Are You Wondering What to Feed Your Dog? How Often? When?
What to feed your dog, how often and when are common questions for the new dog owner.
Guest writer Juana Cruz sheds some light:
Dogs Require Different Dietary Needs
Do you remember when you had your first baby? Or if you can't relate to that, how about when you had a baby brother or sister for the first time? That baby had no teeth, right? And all he or she had to consume was milk, milk and just milk!
You see, dogs are like that, too.
They require various dietary and nutritional needs at different ages.
That means, your pet does not have to be fed with vegetables and a lot of meat or fish the moment he was born in the world. Like humans, your dog needs more of a certain nutrient than anything else, and as he grows, his nutritional needs change.
What to feed your dog:
To explain this further, let's take a look at a puppy first.
A young puppy that has yet to learn habits, traits and other 'rules' at home is at a young, development stage, where everything about him has yet to grow and develop - in terms of his physical traits, emotions,intelligence and physiological functions.
In fact, your pup needs lots of protein, fat and carbohydrates for his body and its organs to develop further and also because they move a lot more than adult dogs.
Moreover, puppies have to be fed more frequently because they are at a stage where their bodies require more and more nutrients in order to grow.
Remember your baby? Babies and pups are not that different from each other at this stage.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, need some amounts of nutrients, too. Of course, they do.
It's just that, they are less demanding than those puppies since they are already grown. But it does not mean you can relax.
Elder dogs can be fed with boiled eggs, some protein-based source like meat or fish, and some veggies to supply their bodies with nutrients they need every day.
However, excess amounts of protein are not advisable because it might harm his renal structure and eventually, his kidneys.
Likewise, nutrients like the water-soluble variety, thiamine, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and essential fatty acids should be in his meals each day.
To ensure that he has the right amounts of these nutrients daily, some vets recommend that you feed him homemade dog food.
Commercially-made dog food has ingredients which may be harmful to your pet, has artificial colorings and preservatives, trans fat, salt and other ingredients which are not only useless, but may cause your dog to have food allergies and other serious health consequences.
And besides, homemade dog food are easy to make and much more delicious than canned ones.
Female dogs that just gave birth to puppies need to have a daily
supply of certain nutrients because their puppies depend on them for nutrition and survival. Hence, they must have adequate levels of calcium to promote bone growth in her offspring, as well as zinc, phosphorus and essential fatty acids.
Your Dog's Feeding Times
How often you should feed your pet depends on age. A puppy that is just one to six weeks old will be still nursing. If the mother isn’t available, then you talk with your vet to discover what type of milk substitute you need to be feeding. He’ll need to eat throughout the day—5-6 times.
When he turns six weeks old, you can feed him less often and start introducing solid food into his diet. Hence, mix the solid food with water to soften it up and feed your puppy once or twice in the beginning and if the dog develops some diarrhea, then go back to the milk mixture.
Puppies will usually need to be fed throughout the day. Adults can thrive on once a day on a good quality diet.
When the dog turns three to six months old, he will begin teething. Limit the feeding times to two while balancing the nutrition and prevent any deficiency.
And when the pet becomes anywhere between six months and one year old, you can provide him with solid food. Onwards, the feeding times can be less frequent. This is true with elder dogs that need to be given food less often because of their restricted movements.
Pregnant and nursing dogs, on the other hand, must be given proper attention by feeding more frequent feedings.
These are only some helpful advice to remember when feeding your dog.
Remember to visit your vet for advice on what to feed your dog when you have questions about feeding your pet, and be sure to always feed your dog with meals with the right nutrients.
Juana Cruz invites you to sign up for her special mini ecourse called, "23 Fun Ways To Spoil Your Dog Under $10". Sign up now to know the little-known, easy and practical ways to pamper your pet everyday -even if you're on a tight budget at http://www.doggiecareiseasy.co.cc.