How to choose dog food?
1.According to the age
Nutrient requirements for dogs of different ages are different.
There are separate diets for puppies, adult animals and aging pets. For example, it is important for a puppy to get more calories with food than an adult dog. And vice versa: diets for animals over 8 years old should take into account that aging dogs need 20% less energy than an adult.
The ratio of vitamins and minerals for each age is also different. In particular, the puppy needs a significant amount of amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, zinc. Older dogs require more B vitamins, copper, and again zinc.
The nutritional needs of the dog also depend on its size. Miniature pets are prone to obesity, oral diseases, skin and hair problems. Accordingly, moderate-calorie foods are recommended for such dogs to maintain weight, with special calcium compounds for teeth, with a special combination of linoleic acid and zinc for skin and hair coat.
In turn, large breeds have sensitive digestion and often suffer from diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, large dogs are shown fiber-rich diets from easily digestible ingredients containing a complex of fatty acids and glucosamine that is beneficial for the joints.
A dog receiving a standard balanced food, while observing the norms and diet, does not experience problems with the assimilation of rations . However, there is a small group of animals with a particularly sensitive digestive system. For these pets special feeds have been developed .
Diets for dogs with sensitive digestion differ from universal ones by the presence of a larger number of prebiotics that improve intestinal microflora; the presence of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids that reduce inflammation; Easily digestible rice serving as a source of carbohydrates. This food relieves the dog of unpleasant symptoms of indigestion.
There are also feeds for specific breeds on the market. In the feed line Royal canin there are diets intended for labradors, chihuahuas and so on. These feeds take into account the specific features of the rocks. For example, labradors have wool with a unique water-repellent structure, so they are recommended fatty acids and a special protective complex of substances to maintain healthy skin and coat. Chihuahuas are prone to tartar formation, from the appearance of which a special food with calcium compounds rescues. Also, feed for specific breeds Eukanuba, Advance Affinity.
How to give a dog dry food according to the regimen
An important point when feeding dogs is compliance with the regime. Giving food to an adult dog is recommended twice a day, at the same time. The dosage of dry food that you determined from the table should be divided into two equal portions. Each of them must be poured into a bowl at the appointed time. For example, at 7.00 and 19.00 or at 8.00 and 20.00. The schedule of meals may be different, the main thing is that it does not conflict with your work schedule and is observed daily.
Between meals, do not leave dry food in the public domain (the exception is the lactation period, as we wrote above). If the dog has not mastered all the food offered or completely ignored it, hide the bowl until the next feeding. Then continue feeding according to the usual schedule and in the usual volume. This approach prevents overfeeding and promotes discipline.
Feed after a walk, not before
This rule is intuitively fulfilled by most owners, but it will not be superfluous to recall it again.
Since childhood, we are accustomed to eating appetite first, and then you can eat. In the case of dogs, there is another good reason for this sequence of actions: physical activity immediately after eating increases the risk of stomach upset in dogs prone to it. This is a dangerous condition, which is accompanied by a rapid increase in the volume of the abdomen and a sharp deterioration in the well-being of the animal.
Without surgery, stomach twisting leads to the death of the dog within a few hours. Representatives of large and giant breeds are especially prone to this misfortune. Therefore, you need to give food strictly after a walk, and not before.
What ’s the difference between age-specific foods?
Dogs and cats become almost adult dogs and cats in their first year of life. From birth to one year of age, puppies and kittens require more nutrients than adult dogs and cats because they require more nutrients for growth. Pet age-specific foods are displayed in three levels according to the following situations (Exhibition: Partially reorganized the Pet Food Association website).
1.Pregnancy / lactation food
It is a so-called milk substitute that is given until about 4 weeks of age. There are powdered milk and liquid milk based on the components of dog and cat breast milk. There are also high-nutrition foods designed to meet the nutritional standards that mother dogs and cats need for breastfeeding.
2.Food for pregnancy / lactation / food for puppies / kittens / growth
Until around 8 weeks of age, we give so-called baby food. If the mother and the weaning child live together, they may imitate the mother and start eating dry food, but if not, instead of suddenly giving granular dry food, It is a good idea to increase the size of the grains, paste the flake or powdered food, or make it into a wet type.
From about 8 weeks of age to 1 year old (up to 1 and a half years for large dogs, up to about 10 months for ultra-small dogs), give food indicated for puppies and kittens, growing or growth . Vitamins, minerals and amino acids required for bone and body growth are fortified, making it a comprehensive nutritional diet designed to provide sufficient protein and lipids.
After 1 year old, it is displayed as adult dog / cat or maintenance period, maintenance, etc., and there are various types of food.
In addition, from the age of 6 to 8 years old, attention has been drawn to the increase in dogs and cats who live longer, such as “food for elderly dogs and cats”, “food for elderly dogs and cats”, and “food for long-lived dogs and cats”. There is also a “food” (how to divide the age and how to write it depends on the product and manufacturer). This food is adjusted to low fat and low calorie according to the decrease of the amount of exercise and metabolism, and the component is adjusted in consideration of the decrease of each function of the body and the supplement of nutrition.