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How To Ensure That Your Dog Is Eating Healthily

If you own a dog, congratulations! The friendship and bond that can develop between a dog and the owner is truly something special. Dogs make great pets and will stick by your side no matter what happens. In return for the love they show you, you do everything in your power to keep them healthy and happy. One of the most important aspects of taking care of your dog is making sure it has the right diet. It’s a crucial part of your dog’s overall health and can affect every aspect of its life.

1. Proper Equipment

If your dog is highly motivated by food, chances are they eat incredibly fast – and seem like they’re just swallowing their kibble instead of actually chewing it. If this is the case, you might want to look into choosing a slow feeder bowl for your dog. These have ridges that force dogs to eat around the edges of the bowl rather than just scooping up their food and swallowing it down quickly. While people are mostly just at risk of overeating when they get overly zealous about their meals, dogs can get different health issues as a result of this. This is especially true for larger breeds because of the way their stomachs are shaped – gorging on food can cause a dog’s liver to get bloated, heavy, and twist on itself – which can have fatal consequences. Apart from that, it can cause problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis.

2. Adequate Food

There are plenty of commercial food options you can provide for your dog to ensure it has a well-balanced diet. While some people prefer to prepare meals for their pets on their own, it’s not advisable unless you’re a vet that also specializes in canine nutrition. As for commercial food, the first thing you need to do is narrow down your choices based on your dog’s age and size. From there, you’ll want to choose between wet and dry food. Most people find dry food to be the better option for their lifestyle since it’s very nutritious, easy to store, and often times a lot cheaper than wet food. The next step would be reading the label or food declaration on the back of the package. The ingredients are always listed, starting with the nutrients that are present in the largest amount, and ending with the one that has the smallest share. The first thing listed should always be meat-derived protein, followed by vegetables, and then grains. The order of the other ingredients isn’t as important. Of course, if your dog has special dietary needs, opting for veterinary-grade kibble instead of the premium one is the way to go.

3. Meal Times And Portion Size

Just like with people, it’s best if your dog always eats at a similar time because that will help regulate its bowel movements and provide a sense of structure to their lives. Depending on the dog’s age, you’ll want to give them anywhere between 5-3 meals (if they’re under 6 months old), 3-2 meals (at least until the dog’s first birthday), or 1-2 meals per day. When it comes to the quantity of food, it’s always good to start with the amount suggested on the label. That said, being mindful of how active your dog is, as well as what his optimal weight should be will give you an indication as to whether you need to up the dosage, or give him a bit less food. Being underweight is unhealthy for dogs for the same reason it’s unhealthy for people – it means they’re not getting enough nutrients to function properly. However, dogs are more sensitive to being overweight than people, so a healthy diet would mean that it’s able to maintain the ideal weight without much trouble.

4. Regular Weight Tracking

One of the safest ways to ensure your dog is eating healthily is to keep track of its weight. All you need to do is pick it up, step on a weighing scale, put the dog down, and then step on the scale by yourself. If you can’t tell any significant changes in your pet’s weight just by looking at it, you can weigh it once a month. However, if it seems like the dog is gaining or losing weight without an obvious reason – such as being less active than before, or getting extra treats during the holidays – you should measure its weight twice a week. If there are changes on that front, setting an appointment with your vet is a good idea. Otherwise, if nothing seems out of the ordinary, you can look up how much it needs to weigh based on its age and size. From there, with simple math, you can calculate whether or not your dog is getting the right amount of food each day.

Today, because of all the fancy technology that is available to us, the task of feeding the family pet has become much easier. The next time you head out for a bag of food at the store, don’t forget to consider your dog’s age, size, and special dietary needs before making a purchase. After all, in order for your pet to live a healthy life, it’s important that you feed them properly.

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