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Making sure that your pup eats healthy dog food is very important for your furry friend’s health. However, it can easily slip under your radar when you are busy taking care of your kids and working. Here are some handy tips to ensure that your dog is getting the best nutrition.Here are five easy tips to keep your dog healthy and happy, even when you’re running around after the kids! Click To Tweet
Keep an eye out for these symptoms
Much like humans, dogs often exhibit certain symptoms if they are malnourished, underweight, or have gastrointestinal problems. This veterinarian in Knoxville TN suggests that you keep an eye out for any loss of appetite, sudden change in energy levels, constant licking of paws, frequent belching or regurgitation after a meal, consistently loose stools, red or inflamed skin, dull coat, or excessive shedding.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that its diet needs to be changed.
Keep in mind your dog’s size
Although some pet food brands might try to convince you that you should buy food specifically for your dog’s breed, in reality, most dogs will fare just fine on a mixture of non-breed-specific wet and dry dog food.
Rather than your dog’s specific breed, what matters is their size. A puppy will need less food than an adult dog, and a chihuahua will obviously consume a lot less than a husky. Older dogs, who tend to be less physically active, will require a slight reduction in their food intake. On the other hand, pregnant dogs will need slightly more food than usual.
Learn to read dog nutrition labels
Like food for humans, pet food is labeled with information such as the list of ingredients and the product’s nutritional value. Even just the name of the product can tell you a lot about its nutritional content: if the product name is ‘beef’ this means that at least 70 percent of the content needs to be beef, whereas terms like “beef dinner,” “beef entrée” or “beef platter” only require 10 percent of beef.
Avoid products labeled “with beef” or “beef flavor,” as they will have less than 3 percent beef content. In the United States, look for dog food that carries the statement “(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles,” as this will be well-balanced food that meets strict certification requirements.
Feed a high-quality dog food
While it’s true that your dog does not need to eat as much as a human, you still don’t want to feed him cheap, low-quality food. Cheap fillers such as ground corn and soybeans are found in many bulk dog foods because they are extremely cheap. While these ingredients might be fine for household pets, your pet will benefit from a higher-quality diet.
If you have been feeding your dog low-quality food for some time, gradually switch him over to a more expensive brand by introducing the new food bit by bit until he is used to it.
Keep in mind that when choosing dry or wet food for dogs, there is no huge difference nutritionally. It is far more important to look at the ingredients than the type of food. However, if you prefer wet food but your dog does not like it, you can offer it as a treat or store-bought meal.
If feeding your pup wet food, ensure that there are no added sugars in the ingredients list.
Limit the number of treats in your dog diet plan
While you might love to give your dog treats, make sure that they don’t make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily food intake. Although dog treats might be slightly more nutritious than human treats (looking at you, donuts), they still don’t constitute a balanced meal. Your dog might become overweight if you feed them too many treats which are high in calories.
Also, be careful about sharing your food with your dog. Some human foods—such as onion and garlic—can cause gastrointestinal problems, anemia, and other conditions.
Your dog is a member of the family and deserves good nutrition. They need to eat healthy foods that will keep them happy, energetic, and in peak condition.
Have you tried any dog nutrition supplements?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.