Dog Food Health Issues and Strategies
Dog Food Health Issues and Strategies
Dog food health issues is a relevant topic to contemplate about as a pet owner, because you know the importance of a wholesome, nutritious, well-balanced diet.
You know the kind of diet we mean - food that gives you the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals every day.
In fact, when you were a kid, your mother probably lectured you on just how important it is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. That''s because fruits and veggies supply certain essential nutrients that meat and starches don''t, and your body needs a constant supply.
Your dog''s body works the same way. It, too, needs a steady, regular source of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, fats and so on.
That''s why feeding your dog a well-balanced, high quality dog food is the single most important thing you can do to keep your dog healthy.
Benefits of a Complete Diet
Take a quick look at your dog. Is his coat shiny and healthy? Are his eyes bright and clear? Does he seem active and happy? If so, you''re witnessing some of the many benefits of feeding your dog high quality dog food.
But dog food health issues can occur when you feed your dog a poor quality diet. For example, his coat might be patchy or seem dull, his skin might be dry and flaky, he might seem lethargic, or he might seem hungry all the time.
Those things were all fairly common in the old days when people mostly fed leftovers and table scraps to their dogs. That practice might have saved those people some money and at the same time put those leftovers to use, but it presents at least two distinct dog food health issues.
Both issues relate to the differences between the human body and the canine body, and in some ways those differences are quite significant.
Dog Food is Specific
Here''s the first dog food health issue that can come up if you feed your dog "people food," whether the food consists of table scraps from your plates or full-fledged leftovers you give your dog the next day: food that''s safe and healthy for people to eat won''t necessarily be safe (or healthy) for dogs.
Certain common "people foods" are actually toxic to dogs. Raisins, grapes, garlic, onion, macadamia nuts and chocolate are all prime examples.
But, let''s say you wisely avoid giving your dog any of those potentially dangerous foods. Unfortunately, there''s another dog food health issue with feeding "people food" to your dog: the food you eat might do a fine job satisfying your body''s nutritional requirements, but your dog''s needs are different.
As a result, leftovers, no matter how wholesome and nutritious they might be for a human, just won''t be adequate to satisfy the nutritional needs of your dog''s body, at least not in the long run.
Those are the two main dog food health issues relating to feeding human food to your pet, but you also need to remember to keep "people food" that''s gone "past its prime" away from your dog. You won''t do him any favors by feeding him something that''s spoiled, moldy or rotten.
If you feel compelled to give your dog "people food" despite all the expert advice to the contrary, at least use your common sense. In other words, if you wouldn''t eat it yourself, don''t feed it to your dog!
Different Nutritional Demands
Other dog food health issues include the potential impact of the differences in nutritional needs between puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs.
For example, you just wouldn''t want to feed your brand-new puppy a dog food that''s been formulated to meet the specific needs of an elderly dog, because the needs of the two age groups are distinctly different.
And small dogs have different nutritional requirements than large dogs. That''s why we''re now seeing so many commercial dog foods that are labeled for small dogs, while others are intended for large dogs. Some are even labeled for specific breeds!
Just like every human, every dog needs the recommended amounts of certain essential nutrients in his daily diet. The right amounts of protein, fats, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals will all be in a healthy dog food.
You can prepare healthy, home-cooked meals for your dog and not run into any dog food health issues, but it takes a lot of time and you''ll need to do some careful research so you can ensure that your dog''s diet contains the right amounts of everything his body requires and nothing that will harm him.
High-quality, scientifically formulated, nutritionally complete commercial dog foods are available, and they''re certainly much easier.
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