all you need to know about feeding your dog

All you need to know about feeding your dog

Whether you’ve recently got yourself a companion, or have had a dog for a long time, here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog and whether you are doing it right.

Is Puppy food different from adult dog food?
Yes! It has more calories and vitamins than adult dog food. Your puppy has to eat puppy food until his first birthday. If he’s a large or huge breed, like a golden retriever or Great Dane, choose a food especially for large breed puppies, and give it to him until he’s 12-18 months old.

How much should I feed my dog?
Check what it says on the dog food package. Then feed more or less depending on how lazy, or active, your dog is. In case your dog sleeps most of the day, he may need 10% less than average. But if he spends his days chasing squirrels outside, he might need up to 40% more to maintain a healthy weight. You can give food to your adult dog once or twice a day or you can calculate the perfect food portions for your pet.

Are table scraps OK?
Dogs like to beg, and it’s OK to give in to those puppy eyes, but only once in a while. Table scraps and other treats have to make up 10% or less of your dog’s diet. Avoid giving him more than 2 small biscuits a day for every cup of food. More than that can lead to pickiness and an overweight dog.

Dangerous foods for dogs
Who can resist these big brown eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a small reward from the table or getting into Mom or Dad’s stuff really hurt your dog? Well, this depends on what it is and what’s in it. In fact, there are several foods your dog should never eat and are absolutely dangerous for dogs and some of these common foods may surprise you.
– Avocado
– Alcohol
– Gums
– Onion and garlic
– Coffee, tea
– Grapes and raisins
– Milk and other dairy products
– Nuts
– Chocolate
– Bones
– Peaches and plums
– Raw eggs, meat, and fish
– Salt
– Sugary foods and drinks
– Yeast dough
– Xylitol

What can dogs eat?
You can make sure your dog has a healthy, well-balanced diet by asking your vet to recommend a quality dog food. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes give your dog people food as a special delight. Only give him a bit. Make sure that the foods are cooked, pure, and not fatty or heavily seasoned. Here are some ideas:
– Lean cooked meats
– Fruits like watermelon with no seeds, apples, oranges, and bananas
– Vegetables like cucumber, zucchini, green beans, and raw potato
– Cooked pasta and rice

Dry or wet food?
Either give your dog a healthy, complete diet. Canned food may be tastier and helps your dog stay hydrated so it’s good for picky eaters. Dry makes for more solid poop, that means easier cleanup for you. In addition, dry food is usually less expensive.

What should I look for on the label?
The most essential words are “complete and balanced nutrition.” That means your dog will get a healthy diet from his food, and won’t need supplements or vitamins.

Are there benefits to raw meat?
Pet owners often hate or love the idea of feeding their dog raw meat. There’s not enough research that shows it’s better than dog food you buy at the store. And it may cause health risks to your dog and your family. Raw eggs and meat carry bacteria, like salmonella, that can make your dog and family sick. And raw meat often has bones, which can lead to broken teeth and stomach problems.

Can I make my own dog food?
Few dogs won’t eat store-bought dog food or don’t do well with it. You can make your own food with some help. It’s important to balance the proteins and carbs, like beef and pasta, chicken, and rice, with other necessary ingredients so you make sure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs.

Can dogs have food allergies?
Yes, but don’t blame a diet change. Dogs get allergies eventually, to things they’ve been eating for a while. The most common causes? Proteins in beef, chicken, wheat, dairy products, soy, and eggs. Allergies can cause itchy skin, ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, or hair loss. Ask your vet for help.

Can I change my dog’s food?
It seems boring to us, but dogs get used to eating the same food daily and so do their stomachs. Switching foods quickly can cause a problem. To change your dog’s diet, blend the new food with the old over about 7-14 days, progressively giving him more of the new. But don’t switch too often. It can turn your dog into a picky eater or lead to weight problems.

Why is your dog vomiting?
Dogs can throw up for several reasons:
– You’ve just changed what he usually eats.
– He has a food allergy.
– He has eaten something bad or he has eaten his dinner too quickly.
If your dog throws up once, it’s nothing to worry about. But if he vomits too frequently, talk to your vet.

Is there any help with gas?
If your dog often has gas, diet changes can help:
– Leave out the table scraps.
– Avoid giving him some foods like cheese that can make gas worse.
– If your dog gulps down his food, try dividing it into several small meals a day. Gulping food can make him gassy, causing him to burp or toot.
– Ask your vet for a food that is simple on his tummy.

We hope we were able to answer all your questions about your dog’s nutrition. If you’re interested in knowing tips about feeding a cat, click here.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

Author Info

Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian

Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian dedicates some of her time to address us through the various media outlets and provide answers to our questions. As a prominent professional in the field of dietetics, Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian is frequently hosted on several local and international television and radio stations to offer up to date advice and tips on health and nutrition. Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian is a writer and nutrition consultant for a variety of written publications, both print and online magazines and newspapers.
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