When you bring home a dog you know your life will never be the same again! It is going to be filled with almost unbearable happiness and many, many years of togetherness. Of course, you will have to look after your precious pooch and invest in a few things in order to enjoy that happiness and togetherness.
Some of the most important things that you need to do are:
- Invest in the right grooming and hygiene products.
- Regular brushing and cleaning and grooming.
- Spending quality time with your pet.
- Paying attention to health problems and know their warning signs
- Plan for the unexpected with a savings account or pet insurance plan
- Feeding the pet correctly, in time, and with food that will promote great health.
Here are a few things that you must keep in mind when it comes to what your dog needs to eat in order to be healthy.
Research into nutritional needs
Tap into resources – on the internet, your vet and even other dog owners – and find out how much and what you should be feeding your dog. This information can vary depending on:
- The breed of your dog.
- The age and size of your dog.
- Activity levels.
- Gender of your dog.
- Whether your pooch is pregnant.
- Specific health issues and so on.
Once you have a good idea of the kinds of nutritional inputs your dog should get, you can even spread this over multiple dishes and days to ensure that your canine companion has a balanced and holistic diet.
This is of course a staple for almost all dogs. You should use lean meats and remove the fat content from meat. Raw meaty bones are also recommended by vets but do be careful about the age of your dog. Scraps from the table are okay but do ensure that you have washed away all spices and fat content too. Include all kinds of meat after checking on hygiene and cleanliness of the same.
Along with meat, other animal products can also be a part of your doggy diet:
- Boneless meat.
- Liver and other organs.
- Fish of various kinds – cooked of course. Fish oil in small doses may be healthy too.
- Poultry, eggs and so on.
Surprisingly enough, quite a few dogs love different kinds of fruit. So there is no strict guideline here. It is a good idea to feed your dog the fruit that you would eat – seasonal and fresh – and see which ones find favor with him or her. Bananas and even apples – cut into bite sized pieces – are great in aiding digestive health and antioxidants too.
Mixing up your dog’s diet so that meat and vegetables are on the plate is a great idea. However, there should be a balance in the quantity. Cooked vegetables are better. They can be a part of the doggy bowl along with the meat or rice or eggs. A good and simple rule of thumb is to include the vegetables that you would consider safe and healthy. For instance, eating too much of starchy vegetables is not too great for your digestion so avoid the same for your dog too.
Leafy greens and a few raw vegetables are great for canine health.
Diluted milk is great for dogs but may not be essential every day. This is a food category that can be limited. If your dog loves yoghurt, then try making it at home rather than buying the processed choices available in the market. Going easy on the dairy products is better for your dog.
Your dog’s water bowl should also have fresh and clean water. The quantity will depend on the activity level of your pet and of course, the climate zone that you live in. A physically active pet and warm weather should result in more water being available every day. Nutritionists also recommend an increased intake of water if your dog eats more of dry food.
A few additional points for your consideration now:
Dry vs wet food
There is a lot of debate on this and it is true that there is information to support both sides of the coin. It would be good for you to mix it up when it comes to daily diet. A combination of the two will result in a balanced meal.
Home food vs commercial food
Again, balance is key. If you have the time, making fresh and healthy home food is a great way to ensure your dog is getting everything on its plate. But investing in a few well-established canine food brands is also a good idea. There are many combinations of commercial food and you can see which ones your dog loves.
Vitamins, proteins and more can be found in normal or regular food and as supplements too. Ask your vet whether your dog needs them every day.