Keeping your dog out of a veterinary hospital is most likely a top priority among owners, but how do you ensure they never have to see the inside of an operating room? Unfortunately, dogs are free-spirited animals, and with that comes a raging curiosity. Just like babies, everything goes into the mouth, and if you have a puppy, their curiosity may just outweigh their still developing instincts.
Sure, chewing on a slipper or the throw pillows is one thing, but when they learn to tip over the trash can or manage to gain entry into the pantry cupboard, that’s where the concern comes in. Therefore, it’s important to remember that dogs do not eat as we do, and their nutritional requirements are far different from ours. Of course, it’s not always easy to say no to glistening eyes and gentle pawing for another snack, but there are most certainly better alternatives to the bag of potato chips you have in your hand.
Here at Alpha Animal Hospital, we believe that proper pet care starts at home. So, if you are unsure of how to provide proper nutrition for your loveable pooch, stick with us for insightful information and tips.
A Focus On Canine Nutrition
Giving your dog the best nutrition is paramount for their health, development and longevity. In addition, proper nutrition reinforces the immune system, helping fight off illnesses if ever they should fall sick.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and have different requirements through their life stages. You cannot give a puppy food designed for an adult because the calorie density and nutritional density are not high enough to sustain their high-energy lifestyle. The same applies to every dog age, so be sure to always give your dog the appropriate food, either puppy, adult, or senior.
So, let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts for canine nutrition:
- Dogs require thirty-seven essential nutrients in their diet, so be sure to feed them high-quality dog food, either wet, dry or a combination and always check the feeding guide for correct portion sizes. Human food is not as nutritionally dense.
- Pay attention to your dog’s activity level. A more active dog will require more food, so keep this in mind and remember that the nutritional guide is exactly that – a guide.
- Always give your dog fresh, clean water and provide more when they are eating dry food.
- Give your dog their own food and water bowls, and remember to disinfect them regularly.
- Leave your dog alone while they are eating. No one likes to be disturbed in the middle of their meal.
- Don’t feed your dog too many treats. Filling up on treats means they will eat less at mealtimes which reduces their nutritional intake.
- Don’t feed your dog human treats. The foods we snack on are typically high in saturated fats, which leads to significant weight gain in dogs and could be potentially harmful.
- Don’t overfill the food bowl, especially for puppies. Adults instinctively know when to stop eating, but puppies will continue eating until there is nothing left.
- Don’t feed your dog chocolate or other harmful foods.
Continue reading to learn more about which foods are toxic for dogs.
Potential Toxins/Poisons For Dogs
- Xylitol – the sweetener is found in toothpaste, cakes, sweets and chewing gum. Ingestion by a dog could lead to a drastic drop in blood sugar, causing vomiting, seizures and coma.
- Onions and garlic – consumption in large and frequent amounts may lead to Heinz body anemia.
- Chocolate – poisoning from chocolate is potentially fatal in dogs. Symptoms may include agitation, vomiting, elevated heart rate, diarrhea and seizures.
- Bones – the splintering effect of animal bones causes many issues. Your dog can suffer internal injuries anywhere from the mouth to the digestive system, and they can obstruct the intestines and stomach, causing severe pain and nutrition loss.
If you suspect your dog has ingested something potentially harmful, contact your local veterinary hospital immediately!
Alpha Animal Hospital is here to help you make the best nutritional choices for your pets, so visit us today.