Dogs are a man’s best friend, and knowing what to feed them and getting it right is just one of the ways you can show them how much you love them.
But how can you tell if your dog is getting everything they need from their food? With so many brands of food out there all claiming to be the best thing out there for your dog, it can be difficult to determine what the best type of food is actually best.
Here are some of the ways you can tell you’re giving your dog the right food.
Age, health and activity
Just like people, every dog is different, so every dog’s exact nutritional needs are going to be exactly the same as another’s.
For example, when your dog is at their puppy stage, the food they eat should be labelled as suitable for a ‘growing dog’ as this will contain the nutrients they need to help them to develop and to grow strong.
Adult dogs should be fed a diet for adult maintenance as they will have different nutritional needs as they fully mature.
You should pay attention to how your dog acts having eaten any new foods. If they display signs of vomiting or diarrhoea, or have a poorly kept coat after changing their food, you should speak to your veterinarian about it. The new food could be causing some of these digestive issues due to allergies.
It could be that their refusal to eat the new food is down to the fact that they don’t like the taste or texture of their food. However, for more serious issues such as rapid weight loss or gain, it’s time to take your pet and the food to the vets. New food should always be given under the advice of your vets.
Introduce new foods slowly
Dogs become used to the foods they eat over time, so any changes in those foods should be done so slowly. According to pet food experts, Burgess Pet Care, when transitioning a puppy over to adult dog food you should make the transition over 5 to seven days until it completely replaces the old food. If using dry food, when a dog is a puppy the dry food should be dehydrated with warm water and mashed down into a more manageable paste. They should be given roughly 90g per 5KG of weight, so this amount of food will vary based on their size and breed.
Where can I go for advice about feeding my dog?
A dog, like a human, will need different foods according to the stage of life they are at. Your dog breeder or rescue centre will be a good place to start with advice about what foods your dog will have eaten before so that you can continue feeding them the same food until you feel you would like to introduce new foods.
For more advice about what dog food you should choose, seek the advice of your local vet who can advise of any potential risks and allergic reactions to new foods.