The Basics of a Balanced Diet for Dogs
The dog's diet should be taken seriously, in order for your pet to grow into a healthy adult dog. It must combine proteins, fats and carbohydrates, with special attention if it is a pregnant or nursing bitch. Vitamins and nutrients should be in sufficient amounts to prevent certain health problems for your dog.
You have just adopted a dog and you want to take care of his health. Dogs have different vitamin and nutrient requirements than humans.
If you want a balanced healthy dog food , you must ensure that you maintain a good protein/carbohydrate ratio.
For starters, the dog needs protein. As in humans, it is the essential element to ensure good development of his muscles and normal physical activity. Animal proteins (beef, chicken, etc.) also allow the release of energy and the maintenance of a strong and shiny coat.
Lipids, also commonly known as fats, also promote a beautiful coat. Just like protein, it keeps your dog energetic. In addition, they strengthen his immune system.
Carbohydrates (rice, pasta ...) are also essential for the proper functioning of the dog's body, and promote their transit.
Meat diets, which you prepare yourself with leftover meat, are not particularly recommended for your dog. These meals are usually unbalanced because they have too much meat and not enough fiber.
On the other hand, industrial natural food for dogs in supermarkets, or, better yet, sold at the veterinarian, constitute balanced meals, because the proportions are carefully respected. spinach, rhubarb, soybeans, beans, corn and beets are not recommended to be toxic to dogs. As for chocolate, and in particular black, it is fatal for animals.
Number of meals per day
Contrary to what happens in cats, unlimited time unlimited feeding should be avoided absolutely for the dog: there is a risk of overconsumption. The dog must therefore eat at a fixed time.
The number of meals per day is different depending on whether it is a puppy or an adult dog. From weaning at the age of three months, the daily ration of the puppy should be divided into 4 to 5 meals. From three to five months, the number of meals per day drops to three, to definitely drop to two from the sixth month.
To get your dog used to eating at a fixed time, start by giving him unlimited food for a certain period of time (several hours). At the end of the allotted time, remove his bowl, whether it is finished or not. Your dog will know, when he has his meal, that it should be eaten right away.
Ideally, meals should be served between 7 and 10 p.m. in order to accustom the dog to the night's rest, and not be served hot. Finally, remember that your dog should always have water to drink.
Your dog's food should be weighed to avoid any risk of obesity . For industrial food cans, the portions are indicated according to the weight of the animal. It is necessary to respect these doses and not to give anything to the dog apart from the meals.
In some special cases (weight gain, illness ...), you may be forced to change your dog's diet. However, a dog used to a particular diet will often find it difficult to change it.
You must therefore start to accustom him to this new diet, little by little, by mixing a little bit of the new brand of kibble (or another food) with his usual kibble, then gradually increasing the doses. This is called setting up a food transition; it is a way of doing things which is essential and which prevents your companion from in case of dietary change.