A healthy dog food does not equal a cheap dog food, no matter what the manufacturers promise you. One of the best things you could do for your dog’s food before you buy it is read the labels. You will learn so much about the food you are buying if you only just read the labels. The first ingredient you want to see on the label is some sort of meat like chicken, or lamb. If the label says regular own meat is can be anything.
Do not get turned off if the label has some by products included such as heads, necks or stomach contents. This is ok. Truthfully your dog would eat this stuff if it was out on the wild. If you buy a food that contains this, it does not mean your dog is going to turn into a bloodthirsty hound. By law meat by products can not include hair, horn, teeth or hooves or even manure. But it can include organs, liver, head and feet (usually in the case of chickens). These are very high in natural vitamins and minerals so if a dog food contains them, they are probably fairly high in vitamins and minerals.
You want to make sure there is no soy in your dog food. Dogs tend to have a real problem with soy and most are allergic to it. You are betting off avoiding any product that has soy in it. The result could be really uncomfortable for your dog. Make sure there is calcium in your dog’s diet but you do have to be very careful about how much calcium your dog has. Calcium will help your dog’s teeth and bones grow strong but to much and you could wind up giving your dog bone abnormalities. If you dog has too little calcium and your dog could develop rickets or softening of the bones that bend under the pressure of your dogs weights.
Also make sure your dog’s food has plenty of protein in it. For a puppy it is recommended that there is at least 28% protein in their food. For an adult dog, it is 18% and for a pregnant or nursing dog the number goes back up to 28%. It is possible for your dog to get too much protein. Usually this will not do them any harm and the extra protein will come out in their urine. However if you have a dog that has kidney problems, to much protein could be a problem for them and might possibly cause kidney failure.
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Fiber is also a good ingredient to make sure your pet’s dog food has. A good amount for the food to contain is about 2 ½ % and 4 ½ %. Too much fiber might upset your dogs stomach. It can cause loose stools, and some accidents. Usually in an overweight dog, your vet will recommend a diet high in fiber to help your dog feel fuller or if your dog has diabetes or hyperglycemia.
Make sure there are no chemical preservatives listed on the label. Look for words like ethoxyquin, BHA or Propyl Gallate. If you see these on the label, take heed. Ethoxyquin is usually used as a preservative in many pet foods it might be hard to avoid it. Ethoxyquin can have toxic effects. There is still much debate as to whether Ethoxyquin is dangerous or not. Though it is listed as a hazardous chemical by OSHA Hazard Communication Standards some the FDA are still saying it is harmless. Do your research to determine how you feel about Ethoxyquin as an ingredient. You can find tons of information on it, on the internet. Also note that Ethoxyquin can also show up on labels as just E.
Another important thing to look for on a label are the words or phrase “AAFCO feeding trails confirm that XYZ is complete and balanced for adult dogs or all life stages”. This means that the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has actually fed this food dogs to find out if it meets the nutritional needs or not. Another phrase you might see is “XYZ has been shown to be complete and balanced using testing procedures as outlined by AAFCO” this simply means that instead of feeding the food to dogs, they tested it in a lab to find out. Chances are if you see that phrase, there were no test dogs to try the food out on just laboratory tests. Again this is a personal decision for you. If you are comfortable buying food that has not been tested on dogs, by all means by the one that was tested in laboratories.
You will also notice on some foods it might say “human grade”. Again this is a debatably phrase. Some people feel that if it says human grade on it, it is to be interpreted as being good enough for humans. While others feel that human grade means it the food that goes into the dog food came from the same places which also sell food to humans. When looking for a good dog food, beware of gimmicks. Gimmicks can range from anything such as Specially for Large Breeds or even dental/teeth cleaning formulas.
Ever heard of Coccidia and Giardia? They are nasty intestinal protozoan parasites that are common in young puppies. Vibralife Health Supplement Multivitamin and Natural Dewormer Alternative is packed with all-natural ingredients like reed sedge peat and diatomaceous Earth which work as a team to bind and remove toxins and parasites from your pet.
