Pet Food - The Basics

By Pauline Sirrell

A dog is a man’s best friend.

You do everything you can to maintain your optimum health.
Doesn’t your best friend deserve the same? Your dog is an active
(rather the most active) member of your family and needs the same,
if not more attention to health and nutrition as you do, to stay
healthy, and live longer.

After all it’s very easy to get lost in a big pet store.
The sea of products that we have today, aisle after aisle is
very confusing and also time consuming. However keeping your dog
healthy need not be a career option for you. All we need to use is a
little commonsense and good information regarding the breed and age of
your dog.

Let’s divide the dogs into two categories – small & adult.

For Small Dogs & Puppies

It has long been established and proven that small dogs have a different
metabolism as compared to large dogs, due to physiologic effect of their body mass.
For ex., Great Dane weighing 100 pounds needs to consume about 23 calories per pound of body weight. Pomeranian weighing 6 pounds needs to consume 47 calories per pound of body weight every day-more than twice as much!

As owner of a small dog, you need to be certain that your dog’s energy needs are being satisfied.

Be sure to choose a diet that's been formulated properly with optimal balance of highly digestible nutrients. Digestibility determines how much your dog can actually utilize each nutrient in a diet.

Puppies require almost twice or thrice as much food as adult dogs per pound of weight. To keep up their energy levels, they have to be fed as frequently as three to four times till they are six months of age.

Diet is always the key to raising your children or puppies. The diet should be balanced, nutrient rich, should contain high levels of phosphorous and calcium and be highly digestible. It should also contain high-quality proteins. This would ensure that the puppy develops strong bones, muscle and tissue.

For Adult Dogs

Your dog, like you, needs a combination of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water in a balanced diet to meet their daily needs. A lot of dog food bags claim they are in themselves complete food.

Dog foods must also consist of mineral and vitamin supplements in a balanced form. The proportions should be accurate so that they do not interfere with each other in your dogs system. This would provide maximum benefit to your dog.

If the food consists of one ingredient in overdose and the other in lower doses, it could have an adverse affect on your dog's health.

Given below are some feeding tips to make chow time more pleasant:

Always keep the food dish clean.

Feed adult dogs twice a day to prevent hogging at one single meal and lessens the chance of your dog developing bloat or stomach torsion.

Feeding Schedule should be relaxed so that your dog knows the meal time but will not bother you if you are a little late.

Keep children/other animals away from your dog while feeding, so that he does not get insecure and feel a need to defend his food.

Never play with your dog with his dish, better to teach him/her manners instead.

Leave the dish for 15 minutes so that he licks it clean.

In case of any more information and help, please visit Pauline Sirrell is a Siberian Husky lover, owner and show judge. She has also worked in greyhound kennels for over 20 years. Pauline is also the webmaster for which sells supplies and supplements for pets, she is also registered with the RPSGB Animal Medical Inspectorate and is PML qualified. Article Source: