When it comes to doggie meal time, there is more to it than disciplining your pooch by not feeding it table scraps, and having a fixed meal time (twice a day for dogs 6 months and up). It is also about the nutritional content in the food they eat on a daily basis. Good nutrition means less diseases, less skin and coat issues, better oral health and longer lifespan.
Most of us don’t have a comprehensive knowledge on doggie nutrition though, and with an endless array of dog food brands out there, how do we begin to choose?
The secret is to have a well-balanced meal, for dogs, that means an omnivorous diet. Mix it up a little! Give them a combination of dry, and canned food, with the occasional raw, meaty bones. Let’s go through the types of dog food there are out in the market.
Dry food is easy to clean, cheap, but is the lowest quality. This does not mean they are any less fresh than canned foods, but they are usually high in grain content, which does not suit all dogs well. The more premium-quality foods usually have costlier base ingredients such as chicken and corn, but are easier to digest. However since it is more digestible, they don’t need large amounts so it could turn out to be same in overall cost or cheaper, than grain-base versions.
Have a dog that has sensitive digestive systems? Try a lamb and rice formula, or fish and potato, turkey and rice, fish and corn, duck and rice, fish and tapioca etc. You can ask your vet for their opinions as well.
Canned foods are easily available. Make sure you pick one that complies with the Australian Standard, and marked as complete and balanced. Some canned foods require complementary biscuits.
Fresh Meat for Pets
Packaged fresh meat is often not balanced enough. In the wild, a fresh diet consists of bones, organs, and hide. Also, preservatives like sulphur dioxide, sodium and potassium sulphite could be fatal. Dogs may also be susceptible to salmonella and campylobacter food poisoning. Additionally, bone shards may damage gut. The main benefits of this raw diet is for dogs with dietary intolerances, even to premium-quality dry diets.
For optimal nutrition, it is best to give your dog a variety of food. The safest bet is to choose high-quality commercial diets that comply with Australian Standards as the baseline, and then occasionally throwing in the raw meaty bones. Bones itself has great benefits for your dog, it helps prevent periodontal gum disease, which could affect the liver, kidney and heart. So on top of brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, remember to give them raw chicken wings once in awhile. Remember, NEVER give cooked bones, they can splinter and get stuck in their digestive systems.