These are all things that are found in supermarkets. With all the recalls lately there are a lot of dog owners who are cautious about buying dog food in the supermarket. So where else can you look for dog food? The first place you can look are pet stores. Some Pet stores might carry different brands than the supermarkets. Another bonus is that some of these stores train their employees on dog food and they should be able to help you with any questions you have.
You can also look online. The internet will show you a world of natural and organic pet food that can be ordered and delivered right to you. They provide detail descriptions of the foods and the ingredients. The only downside is that sometimes these foods can be costly and if you do decide to purchase one, there is a possibility your dog might not like it. After all, the final decision does come down to your dog and their tastes. You might want to purchase the smallest size of dog food available to test on your dog.
Though there are many dog lovers out there who gasp at the thought of using pre made dog food, there are still many dog lovers who swear by dry dog food. There are many, many brands of dog food out there and many manufactures. No one will be able to tell you what the best one is. You and your dog will have to work together as a team. You can do your part by carefully reading the labels on the food you are going to buy. Remember cheaper is not always better. A lot of times the cheaper brands add a lot of fillers and use cheap ingredients.
Most premium dog foods tend to use better ingredients with no fillers. Your dog is going to do their part by letting you know if they like the food or not. If you are switching food for whatever reason, then you want to make sure you give your dog a transition period. Sometimes if you go from one brand of dog food, to another you could upset your dogs stomach. Spend a day or two adding it to the brand you already use and each day add more new food and less of the old food until your dog is completely switched over. This can take a week or so to transition but it is in the best interest of your dog.
Are you still new to the puppy world? Don’t worry, have this: Puppy 101: A beautiful journey through dog training
Cute fat dogs are adorable, but it is not healthy for them to be fat. Just like with us, if a dog eats too much and does not get enough exercise they are going to gain weight. It is very important to take care of your dog if he develops a weight problem. Just as with us, being overweight can cause a whole mess of problems with a dog. The thing is they happen faster with a dog than they do in us. The excess weight a dog has can cause extra pressure on their joints and muscles and they might develop arthritis. The extra weight can also cause heart problems with dogs and dogs can even get diabetes. Before you rush out to buy the newest diet dog food, stop and look at your dogs feeding habits.
Before you start, double check and see if you dog is overweight. You can check this without going to your vet. The best way to check is to feel your dog’s ribs with both hands. For an ideal weight dog, it is easy to feel the ribs. If you look at your dog from the side, the belly is tucked up and if you look at your dog from the top, you will see your dog with a little waist. If you dog is overweight, you are not going to be able to feel his ribs. When you look at your dog from the side, you will not see a tucked belly and when looked at from the top, there is no waist.
While being overweight can be the symptom of other illness, chances are your dog is just being overfed. It is still a good idea to take him to the vet just to make sure. There is a possibility that your dog might have a thyroid problem and needs medication. That could be part of the problem, the other part can also be that your dog is eating too darn much.
Like it was stated before, you do not need to rush out and buy the newest diet food for your dog. There are some simple steps you can do first. For starters look at his feeding schedule. If you are still feeding him twice a day, you should cut that down to once a day especially if he is older than a year. The schedule of feedings for you dog should go as follows: A puppy gets fed three times a day from 8 weeks until about 6 months. From 6 months until a year, they should be fed twice a day. Once they hit a year, they only need to eat once a day.
Yes, it is hard at first, but you will get to know everything eventually, start by taking a look at this: Time for puppy preschool: Get the basics for positive dog training
Also, keep an eye at how much you are feeding him. Keep in mind the guidelines that are on the bag of the dog food. If it states to feed your dog a cup and a half a day for example, do not feed them 3 cups. Some people believe that if they are only being fed once a day then they should double up on the serving size to compensate. This is not true. When your dog is eating three times and even twice a day, they more than likely still on puppy food. Once they are being fed once a day, they are on adult food which theoretically will fill them up more than the puppy food did.
