Food & Nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Feeding an Adult Dog
Adult dogs require sufficient nutrients to meet energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. Activity levels may vary dramatically between pets, and will play an important role in determining caloric intake.

Vitamins and minerals
The amount you feed an adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. For example, a dog with a normal activity level should receive what we call maintenance energy. A pampered lap dog may require just 10% of that, while an active pet who exercises regularly outdoors may require maintenance plus 20 to 40%. You may need to adjust portions as you learn your dog’s ideal required amount. Pet owners should always consult with their dog’s veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule and types of foods for their pets.

Outside factors, like the temperature, can contribute to how much your dog should eat. Since keeping warm and cool require extra energy expenditure, extreme hot or cold weather can also increase a dog’s energy needs. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about what to do when the mercury dips or soars.

Limiting treats
Treats should be given in moderation and represent five percent or less of the dog’s daily food intake. The rest should come from a nutritionally compete dog food. When using treats as motivation, such as during training exercises, use the smallest pieces you can.

Setting a feeding schedule
We recommend all dogs be fed twice daily. Simply divide the amount of food your pet requires into two meals, spaced eight to twelve hours apart. Dogs may be fed in a number of ways that meet both the owner’s and the animal’s needs. These methods include portion-control, free-choice and timed feeding.

Feeding a senior dog
Dogs begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to 12 years of age. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too. Some of these may be unavoidable while others can be managed with diet. When feeding your older dog, the main objective should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow development of chronic disease and minimize diseases that may already be present.

Overweight dogs
One of the most common pitfalls dog parents should watch out for is overfeeding. Attempts to shower our dogs with love by means of big meals and lots of tasty treats are sweet, but misguided. In dogs, as with humans, extra weight can lead to health problems. Be sure to indulge your four-legged friend with affection, not food. Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy requirements. This excess energy is then stored as fat. The majority of cases of obesity are related to simple overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise. Certain groups of dogs appear to be more prone to obesity than others. Specific breeds, such as Labrador retrievers and pugs, and older dogs are particularly susceptible.

Commercial Dog Food
Commercial dog food is designed to meet all of a dog’s nutritional needs. Most products have meat, grains, vegetables, fruit, and vitamins. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition says commercial foods are safe and healthful options for feeding pets. Be sure to pick the food that’s right for your dog’s stage of life - puppy, pregnant or nursing, or adult.

What should I look for in a dog food?
Feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford. The differences between a premium food and budget food aren’t found on the nutrition label. They are found in the quality and source of ingredients. Two dog foods may each contain 27% protein but be vastly different when it comes to digestibility. Pet food ingredients are listed by order of weight. Each ingredient is weighed when it is added to the batch of food, and ingredients such as fresh meat contain a lot of water, much of which is lost during processing. This means that a dry diet that lists corn as the first ingredient may be nutritionally superior to one listing meat first. Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients.

Dry food(kibble) or canned wet food?
When it comes to wet or dry food, both can have benefits. Dry food is believed to be better for a dog’s teeth. Wet food provides more moisture, which is helpful for those dogs that don’t drink adequate amount of water.

In terms of nutrition and digestibility, there are simply no differences between dry and canned (wet) dog food. You should make your decision based on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. For dogs that need to consume more water or have certain special dietary needs, canned foods may be a better choice. Otherwise, most dogs will do fine on dry kibble.

Can a Dog Be Vegetarian?
Dogs need a balanced diet, just like humans, so you’re going to have to look for sources of proteins, other than meat, to give him. To feed a dog a vegetarian diet takes a lot of research, planning, and work to prepare a diet that provides the nutrition and balance that a dog needs to thrive. It can be difficult to create a vegetarian diet that provides a dog with all the nutrition it requires.

Table Scraps
If you do treat your dog or pup from the table, keep an eye on how much you’re giving and what you're feeding. Extra food outside of his daily dog food should only be about 10% of his daily diet. Although there are some foods from your plate that you can give a dog, you’ve got to be careful. Some food like chocolate, fatty foods, chicken bones, moldy foods, salty snacks, and raw meat are not good for pets. Also, you have to avoid foods like grapes, raisins, and onions.

Homemade Food
Pet owners and vets are divided in two very distinct camps when it comes to homemade dog food recipes. There are the some pet owners who consider that food prepared at home lacks certain very important nutrients and minerals and there are the ones who consider dogs should eat homemade food. The food you prepare at home has the main advantage of being fresh, delicious and prepared with ingredients you actually know. A homemade dog food diet isn't hard to design, but does require planning.

Some benefits of home-cooked food
  • Homemade pet food contains the freshest and healthiest ingredients.
    When making homemade meals, you will have to visit the local market or grocer where you can find locally raised vegetables and meat products. This means a higher nutritional content since they have not been stored for months and they have not travelled hundreds of miles to slowly lose their nutrients during the long transit. This way, you can be assured that your pet is not eating antibiotic, steroid and hormone-laden foods.
  • Homemade pet foods are less likely to lose nutrients by cooking methods.
    Since the food is cooked in small batches, they are cooked in less heat and water and so they also lose lesser nutrients during the cooking process. Compared to commercial food preparation, home cooking also makes use of lesser heat whereas industrial grade commercial cooking use extremely high temperatures.
  • Homemade dog food does not contain preservatives.
    This is perhaps one of the most valuable health aspects of making your pet’s food at home. The only way you can lengthen the shelf life of homemade food is by storing it in the freezer, which does not pose any serious health risks for your pet unless you serve the food frozen. You will definitely give a large chance for your pet to gain better health if you serve foods that are not contaminated with these toxic chemicals.
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