Good nutrition is a determining factor to keep your dog healthy and disease-free. Through it, it is possible to provide the energy you need during the day, while you can ingest the necessary nutrients to maintain a shiny and smooth coat, teeth in perfect condition and their defenses duly strengthened to deal with any type of malaise or pathology.
Implementing good eating habits is the key to ensuring that your dog’s health is in good condition; Therefore, in the following lines, we explain some aspects that you must take into account to keep your dog properly fed.
Canine feeding from the first days
It is clear that feeding a puppy dog is not the same as feeding an adult dog. During the first months of life, the dog burns many more calories because it is in the stage in which it is more active and is growing. This implies that the development of your bones and muscles demand a special type of food, which provides you with the adequate amount of proteins and fluids.
It is essential that the passage from the consumption of breast milk to other types of diets be given after the sixth week and not before. From there, little by little, the diet can be varied to a soft diet. This period is known as weaning and should occur only when we are sure that the puppy can already consume feed composed by their own means.
It is advisable that the veterinarian determine which is the most suitable puppy food for your dog. This type of product can be consumed until the dog reaches its first year of age, with a frequency that can be three times a day for the first six months, and then down to twice daily until it reaches twelve months. After the first year of life, feeding can be given only once a day, unless specifically indicated by the specialist.
Special foods according to the dog breed
There are special diets for puppies according to their breed; thus, the dogs of some small breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier or the Chihuahuas tend to have less appetite than those greedy like the French bulldog, for example. On the other hand, puppies of large breeds must have a specially formulated diet, in order to control obesity and any other type of pathology associated with it.
Commercial feed has a reference table that indicates the recommended daily amount for dogs. It is necessary that the veterinarian determines the exact amount, which should be established according to the daily activity of the animal. At first glance, you can notice if your dog is eating the right amount of food or it is necessary to decrease or increase it.
The nutritional balance of each dog is different and will depend on factors such as their breed, their daily activity or the stage of life in which they find themselves. Each dog is unique and therefore we must pay due attention to your appetite, which can vary from one day to another without it representing a problem. Now, if the lack of appetite remains constant or your body weight has been altered, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian to review it and establish a more accurate diagnosis.
The importance of establishing habits in canine feeding
Whether puppies or adults, determining a specific time to feed the dog is essential to achieve good development. In the case of large breeds, it is necessary to prevent the dog from eating food before performing any type of intense exercise, since it can cause certain stomach pathologies of care. In all cases, it is essential that water consumption is part of your diet.
There are different commercial brands of food for dogs, each with a different nutritional component, which varies, often, according to the quality of the supplies. That is why it is recommended to review the labeling of the product, in order to offer what you really need in your diet. In addition, it is advisable to try foods of different consistencies, both dry and wet, and see which of them accepts it best.
About 25% of dogs that come to the clinic are overweight. This is mainly due to the habit of giving them food outside their hours or feeding them with the same products that we consume when we are at the table. This must be avoided at all costs. Giving in to the food requirements of the dog is a very common mistake among pet owners, which generates, in the long run, multiple health problems.
Special care with feeding in adulthood
When the dog has reached adulthood, its pace of life is much calmer, decreases its activity level and exercises less, having to eat a smaller amount of calories. By having a slower functioning of your metabolism, your food intake decreases, so it is necessary to consume foods low in fat and high in fiber, which facilitate their digestion. In addition, they should be rich in vitamins C and E to strengthen their defenses.
With these considerations, we will be able to give our dog an adequate diet. Establishing consumption habits, determining the type of food according to their age and accompanying the diet with sufficient water, we will be helping to achieve healthy and happy growth. Remember, also, that the advice of a veterinarian is essential to determine the nutritional needs of our dog.
Talking with the specialist about the food we must give is essential to make the right decision, we must not change the diet without having made the consultation with the professional before. Experimenting with new formulas without the supervision of the expert can generate, to our pet, allergies, stomach problems or long periods of inappetence, which we must avoid.