Puppy and Dog Healthy Nutrition
Every dog owner will tell you that having a dog is the best thing in life. Still, many do not mention the process you are going through when you raise a dog. Taking care of a dog can be a real challenge. Many owners struggle with the question about the difference between dog food and puppy food. The simplest answer would be to give puppy food to puppies and feed adult dogs with adult dog food. Your puppy won't get sick from the adult food but it could cause some long-term damage to their body system.
How do I feed a puppy?
The amount of food you feed your puppy will depend on its size, activity, metabolism, and environment. The general rule is that puppies and smaller dogs burn more calories and therefore require more protein-rich foods. Older dogs, which are less active, need fewer calories to stay healthy.
The development of most breeds lasts up to a year. You can see an obvious growth after six months when the muscle mass and bones become fully developed. During that period, the digestive system begins to work at full capacity. A puppy should stay with the mother for the first six to eight weeks. Mother's milk provides the best nutrition and antibodies that are necessary for puppy's immune system. After this period, you should start giving them solid food. The number of meals should be divided in:
- 4 meals a day, up to 3 months
- 3 times a day, from 3 to 5 months
- twice a day, after six months.
When they are old enough, it would be best to get one meal a day, but it depends on your dog. The dog should not become hungry because there is a possibility of various diseases, immune deficiencies and the occurrence of diabetes at an earlier age. For picky puppies, add some warm water to dry food to make it easier to eat. It's best for the dog to have as many walks as possible. The number of meals should be in accordance with the number of walks. Of course, it depends on the breed, but every dog needs to develop their muscles, and walks are great for that.
Adult dog nutrition
The dog reaches full maturity after a full year. Now its weight should not vary and the body is proportional. How to test if your dog is overweight? Put the tips of your fingers on the ribs and if you can feel them, the dog has normal weight. Its appetite may vary from day to day, as it is the case with humans. Be careful to follow the daily intake of the food. If a dog loses its constant appetite, it could be one of the first signs of some disease.
For each dog, the meat should be at least 70% of the daily portion. The other 30% should be vegetables, fruits, and grains. The bones that you give to the dog are not nutritious; they are more for playing and strengthening the teeth. Do not exaggerate with the number of bones you give them for possible bowel obstruction. When it comes to protein intake, adult dogs should have 18% of their calories from proteins, while small dogs should have 22% calories from proteins. When choosing the right nutrition for your dog, there are some things that you need to avoid:
- sugar, chocolate, menthol, alcohol
- foods that contain lots of salt and other spices
- roasted meat
- sharp bones
- milk and eggs.
In the end, do not forget water. If you feed a dog only with dry, factory-prepared food, you need to give them more water. Be careful that the dog has always fresh water because bacteria that cause various digestive diseases develop easily in the dissolved water. And give them lots of love, it will come back to you.
© 2017 Fatima Memija Bahtic