When it comes to food, your dog needs and balanced and nutritional diet as well as plenty of clean, fresh water to stay happy an
Humans have their own unique nutritional needs, as do all animals. Cows should eat what cows should eat. Dogs should eat what dogs should eat. And for the most part, your dog shouldn’t eat what you eat.
That’s all clear enough. But what, exactly, should your dog eat? That’s a question that confounds many a dog owner, because there’s lots of conflicting advice out there.
All prepackaged foods that you purchase for your dog should contain the above 4 essentials in the proper quantities and ratios. But unfortunately, you can’t assume that all prepackaged dog foods offer a proper balance of the essentials – because some don’t.
When you’re shopping for dog food, the PFIAA recommends checking the labeling closely. Look for a statement indicating that the food has been prepared to the standards of an internationally recognized organization such as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
The PFIAA offers a couple of additional tips for selecting your dog’s food:
The nutritional concentration of the food should be such that your dog’s nutritional needs are met by eating a reasonable volume of the food. Your dog’s stools should be well formed, not loose, as an indication of the proper nutritional density of the food.
It’s gotta taste good! Doesn’t matter how nutritionally perfect a food might be if your dog doesn’t like it! Your dog should look forward to eating the food. Food that’s just sniffed in disappointment and not eaten obviously has NO nutritional benefit!
A Balanced View
Whenever you do your research about diet, remember that not everything you read on the internet is necessarily true. Here at Love That Pet we hope to provide a balanced view so that you can make your own informed choices. We do not support extreme views and believe that when feeding your pet, moderation is key. We know that you want to feed the best food you can afford to buy, make or prepare in your busy lifestyle.
That being said, some pets do not tolerate a home cooked, high-meat diet and insisting that dogs are basically wolves and should be fed a pure carnivorous diet is narrow-minded. Wolves and dogs parted ways 15,000 years ago, and while the carnivore, omnivore debate rages on, dogs have evolved to essentially forage off human waste rather than kill their prey. However, that doesn’t mean they should be eating out of the rubbish bin either! Just as some pets don’t tolerate processed foods, some do not do well with high fat, meat diets and bones.
If your dog has intermittent or frequent diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss or flatulence, consult with your veterinarian on how to do a proper food trial and get some specific advice on what is best to feed your pet. Every animal is different and a one-sized fits all approach does not always work. Despite what you read on the internet, no vet has ever had their degree paid for by a pet food company, and most are happy to support pet owners whether they want to feed home-made or processed foods. You will get much better advice through your vet than on the internet!
A Combination of Foods
One of the problems with feeding pre-packaged foods, particularly canned foods is that if your pet doesn’t need to chew the food because it is soft or in tiny pieces, his teeth and gums are not getting cleaned. Dental disease is incredibly common and unfortunately diseased teeth lead to disease and chronic infections elsewhere in the body . The main benefit of feeding raw meat, particularly raw meaty bones, is that your pet’s teeth are designed for cutting meat off bones, so as they chew the meat flosses their teeth and keeps gums healthy. Ideally your dog should get something every day that needs thorough chewing, whether that be a raw meaty bone, a pigs ear or a dental chew endorsed by the VOHC.
Dogs are less discerning than humans with what they eat. Unfortunately dogs do not make the connection between something they ate several hours ago and that slight rumbling in the belly, flatulence, nausea or diarrhoea. Rich foods meant for humans can really upset dogs and in some cases lead to pancreatitis (and a $3000 bill at the vet!). They are designed for pretty boring food really. They have only 1706 taste buds, compared to the almost 10,000 taste buds that humans have. Often it is the fat, spices and processed ingredients in our foods that lead to stomach upsets and frequent visits to the vet and all these flavour-enhancers don’t even register with your dog’s less discerning palate.