Next, make sure you exercise your dog. This is easier with some breeds than it is with others! Take your dog for walks, if you have a fenced in yard, make sure you are out there with him tossing a ball around or at least playing with him. Anything to get them moving. This not only helps with exercise for maintaining weight but it also helps some dogs relieve a lot of their pent up energy.
There is also a diet called the Green Bean Diet, that some have said have helped their dogs to lose weight. This diet is fairly simple to follow. You simply cut back on your dog’s food and replace it with canned green beans instead. Studies have shown that you should take out about 10% of your dog’s food every 5 days or so and replace it with green beans until they are receiving about half the food they would have been normally. For example if your dog eats 3 cups of dog food a day, you want to make sure they are getting 1 ½ cups of food and 1 ½ cup of green beans. Keep your dog on this until they lose the weight they need too. Always double check though with your vet before starting any new diet for your dogs.
You should try and stay away from diet dog food. They are usually filled with fillers which are how they keep the fat and protein levels lower than in regular dog food. Plus these formulas might do more damage than good. You really are better off saving your money and either cutting down his food, or trying the green been diets.
Lastly when you are trying to get your dogs weight under control, you should cut out all treats including table scraps and raw hides. These are not helping when you are trying to get your dog to lose weight. Table scraps should be avoided no matter how much your dog weighs.
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We probably are all guilty of this: You are sitting down to dinner with your family and you hear a thump on the floor and know its your adorable chubby pug settling down between your feet. After a while, you hear him scoot closer until his head is peaking out and he looks at you. His eyes wide and sad. Every time you bring your fork to your mouth, he lifts his head in hopes that the food will jump off the fork and onto the floor. When it doesn’t, he lowers his head in defeat. After a while, you will hear a subtle sigh coming from him. He is acting as if his life is so tough. This process repeats itself until you finally give in and toss him a little something. We might not be proud to admit we do this. Ultimately though, you might want to consider on keeping your dog in a different room when you eat to avoid his pity looks.
We are doing our dogs a lot of harm and we might not even know it. Dogs do not need to eat the same foods as we do all the time. We eat a variety of food and some of them are not even that good for us either. We eat fry food and food that is covered in fat. Is this food that a dog should have?
Usually if we are eating meat, and there is fat on the meat, what part are we going to eat and give to your dog? Chances are the fat. You are not going to keep the fat for yourself and give the dog some of the meat. This is one of the reasons why too much table scraps are the leading cause of obesity in dogs.
Some foods are toxic to your dog also. Almost everyone knows that chocolate is extremely toxic dogs, but did you know that grapes and raisins are also? They can cause kidney problems if eaten in large quantities. Onions and onion powder are also a no no for your pet.
Some dogs actually can wind up choking from the bones that are in some of the meats like chicken or turkey. Another reason why you should avoid table scraps. If you give your dog mainly table scraps you be setting yourself up to have a dog that will not eat anything but table scraps. By living on a diet that is solely table scraps, your dog is being denied essential nutrients it needs. Especially if your diet is not that good either.
You are also going to notice a change in your dog’s waste when you give him more than needed table scraps. They may be smellier and larger than they are normally. It is not going to be pretty cleaning those up. Let us talk about the bad manners you are also instilling on your dog by giving him table scraps. He might begin to think that anything on the table is fair game for him. Imagine leaving food on the table and turning away for one second. You turn back and the food is gone and your dog is licking his chops. Not exactly the dog of your dreams.
Finally, to sum up: Remember your dog is neither a garbage can nor a vacuum cleaner, their health is your responsibility and you must look for the best way to keep your precious companion safe and sound. Read the labels on the dog food you purchase and keep yourself informed. Your dog needs you to take care of him in the best way possible and he will pay you back with unconditional love forever.
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