It’s important we keep our dogs in the best shape possible and to do this we need to focus on their nutrition, as just like how humans are what they eat – so are dog’s, and there’s a lot of overly processed food on the shelves that is akin to humans eating processed food.
Nutrition plays a large role in your dog’s health and happiness, indeed, poor nutrition has even been linked to depression in dogs, and other behavioural problems such as chewing furniture, in which case you’ll want to invest in an indestructable dog bed that is chew proof.
In essence, canine nutrition is much more important than we tend to first realise, and whilst not everything can be solved by diet, nutrition can play a large part in preventing and managing common health conditions.
This article therefore focuses on doggy diets, not so much in the sense of losing weight, but in the context of practical feeding tips, as it’s easy to forget the impact food has on our pets health, particularly when it comes to aspects such as the human food we often dish out under the table, so they can join in on the family meal. Often this is given out of love from a caring owner, but with potentially catastrophic results if you were to feed the wrong human food such as avocado, chocolate or onion.
It can be hard to look after a dog, particularly with a busy schedule, as there is a huge time commitment involved. However, looking after your dog’s diet doesn’t need to take any extra time; it’s just about being mindful to a few simple principles – some of which are listed below.
- HUMAN FOOD
It can be hard to resist the tail wag that comes at the end of dinner, as your dog sits there patiently with those doting eyes that plead with you to finish off your leftovers.
In fact, it can feel almost cruel not to succumb to those ‘starved’ eyes that gaze into your heart with a view to melting it, but from a dietary perspective it would appear tough love is the kindest approach in the long run, as human food isn’t always good for dogs.
- TOXIC FOOD
Furthermore, there are a number of human foods that are poisonous to dogs – including chocolate and avocado. It’s therefore important to know what is and isn’t toxic to your dog before dishing out human food.
- DISCARD THE HYPE AND CHECK OUT THE LABEL
There’s a lot of marketing hype around dog food, much the same as processed human food – the nutritional claims are often dubious and require a little further investigation; for instance, a lot of dog food is heavily processed and full of “fillers” rather than high protein meat.
In the same way you wouldn’t give children too much candy too many treats can be similarly unhealthy for your dog. That said, offering treat based rewards can be a fantastic way to train your dog; but try to find healthy alternatives as treats don’t need to be unhealthy.
- DO NOT OVERFEED
We have a tendency to overfeed our dogs, often as a way of expressing our love, yet this can lead to an overweight dog with numerous health problems including diabetes.
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