Feeding your dog is one of your most important responsibilities as a pet parent. The right food can keep your pup healthy, while a diet that’s not properly balanced or full of cheap filler foods can lead to health problems and weight gain.
According to Statista, the global pet food market is projected to expand to a retail value of over $113.9 billion by 2026. Top brands are Mars Petcare, Nestlé Purina, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and J.M. Smucker. But how do you know what’s right and wrong for your puppy? To ensure your dog gets proper nutrition from mealtime, it’s essential to know the dos and don’ts of feeding them.
Do Know it’s Your Responsibility
The responsibility of knowing what is best for your dog is yours alone. The internet can be a great resource, but it’s also full of opinions and advice from people who are not experts. It’s up to you to determine the difference between good or bad advice and how much weight you’ll give it in the end.
So ask yourself this question, if your dog was a person, what would they eat? Would they eat fast food? Would they eat ice cream every day? Of course not. And yet we still see dogs on TV commercials eating Mcdonald’s burgers with fries.
We need to be careful about following trends too much when it comes to feeding our dogs. For example, raw diets have been popularized recently. While they may benefit some dogs greatly by improving their immune system or resolving allergies, other dogs do better with cooking methods that reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
Do Ensure Your Dog Is Good to Go
Before you feed your dog new food, it’s essential to ensure they’re in good health. Check their eyes and teeth for signs of infection or decay. If you notice any sores on the skin or other problems, consult with a veterinarian before starting them on any new diet.
When you’re ready to start feeding your pup some new grub, keep an eye on their weight. Overweight dogs have higher risk factors for developing severe health conditions than those at an average weight or underweight. If possible, consult your veterinarian to determine if they need immediate help losing some pounds and what kind of diet would best suit this goal.
Do Be Conscious of What You Are Offering for Treats
Treats are meant to be a special treat, so it’s best to do your research and put some thought into them. Some treats can be healthy or unhealthy depending on what you feed them. For example, if your dog is allergic to certain foods, then don’t give them as a treat because they will cause an allergic reaction in your dog.
Some good options for treats are carrots, applesauce, and peanut butter with no added sugar. These foods are healthier than other options, such as cheese or chicken jerky, which are full of fat and processed carbs. If you want something more nutritious than those two examples above, try making homemade treats, such as liver bites.
A good tip when making homemade treats is not adding too much salt since this can cause stomach problems down the road if eaten regularly. Always remember that moderation is key when feeding any human food item. If that’s too much of a hassle, you can always pick up healthy treats for your fur baby from an online store like PetCareRx.
Don’t Forget About Portion Control
Regarding portion control, there are two main things to keep in mind. First, how much is your dog eating? It may sound like a silly question, but it’s essential to know the answer and make sure you’re keeping track of what’s going into your mouth.
Moreover, look for the health value of the food you’re feeding. According to a report, in recent times, customers have valued the health aspect of food more than ever. The study revealed that with 12% and 8% claims, high protein and natural claims were most common for most brands. However, don’t fall for these claims alone. If your dog is overweight or underweight, consult your veterinarian before making any changes in their diet.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Fresh Water
Remember that fresh water is essential for your dog’s health. Not only does it help keep your dog hydrated, but it also helps them stay cool when the temperature rises. It is essential for dogs with short muzzles (such as those with snub noses), who can overheat more quickly than other breeds.
You should never give your dog tap water, as many municipal supplies are chlorinated and treated with harmful chemicals to pets. Instead, use bottled or filtered water and always keep a bowl of fresh drinking water on hand. If you have an older pet who doesn’t drink much water anymore, consider adding some low-sodium chicken broth or warm milk to their bowl once in a while to encourage them to consume more fluids without changing their diet too much.
Don’t Hesitate to Take Your Dog to the Vet at the First Sign of Trouble
When your dog is acting sick, take him to the vet. While it may be tempting to try and treat your dog’s symptoms yourself with over-the-counter medications, this can worsen the problem. Your vet can run tests that will help get to the root of what’s wrong with your pup and give him an accurate diagnosis.
If your dog has a severe condition like cancer or diabetes, early treatment makes all the difference in getting back on track with better health. Early detection is critical for most cancers and other severe conditions. If these conditions are left untreated for long periods, they can become fatal before any cure options are explored.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of feeding your dog. According to Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association, there are 17.4 million households with pets. And if you are one of them, then remember, it’s not just about buying the right food. It’s also about paying attention to what that food is doing in the long run. You want to be sure that your pet is getting everything they need from their diet. And one way to do that is by taking note of what happens when they eat too much or too little of something specific like salt.
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