What Do Dogs Eat?
Dogs are also individuals, so a diet that your friend’s dogs are eating might not be the best option when it comes to your dog. We always recommend consulting with a vet to find out what you should be feeding your dog.
Domesticated dogs are mainly carnivores that can eat a few omnivorous foods. Dr. Leigh Davidson from Your Vet Online suggests that the food you are feeding your dog should be balanced and complete for the appropriate life stage, or when your dog has a medical issue.
It is acceptable to only feed your pet a kibble diet. Alternatively, you can also mix their meals up with raw or cooked meat, fish, rice, and vegetables. Also, you may want to treat your dog every now and again with some dog treats.
Some dog owners only feed their dogs a diet of raw meat, and this may suit certain dogs, however, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Dr. Leigh Davidson has suggested the following:
- Only choose human-grade meat since some of the pet bone and meat products contain preservatives. These additives could make your dog sick.
- Practice exceptional food hygiene since there are risks for your dog and you to catch food-borne bacterial infections such as salmonella or campylobacter.
- Ask a veterinary nutritionist to formulate the right diet for your dog. Many of the raw diets might not be appropriately balanced for a medical condition or stages of the dog’s life.
- Small amounts of cooked meats like lamb or boiled chicken can be great for your dog, but make sure you stay away from cooked bones and a toxic substance such as a sauce that contains onions.
- Tinned salmon, tuna, or sardines (in spring water) is a treat you can give your dog occasionally. Make sure you check whether the fish has any bones before feeding the meat to your dog.
- You can also bulk up the meals you feed your dog with raw grated carrots or cooked pumpkin. Dr. Leigh states that many dogs are lacking fibre when it comes to their diets. The addition of grated carrots or cooked pumpkins can help to improve the bowel health of your dog.
- If you feed your dogs raw bones, make sure they do not consume the entire bone since this can result in constipation.
In general, 1 to 2 bones weekly is more than enough to remove plaque or tartar from teeth. The bones must be big enough that it doesn’t fit in your dog’s mouth, and they must always be raw. Cooked bones will splinter and this can result in obstructions in the intestine or internal damage which can prove to be fatal.
How Much Food Does Your Dog Need?
The food amount that a dog needs depend on the age, breed, and size of the dog, and how regularly your pet exercises. It is important to not underfeed or overfeed your dog. If you are unsure, rather take your dog to your vet so that they can assess the dog’s nutrition and diet, their overall health, and the condition or weight of the dog’s body.
It is also important that your dog always has enough water. This means a bowl that is always full and changed out daily for freshwater. Your dog should be allowed to have access to water when they want or need it.
When you assess your dog’s weight and size, rather pay more attention to the dog’s shape opposed to its weight. The ideal shape is a lean body, meaning when you run your hands firmly over each side you can still feel the ribs. The waist area should also be defined. If your dog is overweight it is time to put your pet on a diet. Obesity in dogs can decrease longevity and cause diseases like osteoarthritis. These conditions are totally preventable when you make sure your dog maintains a healthy weight.