The secret for a happy and healthy dog is to find out what food your dog likes best and most important, what is best for him to learn to like.
First step, is to make sure the food your dogs eat comes in the form of a well balanced diet, this should include raw or cooked meats, vegetables, fruits and grains, be it home food or ready mixed dog food. Try and research different foods, in order to find what is best for your pet, and which ones your dog likes best. You may proceed by carefully checking the ingredients of dog food products sold in general stores, if you do not intend to give your dog the same food you are eating.
If you do decide to feed your dog with the same food you use yourself, give priority to chicken, turkey or beef, raw vegetables and brown rice or oatmeal, make sure that when you do cook these ingredients, it is done as simply as possible, for example by boiling the food. Believe it or not boiled vegetables, cottages cheese and an egg once a week are also useful for a well balanced diet.
A diet which is too rich in corn or soybean and wheat may lead to serious health problems, for many dogs are allergic to these substances. Dogs may start itching, licking their paws, rubbing their faces, and shedding hair, may develop hot spots and have gas problems. These foods rich in grains also provide too many calories, the result being an overweight and undernourished dog.
Unfortunately, many types of processed dog foods contain a high percentage of grains and fats as well as preservatives. At times the quality of the ingredients is doubtful, and often, fatty ingredients are added to make the foods tastier for the dog. Also much of the grains and meats discarded by the producers are recycled and used to produce pet food.
So when purchasing dog food, make sure you choose a high quality and well-balanced brand. Check the “Guaranteed analysis label” on the product, you should be looking for a higher meat based content, about 30 percent protein and 18 percent fat. Preservatives should be in the form of vitamin E and C with a good balance of fatty acids. An imbalance of calcium and phosphorus may also lead to serious health problems.
Keep in mind that if your dog’s food is already balanced with these above components, supplements such as “scraps”, may be harmful to your dog’s health. On the other hand you may feed your dog with the scraps, as long as you make sure it receives a balanced diet.
The kind of food your dog likes best will be the food you will teach it to like, beginning from the puppy stage and on to the adult. If your dog has never tasted food that is not good for him he won’t even know it exists! Keep in mind that you’re the key to a healthy diet for your pet dog.