We all love our furry friends and want to make sure if they are getting their daily dose of nutrition correctly. So, the most common question asked to a vet is, “what should I feed my dog?”. A well-balanced diet is essential for a dog’s health, so you need to understand their nutritional requirements. Here are some guidelines about how to give dogs their supplements and foods properly.
All about dog supplements :
Supplements help to fill up the gap in nutritional intake. It applies to both humans and dogs. Dog foods are fortified and often contain the nutrients a dog needs. But the nutrition requirements may vary because of the dog’s age or health condition. Supplements are also vital if the dog is provided with homemade food. And when the dog ages, the question arises, “Do dogs need joint supplements?”
According to a journal, one-third of the U.S dogs and cats receive dietary supplements. American Veterinary Medical Association published a journal that states that supplements support arthritic joints and fatty acids to reduce shedding and improve coat’s shine. So, supplements are beneficial to dogs’ health, but too much vitamin and minerals can be harmful to dogs. Consultation with the pet’s veterinarian is needed in case of giving supplements.
Some supplements that can improve dogs health are :
- Multivitamins: Like humans, dogs also need vitamins and a few other minerals. Giving them multivitamins can help to ensure a balanced diet. It’s easy to administer doses in the form of chew. It also covers a wide range of nutrients. But it can lead to overdoses if it is not operated carefully.
- Antioxidant: Antioxidants are essential to creating a healthy immune system. Vitamin C, E, and zinc work as antioxidants and help to relieve stress. It also helps to support mental function, agility, and memory in older dogs. Caregivers should be careful not to give overdose as it can harm dogs’ health.
- Omega 3 fatty acid: They are useful for healthy skin and fur, healthy heart, and other cognitive functions. If administered correctly, it also helps dogs with allergies.
- Glucosamine: It is naturally found in the cartilage of joints in both humans and dogs. Cartilage is hampered when dogs or humans have arthritis. Supplements that include Glucosamine relieve the pain caused by the degradation of cartilage in joints. It also helps in speedy joint recovery after any surgery or injury. But as it is sugar-based, it should be carefully administered to dogs with diabetes.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are good bacteria that help digestive systems and prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing. It increases the frequency and quality of stool in dogs that have sensitive digestive systems. Probiotics are a live culture and can be destroyed in temperatures over 70 degrees. So probiotic supplements should be applied in food after cooking. Also, doses of this supplement should be carefully monitored as overdoses cause digestive problems like diarrhea.
Many questions arise when it comes to feeding the dog, like “what do I feed my dog?”, “which is better? Canned or homemade meals?” “How often should I feed my dog?” etc. etc. Here’s some general rule of thumbs about feeding the dog.
- What to feed Dogs: As dogs are omnivorous, they can survive on vegetarian meals and protein-based meals. Their feeding mostly depends on their age and health condition. They are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are easily digestible when cooked. Nonetheless, an adult dog should get at least 10% of the daily calories from meat. When it comes to choosing homemade food or commercial food, it depends on the dog owner’s choice. Homemade meals are getting more popular than commercial ones. But it may be a hassle to prepare food on a busy schedule. So, a combination of processed and homemade food can balance both dog owners’ schedules and the dog’s diet. Pet nutritionists recommend a mixed diet where 50% of calories will come from dry food, and the other 50% will come from wet food.
- What to look for in dog food: Dog owners always try to feed the highest quality of food they can afford. When choosing dog food, scanning the list of ingredients is a must. If the list contains many unrecognized ingredients, that product should be avoided. Diets with real, whole, and familiar ingredients are preferable. It is also important to see if the food has FDA approval. Also, selecting a low-calorie diet is important; the ideal amount is less than 350ncalories per cup. You should also check if the dog’s food covers the nutritional guidelines developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Your dog’s specific need based on its age, weight, activity, and health condition always helps to select food.
- How often to feed a dog: How much food should a dog eat depends on the type of food it is eating, number of meals, body weight, exercise, metabolic rate, and health condition. Using a calorie calculator may help determine the amount of food to be fed. Generally, two times a day is normal, but breakfast lunch and dinner is also a good option.
It is necessary to make sure the dog has access to drinking water all the time. Knowing your dog’s allergy is important. Dietary diversity is beneficial to maintain a healthy food habit. Knowing what the dog is eating is crucial if the dog owner is giving supplements in the dog’s nutritional intake. A proper combination of supplements and a healthy diet can ensure a furry friend’s long and healthy life.