How to choose dog food?
1.Types of feed
The choice of how to feed your dog is unlimited: dry food, canned food, semi-moist food, our usual human food, or a mixture of these types of food. When choosing, many factors are important: cost, nutritional value, convenience, taste, possible allergies, availability, etc. What is perfect for your neighbor’s dog may not be yours. Do not feed the dog what it does not like. If the dog does not want to eat purchased food, do not starve it, experiment, buy small packets of food for testing. The difference between good and bad food is not very noticeable in price, however, this difference can add several years to your dog a healthy life.
2. Dry (granular) feed.
Granular feed is made mainly from corn, rice and soybeans. In the feeds of reputable brands, the main ingredient is meat and fish, such feeds are a bit more expensive, but buying them is more profitable, because your dog will need less food to satisfy his hunger. Granular feed contains calories in concentrated form, while canned food contains much more water. Large dogs find it difficult to satisfy calorie needs by eating only prepared canned food. If you have a large dog, buy granular food – this is the most practical option. There is an opinion that granular feed helps keep the dog’s teeth in good condition. Some facts suggest that solid, dry foods actually slow down the development of gum and tooth diseases, but does not stop it completely. Do not forget to regularly brush your dog with teeth – this will keep them in good condition for a long time.
3. Canned food.
Some types of this dog food have an unpleasant smell, but in most cases, dogs prefer canned food — both by smell and taste. To buy the best food, look at the label. Look for food with the main ingredient in the form of meat, fish or poultry. In low-quality canned food, the main ingredient is water, such food consists of more than 80% of water. Whole vegetables are added to good canned food, rather than rice bran, rice flour and brewing rice.
Such feeds are sold in small packages. In most cases, this food looks good, but almost all of its components are absolutely not suitable for the dog. This type of feed is supersaturated with sugar; moreover, it consists of about 50% water. These substances are not needed by the dog, they will only contribute to the development of obesity and tooth decay. The shelf life of such feed is minimal.
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.