Being a new dog owner is rewarding, but it can also prove to be quite challenging, particularly when it comes to feeding your dog. This is because there are so many dog foods now available in the market and choosing the perfect one for your furry friend can be overwhelming.
Aside from this, you also need to think about the amount of food that you need to give your dog, as well as the number of times that you need to feed him. In line with this, below are some expert dog feeding tips that will surely help you as a new pet owner.
Try Controlled Feeding
One of the things that you can for your dog is to try controlled feeding or giving the exact amount of food every day based on their age, weight, as well as nutritional needs.
Thus, you need to know the daily nutritional needs of your dog and you can do this by consulting with a veterinarian. Under a controlled feeding, you are not supposed to leave food out because it is the instinct of your dog to eat it as soon as they are bored, even if they are not hungry.
As part of a controlled feeding measure, also set a feeding schedule for your furry friend. Generally, dogs should be fed twice a day.
However, those with certain medical conditions may need to be fed more frequently. In addition to this, also consider the breed of your dog when it comes to how many times you need to feed them. This is because large breed dogs may require more feedings to meet the calories they need to be compared to medium or small breed dogs.
If you have a pup, you need to start feeding them around three to four times a day in small portions. This will help them digest their food better and keep their energy level consistent.
As soon as they hit three months, you can lessen their feeding frequency into three times a day until they gradually get used to a feeding time twice a day. Exert an extra effort to avoid overfeeding your puppy because when they become overweight, there is a great chance that they become overweight adult dogs in the future.
Adjust Your Dog’s Diet Accordingly
You must adjust your dog’s diet regularly because their nutritional needs tend to change significantly as they age. Refer to various online sources for you to see why this is important, but essentially, puppies are still in the process of development wherein they need foods that will support their developing bodies.
Aside from this, puppies also tend to be more active compared to older dogs, which means that they may need to be fed more frequently.
As much as possible, your dog should have a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. The protein that comes from the food of your dog completes the amino acids necessary to make up their body tissues.
On the other hand, fats give them energy while carbs can power their tissues and keep their intestines healthy. Additionally, vitamins and minerals keep their bones and muscles strong.
Both dry and canned dog foods are packed with these essential nutrients. However, you need to be selective about the brand that you will eventually go with.
Alongside this, it is also important that you keep your dog properly hydrated at all times. For puppies, they must get ample calcium in their diet as well to prevent the development of metabolic bone disease or orthopedic conditions.
Forego Table Scraps
As much as possible, skip giving your dog table scraps because human food isn’t nutritionally balanced for them like dog food is. When you start giving them table scraps, they will get used to it and this can lead to nutritional deficiencies in the long run. Alongside this, avoid giving your pet raw foods, even vegetables.
Regularly Weigh Your Dog
The amount of food that you should give your dog not only depends on their age but also on their weight too. For this reason, you must weigh your dog regularly. You may find this quite easy to do while your dog is still a puppy, but as he gets older, you may need to take him to the vet for an accurate reading. If you know the weight of your dog, you will be able to increase or decrease their food intake accordingly.
Slow Your Dog Down
It can be quite dangerous for a dog to eat rapidly, particularly large breed dogs. In this case, it is a good idea to use a slow feeder bowl or tray to help them chew their food properly during meal times.
In parallel to this, also use a raised feeder, especially for larger dogs to keep their neck in a proper posture. This will reduce the chances that they experience feeding issues such as feeling bloated.
Also, make it a habit to clean your dog’s dishes regularly. If you feed them dry dog food, you can wash their feeder once a week.
However, if you are feeding your dog wet foods, then you should wash their feeder after every meal even if they lick it clean. Go for feeders that are made from stainless steel or ceramic materials rather than plastic ones. The latter tend to absorb odors and bacteria easily.
Just keep in mind to have your dog checked by a vet in case you suspect that he is allergic to a metal feeder.
Dog feeding tips stated above are only some of the things that you can try when it comes to ensuring that your furry friend gets the proper nutrition.
Keep in mind that everything still depends on the type of dog that you have, as well as their existing health conditions.
Thus, the key is in getting to know your dog and getting in touch with a reputable vet for you to have a good idea of what is best for them.