Whether you have just brought home a new dog for the first time or you are re-examining your dog’s diet in light of the news of food recalls or health problems your dog is experiencing, it can be overwhelming to decide how you should feed your dog. Here are some tips to help you learn how to feed your dog.
1. Make an Investment
Your dog’s diet is an investment into their health. It can be shocking to consider the difference in prices between the lowest-quality dog food and the highest-quality foods.
Although these foods may have ingredient lists that seem similar, there are some meaningful differences between the highest and lowest-quality dog foods. Here are some potential problems with many dry and wet dog food:
Most commercial dog foods are made with feed-grade ingredients, not human-grade ingredients. Feed-grade ingredients are allowed to have many more impurities than we would tolerate in our own food.
- Drugs. Drugs like antibiotics and even euthanasia drugs may be found in the meat used to make feed-grade dog food.
- Preservatives. Preservatives that have been forbidden in use for human foods are still regularly used in dog food.
- Mold. Toxins from mold are tolerated to some degree in both human and feed quality food, but much more toxin is tolerated in dog food.
2. Choose Whole, Fresh Food
The best food for your dog will not come in a bag of dehydrated kibble or a can of fatty wet food. Fresh fruit, vegetable, whole grain, and organ meat dog food set your dog up for success in their diet.
Your dog will be able to access many more vitamins and minerals and get a better balanced source of protein and carbohydrates in quality fresh foods like this than they ever could from heavily preserved packaged foods.
3. Feed Frequently
Most experts agree that it is best to feed your dog more than once a day. The more often seems to be the better, as long as it is convenient for your schedule. Around three or four times is sufficient for most dogs. Feeding your dog frequently has a few crucial advantages:
Bloat is a painful, dangerous, and potentially deadly condition that dogs may experience. Large dogs, especially those with deep chests, are more likely to be predisposed to the condition, but all kinds of dogs can get it. Feeding your dog multiple times a day and keeping them from exercising after feeding time seems to reduce the possibility of bloat.
Feeding your dog frequently from a food distributing toy offers entertainment as well as food. If your dog is obsessed with feeding times and bored during the day, a food toy can help. Feed your dog throughout the day with a food toy to even out their excitement and provide entertainment.
Maintain Ideal Weight
If your dog begs for treats, you may be tempted to give in, which can result in them eating more than they should. Use your dog’s regular kibble as treats and feed throughout the day. Using kibble as treats means that you can still reward your dog. However, your dog won’t feel as hungry throughout the day and they won’t end up getting a bunch of extra treats.
Feed Your Dog Well
Feeding is an important aspect of your life with your dog. The food you choose, when you offer food, and how you give food, all affect your dog’s life in significant ways.
Choose the highest quality food that you can afford and feed more frequently to keep your dog healthier. Provide your dog with a food distributing toy to provide entertainment for them throughout the day and prevent dogs from obsessing over mealtimes.