Your dog can’t tell you if he has internal issues so he makes a very difficult patient. He can’t even let you know he has put weight on. As with people, dogs may have their lives directly affected by a range of minor and major diseases, etc. This means their quality of life is lower than it should be.
As a dog owner, you must translate what problems your pet has at any given time and then identify the most appropriate solutions. If you’re responsible for another person or animal, it’s something that should never be regarded lightly. How much you care for your dog reflects in the quality of food he enjoys.
Dog breeders and owners all around the world have a better understanding of their pet’s nutritional requirements. Millions of owners change what their dog is currently eating and choose better quality food chockfull of all minerals, vitamins and all other essential nutrients. You can’t simply change the food your pet eats all in one go or your dog may experience upset tummies. Do it gradually and slowly, watching for any ill effects.
Why transition your dog’s current food and feed him with higher quality food?
Lots of diseases and other medical conditions your dog may experience can be tracked back to the nutritional contents of his food or can help improve the quality of his food. Obesity is the worst problem for dogs and it’s extremely dangerous because it weakens your pet’s systems, lowering his defence against diabetes, arthritis, cancer or high blood pressure (may lead to failure of his heart).
Half of all the dogs in America are overweight or obese. Beagles and St. Bernards are predisposed to becoming obese. The quality and quantity of food fed to dogs is the main reason why weight gain occurs with such frequency.
Obesity, as a serious health problem, is often not recognized or ignored and so the dog may carry too much weight for many years. However, owners can easily identify the problem. One test is that if you feel around and can’t immediately find your dog’s rib cage because his layer of fat covers his bones, he’s considered to be obese. This is a severe problem as it may drastically reduce his life expectancy.
Pancreatitis is a different disease that, sadly, is typical in dogs. It’s caused by your pet consuming too much fat regularly. Bladder stones, diarrhea and heart disease are other symptoms closely linked to the quality of food your beloved pet consumes each week.
As a dog owner, part of your responsibility is ensuring your dog is as healthy as can be and converting his diet to a healthier one is the wisest thing you can do to help ensure your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life.
Tips on how major changes to your dog’s diet will improve his overall health.
To prevent obesity, you need to feed your dog a diet that balances the fat and calorie intake. The internet will reveal lots of available dog food choices that are healthy. They will also reduce his body fat, strengthen his immune system, improve his life and increase his life expectancy.
Pancreatitis treatment occurs by changing your dog’s food diet to one that’s easy to digest and is low in fat.
Bladder stones. There are two treatments and it depends on how severe the problem is. They can be dissolved with food containing high amounts of calcium oxalates or by surgically removing them.
Heart disease. This is generally indicated as high blood pressure, caused by you being “naughty” and feeding your pet table scraps and various other foods containing large amounts of sodium.
Diarrhea. You can help your dog handle diarrhea through dietary changes. A low-fat, bland diet can easily treat, and possibly even cure diarrhea of the small bowel. Consuming a diet high in fiber assists in diarrhea in the large bowel.
What sort of foods should your dog be fed?
There isn’t one simple food that satisfies all the dietary requirements needed by dogs. If you feed your beloved pet the same food every day, it may create a type of diet stability BUT it might be a good or bad stability, depending on the foods chosen.
If you give him too many supplements, it may also cause a serous problem.
You must plan out a balanced, complete diet that provides your dog with all his nutritional requirements, preferably through home-made food so you can control his balance of vegetables, raw meat, cooked meat and other foods.
If you just don’t have the time to create healthy foods for your beloved pet, you need to learn how to read labels on all foods you buy. The main difference that separates good food from bad food is the prime ingredient. For example, if you choose foods with a grain or corn base, it will be less nutritious than foods that list meat as the first ingredient.
Here are a few diets that you may consider when improving your dog’s diet:
Grain-free foods are useful because they favor proteins and healthy fats instead of cheap foods with carbs as a base.
Low-fat food for dogs: This category of foods is helpful for dogs carrying extra weight or have been diagnosed as obese.
Hypoallergenic food for dogs: contain limited ingredients to risk allergic reactions.
Vegan foods for dogs: are good if you want to create a plant-based dog food diet.
If your dog is healthy, he should eat a minimum of 30% protein and 18% fat, and these foods are generally eaten with vitamins C, E and omega fatty acids. If you’re told to give him supplements at each meal, it means the food is low quality and needs to be changed. Food coloring must also be avoided.
Making the changes.
It can take a while to get your dog’s new diet under control for several reasons. If you and your family are having dinner, your dog will be wandering around from one person to the next, and will generally get to eat food scraps, given by other family members, especially children.
To tackle the obesity issue, it’s critical that you get portions under control so the “little extras” that other family members give him during meal times must stop. Even if he’s eating all healthy foods, portions that are too big will cause him to gain weight. Makers of dog foods often supply charts to help you work out how much food to give your pet, but the information is based on their own products so the information is biased. Talk to your vet because he’ll tell you exactly what, how often and how much to feed your dog each day.
Treats are generally the main reason why your dog will put on additional weight, even if his food is all healthy and there’s plenty of variety. Instead of giving him bones and meat, use rice cakes or vegetables and you’ll notice his health will improve and he’ll shed the unwanted weight.
The digestive system of a dog is more sensitive than that of a person so major changes need to happen slowly because, if done too quickly, they can affect his health in a negative way. One transition all dogs experience is the time when they reach maturity. That big change can cause them harm because it’s damaging to their systems. To solve the problem, take 5-10 days to transition your dog from the “puppy” food to that needed by mature adults.
Begin by replacing 10-20% of his current food with the new healthier options. Do that for a few days in a row and then, if he has no bad reactions, increase it to 50%. Don’t change the times you feed him and each time you give him new food, offer him the first few bites from your hand so he gets used to it faster.
During the transition period, your dog may have difficulty finishing all the food you give him. You can either reduce it back to 25% for a few more days or increase it. If he still has problems, talk to your vet as there could be a different reason. After a week has passed without incident, your dog will happily finish the portion you feed him.
As with people, losing weight can happen very slowly, even if a lot of effort has been put in. However, within a few months, you’ll notice discernible changes in your beloved pet’s weight. After he has been on the healthier diet for a few months, you’ll also observe his increased energy levels. A dog that has lost weight will enjoy running around in the house and/or yard once more, with less effort than when he had the extra weight to carry.
Increased walks and healthier foods will require a financial and physical effort on your part. However, as the owner, it’s your job to decide what’s best for your canine best friend. Once he’s on the new diet, you need to be strong and avoid him staring at you while you eat your meals, anxious to taste something from your own plate, but don’t give in.
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