Are you trying to figure out how to make your dogs happy and healthy? Read this article for tips on creating a healthy dog diet plan.
There are many different dog diet plans out there. Grain-free, home-cooked dog food, and types of food for every age group. Your dog’s diet doesn’t only relate to his weight, it affects the health of his skin, fur, digestive and immune system.
With all the options out there, you should know the best way to feed your furry friend.
Keep reading for 4 tips on creating a healthy dog diet plan.
1. Read the Label
If you’ve never turned around the can or bag of dog food to read what you’re really feeding Fido, you may be a little disturbed. Low-quality, cheap, dog foods used fillers and byproducts like meat and bone meal, animal by-product meal, corn, rice, and other carbs to bulk up the bowl for less money.
Food for dogs is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration but not as strictly as human food.
Dog food may be labeled “beef dinner/entree/platter,” meaning beef only makes up 25 percent of the total food content. A food label such as “dog dinner with chicken” only needs to contain 3 percent chicken. Turkey flavored dog food doesn’t even need to contain a specific amount of the main ingredient (in this case, turkey) according to the FDA.
You should follow the 95 percent rule when looking for dog food. A brand labeled “Salmon for Dogs” has at least 95% salmon. The ingredients on the label are listed in order of quantity—high to low.
2. Choose Quality Food
Following the 95% rule, you should buy premium dog food. Proper dog food is endorsed by veterinarians, doesn’t have unnecessary ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Dogs need a blend of vitamins and minerals from meat and produce.
3. Follow a Schedule
A regular feeding schedule is another key aspect of building a healthy dog diet plan. While you can, or may have to free-feed your dog, this can lead to overeating, stomach and bladder issues, and weight gain if you’re not careful. Obesity causes significant health problems and increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
4. Watch His Weight
Most dogs need 25 to 30 calories per pound of bodyweight to stay healthy. Dogs of different ages, weights, and activity levels have different calorie requirements. Ask your veterinarian about how much you should feed your dog daily.
You may love seeing your dogs reaction when giving him treats or use them as a reward for good behavior, just keep in mind they are not calorie-free. Treats are alright to give your dog but keep in mind how much you feed him when it comes to mealtime.
A natural alternative to commercial treats is healthy fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, and celery. You can even bake your own homemade dog treats.
Create A Proper Dog Diet Plan
Creating a proper dog diet plan is important for his health and for a happy future. Feeding your dog, high-quality, premium dog food is the best way to know your dog is getting the vitamins and minerals he needs to play all day long.
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