What Should I Feed My Dog: Everything You Need to Know!
Your dog’s food must contain all the essential nutrients like proteins and essential fatty acids. You should also not give your dog certain items, like chocolate that may harm them. So, if you’re worried about ‘what should I feed my dog’, it is definitely acceptable!
Many dog owners often find themselves confused when it comes to feeding their dogs. The reason is that certain food items, such as milk and other dairy products, may seem normal to you. However, they may have an adverse effect on your dog!
Moreover, your little furry friend also requires about 350 calories per day on average to maintain a healthy body and to immunize themselves against chronic illnesses and infections.
So, without further delay, let’s try to understand what type of food is the best for your dog and foods to stay away from.
What is the Best Food and the Best Diet For Dogs?
When it comes to the foods that are the best for dogs, the first thing you need to consider for ‘what should I feed my dog’ is the nutrients inside.
Keep in mind that just like humans, dogs also require a balanced diet that contains a fair amount of nutrients such as:
- Proteins and Amino Acids
As you may already know, proteins are necessary for the development of bones and muscles. Moreover, did you know that your dog requires 23 amino acids but only 13 of them are synthesized inside your dog’s body?
So, in this case, they require the other 10 from other proteinaceous sources, like chicken meat.
Dogs don’t just develop beautiful fur and skin out of nowhere. It is the fats working the magic!
So, it is always good to look out for food containing essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6. They help in giving your dog a shiny coat and also prevent joint diseases, like Arthritis.
- Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are nutrients that are required for the overall strength of your dog’s bones. Thus, facilitating in reducing any bone disorders in dogs and lethargy.
Some of the must-have vitamins for your dog should be Vitamin – A, D, E, K, and B-complex ones too.
However, keep in mind that you don’t go for vitamin supplements without consulting a vet.
- Carbohydrates and Fibers
Carbohydrates are necessary to maintain the glucose level in your dog’s body and to make them feel more energized.
On the other hand, fibers can help in making the digestion process easier and reduce any stomach-related problems.
Water is an important factor in determining your dog’s health. In fact, just a 10% water decrease in your dog’s body can lead to death too.
It is important that along with food, you give them at least a cup of water per day. The quantity may increase if it’s a puppy.
So, you should consider giving your dog foods that are specifically rich in the above nutrients.
What Should I Not Feed My Dog?
There are certain human foods that may be toxic to your dog. Additionally, they can also cause problems like diarrhea or liver damage.
So, given below is the list of most common foods that are harmful to dogs.
Caffeine can cause serious problems to your dogs such as anxiety, restlessness, excessive panting, and dizziness. So, if your dog has ingested caffeine in any form, like coffee or tea, it is best to take them to a vet.
A piece of chocolate may seem harmless but it can have adverse effects on your dog due to the presence of Theobromine, especially dark chocolate.
Theobromine can cause diarrhea, seizures, and even heart problems.
Xylitol – Candies, Gum, and Human Toothpaste
Xylitol is a type of chemical used for sweetening various products like candies, chewing gum, and even human toothpaste.
It is extremely harmful to dogs as it can drop their sugar levels significantly.
Certain Fruits and Vegetables
Certain fruits like grapes and avocado may cause harm to your dog. Grapes contain chemicals that can cause sudden kidney failure and avocado contains persin that can cause lung damage.
Other vegetables like garlic and onions can also cause harm to your dogs.
Cats love milk but the same cannot be said for dogs! It is because most of them develop lactose intolerance. Due to this reason, dairy products such as milk or yogurt can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog.
Other Foods to Avoid
Some other foods to avoid giving your dog include macadamia nuts, alcohol, apples, apricots, and even plums.
What Should I Feed My Dog: How to Choose the Best Dog Food?
Now, you know the list of nutrients to look out for and you also know what foods to avoid. So, now, how to choose the best dog food for your furry friend’s nutrition?
Consider Dog’s Breed, Age, and Size
Your dog’s breed, age, and size determine their nutritional needs. Most of the puppies require more calories than an average adult dog. Moreover, old dogs require a special and balanced diet to avoid the risk of diabetes.
As for the breed, some dogs may be at the risk of choking if the size of the food is too huge for them.
Know the Ingredients
Now that you know the list of nutrients required for the good health of your dog, make sure that you find all of them in the list of ingredients.
Additionally, make sure that the ingredients are naturally sourced and don’t have genetically modified organisms (GMO) or artificial sweeteners/colors that are harmful to dogs.
Determine the Size and Type of Dog Food
Dog food comes in various types, such as raw, canned, dry/kibble, semi-moist, or even home-cooked.
Each of the food types has different benefits. For instance, dry food is great for overall health as they contain organic and the best nutrients. Canned food has a good shelf life but they have fewer nutrients and more water content. Lastly, home-cooked food allows you to customize your dog’s diet and focus on his specific needs.
Additionally, you can get a variety of pellets/kibbles of different sizes. For small breeds, go for the smallest size of pellets so your dog won’t face difficulty in eating it.
Consider Your Dog’s Allergies
Lastly, you have to be aware of any allergies your dogs may have. Then, try to avoid dog food containing those ingredients to prevent your furry friend from getting sick.
To choose the best diet for dogs, look out for the listed ingredients, stay away from toxic food items, and only buy nutrient-rich food products. Once you do this, you will definitely protect them from acquiring life-threatening diseases!
So, we hope you found the answer to your ‘what should I feed my dog’ question! Now, if you have any further questions, feel free to drop a comment. You can also share this post with your friends and family who have dogs.