Feeding Your Dog A Proper Diet
Survival for animals and humans depends on a good dietary regimen. You need to meet the basic nutritional requirements with proper proportions of carbohydrates, protein and fat in ones diet in order to promote optimal body weight.
Humans tend to pay attention to their diet for themselves but don't always think to pay attention to their pet's diet. With the growing awareness by veterinarians and dog owners concerning the importance of diet in pets more attention is being given to the content of dog food and dog treats.
Just like humans, your dog needs the right combination of the basic food groups in order to live a long and healthy life. Also, like humans, dogs need a good diet to prevent obesity and all the health problems that come along with being overweight.
Your dog may not get all the essential vitamins and minerals needed in its daily diet so you may want to consider adding minerals and vitamin supplements to their daily intake. With the correct vitamins and minerals in their diet a dog will be able to maintain a shiny, healthy-looking coat as well as be agile and playful for years to come.
Here are some tips to guide you with planning your dog's daily diet:
- Not Just Meat - Even though dogs are carnivorous and they need meat products to help generate growth and energy, they also need fiber to help them digest their food properly. Carbohydrates are also needed to help them with the added energy that they need. You may not find that all of this is provided in the dog food purchased from the markets and will want to supplement occasionally with real foods where meat, fibers and carbohydrates are present.
- Minerals and Vitamins Are Also Needed - Vitamins and minerals are just as important for dogs as they are for humans. They help maintain luster and shine in their coats, provide healthy gums and teeth as well as contribute to their overall general health and well being. Lack of some minerals or vitamins can lead to dry skin problems, frail bones, weight problems, tummy problems and in extreme cases even death.
- Human Food Treats - Dogs really love a lot of foods that humans eat. If you as a human are eating healthy foods then consider your dog when planning your meals. It is just meat that is good for your dog. Include them when planning vegetables also. I learned when I had a dog that developed diabetes that green beans are good to help with blood sugar levels. All my dogs love green beans.
- Mix Wet And Dry - give your dog a mixture of canned food and dry food. Giving them both kinds will often times provide a better nutritional value to their diet.
- Dogs Need Greens Too - We have already mentioned green beans but dogs need other greens in their meals as well. If you live where your dog can run free in grassy areas they will seek out and eat grass that is good for them. Unfortunately many owners do not give their dogs the opportunity to find grass to eat for their health.
- Plenty of Water - Make sure you remember to give your dog fresh, clean water every day. If this is one of the chores assigned to your children, follow up to make sure they complete it.
- Comfortable Bed - Dogs need a good night's rest just like humans do. Provide them with a comfortable bed in their space where they can feel safe getting a good snooze. If you have a dog with arthritis then you may consider one of the orthopedic beds for them. A heated bed is also a good option for those with arthritis or outside dogs in inclement weather conditions.
- Raised Feeder Bowls - Raised dog feeders are good for large dogs and/or dogs with certain health problems, like neck or hip problems.
- Plenty of Exercise - Dogs like to run and play. If you do not have a place where they can run freely then take them for long walks, play ball with them or take them to a park where you can allow them to run freely.
- Love and Companionship - Dogs want to love and be loved. Spend time with your dog. Include them in your daily activities. Cuddle with them. Love and take care of them and they will do the same for you.
Of course you should consult with your veterinarian when you need help with your dogs diet plan. Many veterinarians are open to treatment of problems with your dog by using vitamin and mineral supplements. I have a dog that came from a shelter with hip problems. After trying several different steroid treatments we tried Vitamin E for a few weeks, then Aloe Vera for a few weeks and finally used Bone Meal which did the trick. He is now moving around without a limp and more importantly without pain.