We all know that dogs love to eat and given half a chance, they would eat all day. But what should they eat and how much?
If you study the supermarket shelves, there is no shortage of choice for your favorite pooch. Tinned food, dry biscuits, special meats and more treats than you can wave a stick at. Feeding man’s best friend is a multi-million dollar enterprise. At least! Is there a difference and is it all good for your dog?
I have no scientific proof for what I’m about to share with you, only a conversation with an excellent vet, who spoke from experience. He told me to avoid dry food for my dog. The reason being that unless you make sure the dog gets enough water, the dried food could damage his kidneys. It is such a concentrated food and it puts a lot of pressure on the kidneys. Without sufficient water the kidneys will be overworked and will suffer in the long run. Giving your dog a bit of dried biscuits every day is not harmful, but excessive consumption may lead to kidney failure or disease.
Many dog owners feed their dog biscuits because of the vitamin and mineral content. You can continue to give your dog a few biscuits. can dogs eat pears Add it to his main meal and make sure to add water to the meal. Then the biscuits will absorb a bit of water and will be less taxing on his system.
If you want to avoid the biscuits, swap them for vegetables and fruit. Raw vegies, such as grated carrot and zucchini are a great addition to the dog’s meal. Add a cup of cooked brown rice for bulk and vitamins as well. Most vegetables are good for your dog but I would avoid the night-shade family, such as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. Also avoid onions and leeks.
Fruit is good for your pooch, if they will eat it. If you get them used to it from puppies, they will most likely continue to eat fruit and will enjoy the sweetness just like we do. Avoid citrus but give your dog apples, pears and peaches. I usually share apples with my dog. I eat the apple and he gets the core. He sits patiently and waits for me to finish and then gobbles up the core.
Most importantly, your dog needs protein. This is what the dog gets from meat. Depending on the size of your dog, he will need a bit of meat with his main meal every day. About 200 grams of meat for an average sized dog should be fine.
How much you should feed your dog is another story. You should be able to just feel the dog’s ribs when you touch his chest. If he is gaining weight, you are feeding him too much. If he is really skinny, he is not getting enough. Don’t be fooled by the fact that your dog will check his food trough or ask for food. A dog will continue to eat as long as you continue to give him food.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and then adjust his food intake accordingly. Having an overweight dog is cruel to the animal. He doesn’t know how to go on a diet but he will suffer when he cannot run and jump like he used to. A happy dog is a healthy dog.
It is really a question of common sense when it comes to feeding your dog. All the stuff that is bad for you is also bad for your dog. Avoid the following foods:
- Dairy products of any kind, milk, cheese, ice cream
- Cakes and biscuits (a biscuit on the odd occasion won’t kill him but it really is not dog food)
- Soft drink
- Chips and crisps
Stick to good natural food for your dog and make sure he or she gets lots of exercise and you will have a healthy and happy dog.