New pet owners struggle to understand how dogs cannot digest a lot of human-grade food. You may be feeding your dog something as innocent as grapes without realizing it is toxic for the animal. It is just a fruit that is healthy for you to consume, but the same cannot be said for your pet. Similarly, many things, such as chocolates and raisins, are toxic for the dog as they cannot process them as humans.
It is tough to figure out what suits your dog the best, and this cannot be done without the right research. With so many ready-made food options, promoters of raw feed, and the benefits of a homemade meal, it is easy to get confused when it comes to deciding what food is best for your dog.
We are here to help you make the right decision when it comes to picking out dog food.
1. Not Checking for Food Allergies:
Not every dog can eat every kind of food. Your dog can be allergic to anything, starting from rice, wheat, oats, chicken, fish oil, and so forth. Just because it is good for dogs does not mean it is good for your dog. You should always try a new thing in small quantities to ensure it suits your pet. If a dog food or a supplement is good for dogs does not mean you do not take precautions. For example, fish oil supplements are very good for most dogs but can be harmful to a few, which I did not know about. I Almost Killed My Dog With Fish Oil as I did not take this advice seriously. Hence, before trying any new food or supplement, heed this advice for the dog’s safety.
2. Not Considering Your Dog’s Activity Level:
Another factor to consider when picking out dog food is your dog’s activity level. Active dogs need more calories than sedentary dogs, so it’s important to find food that’s formulated for your pet’s activity level. Most commercial dog food brands have a table that can be referred to, which mentions the food quantity you should food your dog based on its activity levels.
3. Not Considering Your Dog’s Age:
This is another common mistake people make while choosing dog food. Puppies and senior dogs have different nutritional needs; hence, it is important to find food that is apt for your pet’s life stage. Puppies need to be fed food that citations high fat and protein, while senior dogs need food that can be easily digested and has fewer calories. Choosing the right dog food as per your dog’s age will help keep them happy and healthy.
4. Giving Home-Cooked Meal Without Vet Consultation:
Though a lot of owners do not prefer to give their dog dry food, which contains preservatives, as they believe to feed their dog fresh food, they do not understand that the dog needs a balanced diet. You may not be aware of the kind of diet that will be best for your dog; hence, if you feed your dog home-cooked meals, consult the vet for supplements you need to add to the cooked meal to complete the dog’s nutrition needs.
5. Not Checking for Recalls:
Finally, one of the most important things to do when choosing dog food is to check for recalls. Just like human food, dog food can be recalled for various reasons, such as contamination or poor quality.
You can check for recalls on the FDA website or by signing up for alerts from the recall center. You can keep your dog safe and healthy by staying up-to-date on recalls.
6. Not Considering Your Dog’s Health Conditions:
If your dog is suffering from any health condition, it becomes important to consult your vet and find food that takes into account the health condition. Your dog may be overweight or has been diagnosed with diabetes, where you may need low-glycemic food. Dogs with allergies will need hypoallergenic food. There are many special vet-recommended foods designed for a specific health condition that you can buy from the market.
7. Giving Your Dog the Same Food:
As it is convenient, humans stick to providing dogs with the same diet daily. Just like we humans need some variety in their diet, so does the dog. Feeding your dog the sea food day after day can lead to nutritional deficiencies and cause health issues.
You can keep your dog on a healthy feed but add some variety of meat and veggies to balance the nutrition. Also, your dog may get bored with the same food in sometime hence changing the food can keep them interested. Do not abruptly change the food though, but make subtle changes so that it does not affect your dog’s digestion.
8. Not Storing Dog Food Properly:
Storing dog food properly is a must as you need to prevent it from going bad. Dog food should be stored in a dry and cool place to prevent it from going bad. You should also keep the food in a sealed container to prevent pests from getting into it. Follow the storage instructions written on the label. If it is dry kibbles, then it contains preservatives which make it easier to store, but if you feed your dog wet food, it can get spoiled easily, hence store it carefully.
9. Listening to Your Picky Eater Dog:
If you have a picky eater dog at home, then it is easy to give in to their tantrums and feed them what they like. Do not give up if you feel the food your dog suddenly got bored with it healthy for it. You can always add additives such a boiled chicken to the food to make it more palatable for the dog. You will be surprised to see how the dog is interested in eating that food again.
The Bottom Line:
Choosing the right food for your dog is not a one-day task. It needs a lot of research and some trials to understand what suits your dog the best. Be patient and monitor the dog’s reaction to the new food. If the dog is able to digest the food well, then it is a good sign.