According to veterinarians, more than half of the dogs they see are overweight. And it’s not hard to see why.
Dog parents love to spoil their fur babies with toys, pampering services, affection, and — most of all — food. But if you really love your dogs, you should know how to feed them the right way.
Dogs who are obese have shorter lifespans. So it’s important to implement some healthy eating habits to keep them in good shape. Here are some feeding and dog food tips from the experts:
1 – Practice Controlled Feeding
This means giving your dog a measured amount of food each feeding time. The measurement is based on his weight and nutritional needs. Your vet can help you determine this.
Don’t worry, your dog will be fine with this. In fact, vets say dogs prefer being exercised and played with over being spoiled with too much food.
Overeating is a common problem for dogs. By nature, dogs are scavengers. So don’t leave leftover food in their bowls — they’ll finish everything they see.
2 – Choose Dog Food Over Table Scraps
Just because it’s safe and tasty for humans to eat, doesn’t mean it’s also good for your dogs. Feeding your dog too much table food can cause nutritional deficiencies.
Dog food is safer, and it’s better at providing a nutritionally balanced meal. Also, avoid giving them raw food, including fruits and vegetables.
3 – Inspect the Ingredients
Check to see if your dog food product meets the requirements of AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials).
It should list “meat” among the top three of its ingredients. Dog food makers list ingredients in the order of which is heaviest. When an ingredient is at the top of the list, it means there’s more of it.
4 – Skip Plastic Bowls
Experts say plastic bowls can cause allergic reactions or sensitivity in dogs. It can cause rashes, acne, or other skin problems to develop on their chin and face.
Compared to metal bowls, plastic bowls are also more prone to housing microbes and germs. It’s better to use metal bowls for their water and food.
5 – Avoid These Toxic Food
Dogs will eat anything you feed them or anything they can find. But some food are toxic for them.
Here’s a list of foods you shouldn’t feed your dogs:
- macadamia nuts
- fatty food
- salty food
- seeds of fruits and vegetables
- caffeinated food and drinks
- alcoholic food and drinks
- anything with xylitol
- yeast dough
6 – Know the Right Amount to Feed Them
Feed your dogs the right amount of dog food, factoring in their age, activities, the nutrient content of the food, and their body condition.
There are two ways to determine the right amount of dog food to give them. One is to ask their vet. The other is to use a dog food calculator. You can find one online.
7 – Feed Them Twice Daily
Experts recommend feeding adult dogs twice daily. Puppies, on the other hand, should be fed three to six times a day.
Again, ask advice from your vet for the best feeding frequency.
8 – Walk and Play with Them
Feeding tips won’t be complete without mentioning exercise. Keeping your pet healthy does not only depend on food but on physical activity as well. Dogs need to exercise regularly. Regularly take them out for walks and play with them so they can lose the extra calories.