Feeding is the main component of caring for any animal. Proper diet is a guarantee of maintaining the health, quality development and good mood of the pet. It is an important point in the maintenance of dogs. Often, owners make mistakes that can lead to serious diseases, violations of the functions of organs and systems.
General recommendations for feeding
A common mistake is chaotic feeding, which does not have a specific time, menu. The beloved dog is filled with a bowl when it looks touchingly into the eyes, wags its tail, barks invitingly, demanding a treat, when the pet interferes with the family meal, begging, trying to steal something from the owner’s table. Moreover, the dog’s diet contains an unregulated set of products: leftovers from dinners, Lunches and breakfasts, dry food, unprocessed foods, sweets, etc. As a result, the animal’s body is gradually destroyed, various ailments and diseases appear.
There are undeniable advantages of dishes prepared specifically for the dog, taking into account its age and individual characteristics.
But many owners do not have the time and desire to engage in such cooking, which makes ready-made food more and more popular. This option has certain advantages, which include balance, the presence of important trace elements, vitamins. But all these advantages are inherent only in premium products, where more than 50% is occupied by meat components, dyes, soy, and there are no preservatives. Cheap food, unfortunately, does not differ in quality composition.
Owners who care about the health of their Pets should at least alternate finished products with freshly prepared food. The dog’s diet includes:
- beef and idea;
- millet and buckwheat porridge;
- fruits and vegetables;
- low-fat fermented milk products, etc.
Serving standards for an adult animal
The daily ration rate for a dog depends on its age and size. Smaller amounts are needed for small Pets and older dogs, whose digestive system activity is reduced. An important factor is the conditions of detention, lifestyle. A dog that moves a lot, lives outside in the cold, needs more food.
Average ration standards for Pets of different sizes are as follows:
- small dogs up to 15 kg – 100-350 grams of natural food or 150-300 grams of dry products;
- dogs of medium size up to 35 kg – 400-700 grams of cooked food or 400 grams of ready-made food;
- large animals 35-50 kg – 700-1000 grams of home-made food or 400-600 grams of dry food.
A veterinarian can accurately calculate the ration rate for a particular dog.
Optimal feeding frequency
It is important not only to choose the right diet, daily rate, but also to follow the rules of feeding. The best option is two meals a day. The first time the dog needs to be fed in the morning before walking. The break between meals is approximately 9-11 hours. Therefore, the second feeding should be in the evening about 18 hours. It is undesirable to transfer your pet to a single meal. But if time does not allow you to divide the daily allowance into two portions, you can put it in a bowl at once.
There are periods in the dog’s life when the feeding rules differ from the standard ones. Special attention should be paid to the diet of puppies. In 2-4 months, you need 4-5 meals a day, in 6-12 months – 3 meals. A pregnant bitch should be fed 4-5 times, the daily rate increases by about a third. In older dogs, digestion slows down. They need to be transferred to three meals a day. At the same time, the daily diet does not increase, it is divided into 3 servings.
Individual approach to dog feeding
Two meals a day for an adult dog fully meets its natural needs. But owners often face requests from the pet to feed it in between feedings. Then the question arises whether it is necessary to meet such wishes and requirements of the dog. There are several recommendations from experts that will help you find the right solution:
- It is necessary to determine whether the dog really feels hungry. For example, if a small dog according to the standards needs to eat up to 300 grams of dry food a day, but it is characterized by increased activity, moves a lot, you can increase the volume to 350 g.
- The occurrence of a feeling of hunger before the proper meal may be a consequence of poor food quality. Purchasing a ready-made product of the “economy” category is likely to lead to malnutrition, since there is too little meat in it. If the dog eats such food, the amount should be increased by 30-40%. Cooked food can also be insufficiently nutritious if the diet does not include fish, meat, eggs, and offal.
- Keep in mind that these Pets quickly learn to manipulate people. If for each request the dog is given a treat, a piece of sausage, then it will demand food without feeling hungry. This behavior should not be encouraged, as obesity will cause serious health problems.
- You can go to meet your pet if the requests are too insistent, there are doubts about whether he is hungry. But you should not give the dog a hearty food, but an easy replacement in the form of vegetables, low-fat kefir.
- Parasites can be the cause of increased appetite. If the dog is well fed, but its weight is less than normal, you should contact the veterinarian. The specialist will conduct a study of the tests and help you choose the best food for your pet.
Expert memo for dog owners
The rules of feeding, the norm of the diet must be observed by each owner of the dog. There are additional recommendations of experienced dog breeders that you need to pay attention to:
- It is advisable to develop an individual diet for the dog with a professional specialist. The veterinarian will take into account the body’s characteristics, recommend ready-made dry food, and give advice on home cooking. This approach to nutrition is especially important if the dog has any diseases or disorders.
- Refusing food is not always a sign of illness or a cause for concern. Healthy Pets can make a fasting day. These rules are always followed by predators living in natural conditions. But if the dog does not eat for 2-3 days, you need to visit a veterinary clinic.
- You don’t need to leave food in the bowl all the time. A quarter of an hour is enough for the animal to feed. After that, the dishes should be removed. Be sure to put the dog a bowl of clean water. It is especially important to ensure access to water when feeding dry food.
- Natural nutrition does not provide all the necessary vitamins. It is necessary to buy special complexes designed for dogs for your pet.
- You can’t underfeed an animal. The lack of the necessary calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins will negatively affect the state of the dog’s body. But over-feeding is an even more dangerous factor for a dog. It will definitely lead to the formation of obesity. The result of excess weight will be disorders in the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, respiratory organs and deterioration of the structure of the joints.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.