Feeding Your Dog
As it is very difficult to get this balance right, you are probably better off choosing from one of the tried and tested commercial diets. Puppies need the best possible diet whilst they are growing up, as even a slight imbalance may harm their development and growth.
Any change in diet should be made very gradually over at least a week to avoid upset and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.
There are a wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market which vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colourings, milk products and fat in them. Even ‘doggy chocs’ or ‘low fat yoghurt drops’ can contain sugars or lactose (milk sugar) so always check the ingredients label.
Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs dietary needs in mind. However, all treats should be given sparingly, never more than 15% of the total calorie intake.
If used regularly reduce the amount of main meal food your dog is receiving in order to avoid obesity. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.
Real chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can cause liver damage and even be fatal, so never give your dog any chocolate, or leave any lying around for it to find and eat, especially at Christmas time.
Avoid giving your dog any sweet biscuits or sugary treats which are bad for its teeth as well as its waistline, and can cause sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. Stick to prepared treats and desiccated liver tablets.
Dog feeding tips
- It is better to stick to one variety of good quality dog food and do not add any supplements (unless instructed by your vet), as oversupplementing can be harmful to your dog.
- If your dog does not eat all of its meal in one go, you may be offering it too much. Not all dogs eat the amount recommended by the food manufacturers. The right amount should produce firm, dark brown, crinkly stools. If the stools are firm, but get softer towards the end, this is a classic sign of overfeeding.
- Never change your dog’s diet abruptly (unless under the direction of your vet). If you want to change its diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week.
- Do not feed your dog before travelling in the car as this can encourage car-sickness, or an hour before or after exercise as this could contribute to a stomach dilation and torsion (also known as bloat) which is a life threatening condition requiring immediate veterinary intervention.
- Medium to large breeds of dogs should be fed from a raised bowl to prevent them from swallowing air while they eat, which can also contribute to bloat. You can buy bowl stands for this purpose. For owners of breeds who are thought to be susceptible to this condition, you should seek advice from your breeder, vet and/or breed club on further precautionary measures.
- Leave your dog in peace while it is eating from its bowl. Taking the bowl away while it is eating causes anxiety, which can lead to food aggression. If you want to be sure that your dog is comfortable with you approaching it during mealtimes, add a little food to the bowl while it is eating, so it sees you as an asset, rather than a threat.
- Never feed your dog from the table or your plate, as this encourages drooling and attention seeking behavior’s such as begging and barking.
Dog food Brands
- Arden Grange
- Barking Heads
- Dr Johns
- James Wellbeloved
- Lilly’s Kitchen
- Natures menu
- Royal canin