Jan 14th 2023
When you have a dog to look after, there are many elements to their care which are always going to be important. But easily one of the most vital of all will always be the food and how you feed them. Your dog needs a healthy and nutritious diet if they are going to be as healthy as possible, so this is something you really can’t afford to overlook. However, if you are like most dog owners, you will probably find that you have quite a few questions about this.
In this post, we will endeavor to answer all of them. By the end of this guide, you should know everything that you need to know about feeding your dog, so you can ensure that you are keeping them as healthy as you would hope.
Types Of Dog Food
First up, let’s take a look at some of the major types of dog food that there are to be found out there. This alone can make a huge difference to knowing how you are meant to feed your dog. There are actually two main types of dog food that you will need to know about: complete and complementary.
The complete kind contains everything that your dog’s body needs in order to be fully healthy and well. It has all of the nutrients, minerals and so on that they require. As such, it is going to be everything they need. It has the right amount of protein, fats, carbs, and everything else your dog needs for a healthy diet.
In theory, this should provide everything that your dog needs. However, there is also the matter of amounts, and that might not always be right just from a dose of complete dog food. There is also the issue of taste, which is important to get right for your dog’s happiness and mental health. That’s where complementary food comes into the mix.
This is normally served alongside the complete dog food, and it essentially acts as a kind of means of expanding the dog’s diet a little. It is normally in the form of kibble-like food, and you will serve it alongside the complete dog food. So this way, your dog is certainly going to be getting all the nutrients it needs, as well as a good balance of flavor and taste - and even texture.
One of the issues that most dog owners have is knowing how much to feed their dog. This can be quite tough to get your head around, and it's the kind of thing that you will certainly want to research specifically for your dog, but there are rules of thumb and guidelines you can use to help you along too. As it happens, the feeding amount is something that is a lot simpler than people tend to believe.
However, there is no single answer to the question. What it does depend on most of all is the size of the dog. And generally, if you have a bigger dog, you are going to want to make sure that it is getting more food than a smaller dog. In truth, one of the best ways to approach this is to wait until your dog’s next check up at the vet’s and see how much their weight has changed. Then you will know if you have been over- or under-feeding them.
That being said, there are guides out there for the specific breed of dog you might have, so that would be a resource that is worth looking into as well. Make sure you feed them the right amount, in any case.
Read The Label
It’s always a good idea to read the label of any new food that you are feeding your dog. You might think that it is surely all good for them and doesn’t really matter which brand you use, but that is not quite the case. In truth, there are a lot of different ingredients that you might soon come to realize your dog doesn’t enjoy or isn’t that good for them, and some brands are definitely better than other ones.
The simple act of having a quick read of the label can therefore save your dog a lot of trouble, and help to ensure that you are keeping them a lot healthier in general. So this is something that you should make into a habit every time you try out a new type of dog food. Of course, soon enough you should find that you can land on one or two brands that seem to work best, and then that will make this a lot easier and simpler.
Feeding Them Human Food
From time to time, you might wonder whether you can share your dinner with your dog, or otherwise get rid of some leftovers by tipping them into the dog bowl. This is something that a lot of dog owners do, and provided that you are careful about it, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, you need to know about which foods you can feed them, which you can’t, and how much of the stuff you can that you should give them.
There are certain no-gos, such as chocolate, which you should never feed to your dog. But then there are some human foods which are surprisingly nutritious, such as oatmeal. Check out https://www.nextritionpet.com/blogs/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-oatmeal if you don’t believe me - it’s actually really good for them. But again, you need to make sure you are doing it sparingly.
In general, then, take care, but do be aware that there are some foods you can use to actually expand out and balance their diet quite well, so it’s well worth giving that a go from time to time.
There you have it. As long as you bear all that in mind, you should find that you are feeding your dog a lot better, and that their physical and mental health improves greatly as a result.