Does your canine buddy come running when he realizes you’re cooking something? Fido is always cute, but he’s extra adorable when he knows dinnertime is approaching, or if he thinks you may share a yummy treat. Making sure your pooch is eating wholesome, nutritious food is very important. A Greater Cincinnati vet offers some tips on doggy nutrition below.
Pet food companies use slick marketing tactics to make their products seem great, but the only real way to gauge quality is to check labels. Fido’s food should consist of mostly meat, fish, or poultry, supplemented with healthy ingredients, such as rice, quinoa, and/or healthy produce. Avoid products with long lists of ingredients that read like chemical experiments.
Measure It Out
Portion control is very important here. Even giving Fido ten calories too much each day can add up to a gain of about a pound a year. That’s a lot for a pooch! You may see guidelines on the label, but those are quite general. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Slow It Down
It’s cute that Fido is so enthusiastic about food, but there is a downside to that foodie spirit. Some of our canine companions eat too fast. This can cause or contribute to bloat, which is both extremely painful and extremely dangerous. Large breeds and deep-chested pups are particularly prone to these issues, but they can happen to any pooch. One possible option is to put a tennis ball in Fido’s bowl. He’ll be forced to slow down as he moves it out of the way. (This of course isn’t a good option for very large dogs, as they could possibly choke on the ball.)
Choose Appropriate Bowls
Picking dog bowls isn’t the biggest decision you’ll make for your furry friend. However, it is important that Fido have dishes that are appropriate for his age, size, and eating habits. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Adjust As Needed
Your canine friend’s nutritional needs will change over time. Puppies need to eat smaller, more frequent meals than adult dogs. Seniors also have unique nutritional needs. Ask your vet for tips on how and when to make these adjustments. Always make dietary changes slowly, over the course of several days. Otherwise, you may upset that furry tummy!
As your Greater Cincinnati animal clinic, we are dedicated to providing great veterinary care. Please contact us anytime!