Friday, May 27th, 2022

Healthy Treats vs. Table Scraps for Your Pet

==========The Scoop on Premium Dog Food========

If you’re interested in premium dog food, then I probably don’t have to tell you about the importance of diet in keeping your dog active and healthy. You already know you want something better than “average” for your furry friend.

But how much do you really know about what’s in a premium food and what your particular pet’s needs are? I’m no veterinarian but I do know a thing or two about health and nutrition. (As a family dentist who practiced for twenty years, I saw first hand the effects of poor dietary habits on human health — and particularly on human teeth!!).

Like you, your dog has to deal with the effects of stress, age, exertion, a polluted environment, and foods grown in nutrient-depleted soils. Unlike you, he has to get practically all of his nutrition from a single food. Sure, you may give him a few treats or the occasional table scrap (not too many I hope!), but otherwise he’s eating out of the same bag or can day in and skrotpræmie out. You want him to get complete nutrition out of that one food.

===========Complete Nutrition?===============

Even the experts seem to disagree on exactly what complete nutrition is. Maybe this explains why there are so many formulas for premium dog food out there. There’s one thing they do agree on, though: premium dog food is better for your pet than economy and grocery store brands. Although you’ll pay more, it usually holds true that you get what you pay for.

Experts also agree that, because premium foods are more nutritionally dense and easier to digest, your dog won’t need to eat as much. One study even concluded that if you fed your dog the recommended amounts on each package, you’d end up saving money on the premium formulas. That’s because your dog needs to eat a lot less of it. (You’ll save on pooper scoopers too!)

Another way to know if your dog is getting a proper diet is simply to observe him. Are his eyes bright, his coat silky and shiny, and his skin free from dryness and itching? Is he at a healthy weight? How about his energy level? This may vary from one animal to another, but as you get to know yours, you’ll know when your dog isn’t feeling up to par.

Of course, any persistent health problems should be looked into by your vet, and the same goes for any special dietary needs. But in general you’ll know if your friend is doing well on the diet you’re feeding him. If you see signs that he isn’t, try a different formula or another brand of premium dog food.

Introduce new foods gradually, especially if you have a picky eater. And while we’re on that subject, it’s always nice if your dog enjoys eating his food. This has a lot less to do with taste than it does with smell. Dogs have fewer taste buds than we do, but about 40 times as many scent receptors. So make sure he eats with gusto, and doesn’t just pick at his food.
Here are some basic guidelines you can follow:

============Essential Nutrients=============

Every dog needs the right amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Your dog must have all these in correct proportions to stay healthy. Needs vary with life stage, breed and activity level. Dog food companies make premium dog food for all life stages, from puppy to senior. An average adult dog needs a daily intake of about five ounces for every ten pounds of weight, with essential nutrients in the following proportions:

Protein –23% of total intake

Fats –5% of total intake

Carbohydrates –65% of total intake

Additional vitamins and minerals your dog needs are: Vitamins A, D, E, B-complex, Niacin, Biotin, Folic Acid, Choline, and Pantothenic Acid; Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Iodine, and Selenium.

 

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