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Is There A 'Perfect' Diet For Dogs?
You know what they say, you are what you eat – and the same goes for dogs.
Ultimately dogs need to have a healthy and balanced diet, in the same way their owners do, but is there such thing as a ‘perfect’ diet for dogs?
Your dog's diet is going to have a lot to do with their breed. There are over 200 breeds recognised by the Kennel Club – these breeds vary substantially in size, purpose, conformation and genetics.
For example, if you are currently searching through pugs for sale – to add a new furry, four-legged member to your family, but already have a weimaraner – then when you find the right one, the diet of your two dogs will be significantly different.
You will find that some food is designed specifically for certain breeds – choose the one for your dog to guarantee they are getting what they need. It is also worth spending a bit more money on this to make sure they are getting the highest quality ingredients.
As well as size, your dog should also be eating a diet suitable for their age, lifestyle and health status.
There are many different feeding regimes to choose from – dry complete diets, semi-moist or tinned dog food with or without biscuit mixer, and home-made food.
There are also items of food you definitely should not be including in your dog's diet. You may be tempted to feed your dog from your plate – either leftovers or by cooking a little extra for them. But, bear in mind, while the likes of carrots and broccoli will add to their healthy and balanced diet, there is food that can be harmful, if not fatal to dogs. The likes of chocolate, grapes, raisins, raw meat, avocados and macadamia nuts are all big no-no’s!
Human meals will not provide dogs with the nutrition they need, so while this is ok – it should be done in moderation, alongside specific dog food.
If you do change your dog's diet, you should do so gradually over a couple of weeks, to avoid any upset stomachs. You may find that you need to adjust how much you feed your dog so they don’t become overweight or underweight.
It might not be the nicest job, but keep an eye on your pet when they go to the toilet – the most suitable diet should be easy to digest and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools.
Outside of dinner time, you may want to provide your dog with treats – avoid actual bones and instead look for the likes of Milky Bones, which are rich in calcium.
Alongside food, it is very important to make sure that water is always available for your dog. Never take the water bowl away and make sure it is always full with fresh, clean water – particularly during the summer, when they will be suffering due to the heat.
What you need to do is find the ‘perfect’ diet for your dog - that is healthly and balanced, taking in several factors including their breed and therefore their size and conformation, as well as their age, lifestyle and health.