In addition to mental health and exercise, diet is also a huge contributing factor to your dog’s overall health and well-being. The eating habits you introduce to him can help ensure a long and energetic life. And as such, deciding what and how to feed him is crucial.
Since not all dogs are the same, it’s best to do in-depth research into the specific dietary needs of your canine. In Dubai, pet food brands of all kinds can be found in the top pet supply stores, and you must be able to choose one that is right for him.
To help guarantee that you are feeding your dog properly, here are five things you can do to boost his health and well-being in no time.
1. Don’t overfeed
Obesity is one of the common illnesses among dogs today. The best way to prevent your dog from becoming overweight or obese is to feed him based on whether he is recommended to lose or gain weight.
Basically, you must feed your dog more frequently if he needs to gain weight. But remember that proper monitoring of feeding times is still important so as not to provide him too much food. Don’t wait for him to become fat and lethargic before thinking of monitoring his diet.
But if your dog is overweight, measure the food you give him on a daily basis. Also, get him into an exercise routine to burn those excess fats. Take note though that before introducing a new diet and exercise routine, consult your vet to make sure that him being overweight is not a cause of an underlying medical condition. And as a pro, vets will also provide you with more dog feeding guidelines to keep him healthy and happy.
It’s very fortunate for you if your dog is lean and healthy because you don’t have to alter his feeding routine. But still, keep monitoring his weight to prevent any significant weight loss or gain.
2. Give treats sparingly
Today, there are plenty of prepared high-quality dog treats on the market that vary in quality. Some are healthier than the others. So be cautious when choosing which treats to give your dog. You can do this by looking into the ingredients label.
High-quality commercial treats are prepared with dogs’ dietary needs in consideration. Still, treats must be given sparingly, which is no more than 15% of your canine’s total daily calorie intake.
When used regularly, you must reduce the amount of your dog’s main meal to prevent overfeeding him. Also, go for genuine treats that have been proven to benefit your pet, such as by preventing dental diseases.
Note: Don’t give real chocolate because this is poisonous to dogs. Studies have shown that this can result in liver damage and even death. Thus, always keep chocolates out of your dog’s reach, especially during Christmas.
3. No raw feeding
As the name implies, a raw diet calls for feeding a dog food that is not cooked. This often contains muscle meat from animals, raw fruits and vegetables, raw eggs, whole or ground bones, and some dairy products like unpasteurized milk and yogurt.
Generally, raw diets are not nutritionally balanced as they are low in phosphorus and calcium but are excessive in vitamins A and D. This means that raw feeding can lead to nutritional imbalances, resulting in health complications.
Furthermore, a huge concern about raw feeding is the potential transmission of harmful bacteria to the whole household. Pathogens present in meat such as salmonella may not affect your dog, but could cause illnesses for your family.
4. Keep clean water readily available
One of the most important yet overlooked aspects of your dog’s healthy diet is clean water. Make sure to keep it readily available for your canine at all times. For instance, fill his water bowl early in the morning and check it once in a while if it needs to be refilled. And don’t forget to replace it daily.
5. Always be in charge
With vet supervision, you are aware of your dog’s needs better than anyone else. So, you must always actively take charge of controlling his diet. Set a feeding schedule and follow this strictly. Whenever you notice a change in your dog’s appetite, consult a vet for further evaluation. And remember not to alter his diet suddenly as this can upset your pet’s stomach.
For your dog to become healthy and happy, he must be given the right care and attention. You must feed him right, observe his regular grooming schedules, lead him in exercise and play, and encourage him to get sufficient rest to ensure a long, healthy life. Furthermore, take him to the vet for a regular checkup to keep his health at the optimum state at all times.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.