, which facilitates digestion through repeated but small amounts of food. This also applies to very small dogs. The feeding of twice a day is often advised in small dog breeds.
Important in dog nutrition is that the food should not be changed constantly. Because this puts a heavy burden on the digestive system. Digestive problems can be the result. If you have decided on a type of dog nutrition, you should stick to it. Even switching between feeds of different brands and thus often different qualities can be a burden. If a change of diet is necessary, then you should do this slowly, so that the digestive system of the animal can get used to it. This is possible by gradually adding the new feed to the familiar feed, until it can be completely replaced after a few weeks. In puppies, it can be helpful if you ask the breeder about the previous food,
Provide water constantly
Unlike food, you should always provide your dog with water. How much your dog has to drink depends in particular on the type of feed and – as with the feed – on its weight, the activity and not least on the temperatures and humidity. The need for dry food is much higher than for wet food. In any case, your dog has to drink additional water daily for food. If he is healthy, he will regulate the amount of drink himself and not drink more than needed. On the other hand, if your pet drinks too much, it may indicate different illnesses. This should be clarified by a veterinarian.
Treats as a small reward
Treats are not a dietary supplement, they serve as a small reward for in between. They can be specifically used for training, but should be given only in moderation, so that the four-legged hear even when there is no treat to reward. Whatever the purpose and intended use, treats for dogs should be carefully selected. Not everything a human can tolerate is good for the dog as well. For example, you should not treat dogs with sweets like chocolate, chips or wine gum as treats.
Human food is not suitable for dogs
Some pet owners think it is good with the dog and give it in between food and leftovers to eat. But eating human food is not only useless for the dog and can quickly lead to obesity, but also sometimes severe health problems. Because some substances in human eating the animals can not tolerate.
Particularly poisonous for dogs are for example:
- some avocado varieties
- Nuts like macadamia nuts and walnuts
- Caffeine and alcohol
- Chocolate (toxic is the contained theobromine)
- Raisins and grapes (for many dogs, oxalic acid is poisonous)
- raw pork (occurrence of the fatal Aujeszky virus for dogs possible)
- raw beans (phasin, disappears when cooking)
- raw potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants
- Fruit kernels of any kind (hydrocyanic acid in the kernels)
Although the consumption of these and other foods often depends on the amount, so that small quantities are usually not toxic. Nevertheless, the administration of small amounts is also discouraged. Although other foods are not toxic, they are not tolerated by the dog.
Depending on the amount of the consumption but can also lead to serious health complications. These foods include, for example:
- Chicken egg white
- Lactose-containing foods such as milk are often not tolerated
- salty snacks
- Foods with sweetener like xylitol
Bones can also be dangerous to your pet, because if the bones splinter, the animal can get injured. These lists of toxic and incompatible foods are by way of example only and are by no means exhaustive. In the best case, you will not give your dog any food at all, which can help avoid serious mistakes in your diet.
Suitable treats for dogs
There are a number of different dog snacks on the market. Starting with chewing bones over dog biscuits to dog biscuits. But not all snacks are equally suitable for the animal. Some may, especially when consumed regularly lead to obesity or cause dental problems. It always depends on the amount.
As treats are suitable for example:
- Chew bones like buffalo skin
- hard-baked dog biscuits with vegetable fibers
The harder the snacks are, the better the animal can deal with them. At the same time, hard snacks also serve to abrade dental plaque and can therefore be used as a supplement to dental care. In addition to the finished dog snacks, you can also make these yourself. The advantage of home-made dog biscuits is that the ingredients like flour, wholegrain flour, fruit and oil do not cost a lot of money. You can also do it yourself.
Trek N stay is pet blogger and he loves to stay, live with his pet Labradors and a few cats in the house. Trek Loves to write informative articles and his experiences for the people.