Dog Food Secrets Revealed – Healthy and Tasty
We equate fat – a big, bulky body – with health and this is mostly accurate because a dog’s physical condition is obvious in his body’s general appearance.
Dogs are simply not meant to live off table scraps. Feeding your dog a nutritious diet will keep him healthy and ensure a long life. According to some researchers, the average lifespan of a dog stretches from 20-30 years. That has now been cut short to 8 to 15 years largely as a result of poor nutrition and the ailments associated with it.
If you have the time and the budget for it, you could prepare home cooked meals for your dog. A good meal for your dog should consist of good quality meat as its base. Once a week, you may feed well- cooked beef, pork or chicken liver, heart, tripe, intestines and other parts. It is not recommended that you feed these kinds of meat every day since they contain high levels of substances called purines that will cause your dog’s uric acid levels to shoot up. One of the many dog food secrets is that these can later cause kidney and joint problems – something you don’t want your dog eating all the time! Do not feed him raw beef or pork meat because of the risk of contracting parasites from contaminated meat. Cow brain is also a bad idea – remember the mad cow disease outbreak that occurs every other year? Dogs may also be at risk here.
Dog food secrets – some harmful Ingredients Not to Feed Your Dog
- Onions – this can cause anemia.
- Condiments and Seasonings (Monosodium Glutamate, salt, soy sauce, and fish sauce) – meat is naturally salty, so your dog can get from it the minimum salt intake he needs easily and, as in humans, even this can cause health problems later on.
- Canned and Processed Human foods – these are too salty and contain various chemicals and preservatives that are harmful to your dog’s health.
- Chocolates – contains the bromide which is toxic when ingested by dogs.
- Chili – has a substance called capsaicin which is also harmful to dogs.
- Grapes and Raisins – these are toxic enough to cause your dog to develop acute kidney failure.
- Chicken and Fish bone – these can splinter when eaten and can cause severe abdominal damage.
Veggies for a Home-cooked Meal
If you are cooking for your dog, do not skip the vegetables. An ideal canine diet should consist of 20-30% vegetables. They help prevent constipation and supply many essential vitamins and minerals. Some veggies your dog will enjoy are potatoes, diced carrots and sliced green leafy vegetables.
Serve Commercial Dog Food
If you do not have the time to prepare a natural meal for your dog, please buy him some good quality dog food. You may feed him the canned type mixed with some rice, or dry “kibble” variety. When shopping for dog food, look at the list of ingredients.
There are many dog food secrets but a basic rule of thumb here is to check the first two ingredients. A good quality brand has animal meat as its main ingredient, followed by grain. Be wary and do not buy the kind that lists “meat-by-products” as one of its main ingredients. Meat by-products include hair, hooves, nails, horns, grease and other nasty waste from slaughterhouses.
Considerations When Buying Commercial Dog Food
- Size – there are variants suited for small, medium and large breeds.
- Age – is your dog a puppy (0-1-year-old) and adult (1-7 years old) or a senior (8+ years old) Each group has its own specific nutritional needs.
- Health status – some dogs that are already sick have special diets prescribed by the veterinarian. Some dogs would require a low fat- low protein diet, while some are even prescribed a vegetarian diet.
- Allergies – some dogs are allergic to chicken, which can be found in some brands of kibble.
Generally, puppies are fed three to five times a day, while adult and senior dogs must eat two times a day. Some people break down the first or last meal into smaller feedings. Follow the recommended feeding amount as advised by your vet; you don’t want to over or under feed your pet.
For some specific recipes and recommended brands, check out the article Dog Food Secrets!