When you bring your dog to the vet for a checkup, there's a good chance the vet might talk to you about the dog's diet. What you feed your dog has a lot to do with its health, and you might not realize that you are actually causing harm to your dog through the foods you give it each day. Here are some tips to help you feed your dog the right food for optimal health.
Choosing the Right Dog Food
The most common food dogs eat is dry dog food. This type of food comes in bags and can be made of many ingredients, including meats, vegetables, and grains. Choosing dog food that has a mixture of these three ingredients will offer the dog a healthy diet, but you should always look at a weight chart to determine how much food your dog should eat each day. If you give it too much, it could gain too much weight, which could make it unhealthy.
As you look for the right dry dog food to purchase, there are certain ingredients you should try to avoid. If you find these ingredients listed on the bag, you might want to consider buying a different brand:
- Chemicals and preservatives – These ingredients are often added to prolong the shelf life of the food, and a common one you might see on a bag of dog food is butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA).
- Dyes – Some companies add dyes to the food to change the colors as a way of making the food more appealing. Dogs do not care about colors of foods, and you should avoid buying dog food that contains any types of dyes.
- Gluten – While some dogs can handle eating gluten, there are many dogs that actually cannot. To be safe, avoid all dog foods that contain corn or wheat gluten.
If you are not sure if the brand of food you are currently using is good for your dog, bring the bag in to your next visit. Your vet could look it over to find out if it is the safest and healthiest option. If not, your vet might be able to sell you a natural type of dog food that will be good for your dog, or he or she might recommend some brands that you could look into.
According to Dog Food Advisor, there are times when giving your dog canned dog food might be a good idea. If you are not sure which type to use, talk to your vet.
Foods You Should Never Give To Dogs
It's also important for you to realize that human food is not always the best type of food to give to dogs. There are certain types of human foods that are good for dogs, but other types of human foods can make dogs sick. While it can be tempting to give your dog scraps from the table, you should always avoid giving your dog these foods:
- Grapes – Grapes and raisins are both bad for dogs because they can lead to kidney failure.
- Chocolate – Dogs cannot handle chocolate either, especially dark chocolate. Chocolate contains a stimulant known as theobromine, and this can be toxic to dogs because their bodies cannot break it down correctly.
- Sugar – Most foods you eat contain at least a little bit of sugar, but dogs should not eat a lot of sugar. It can cause them to develop diabetes, and it can lead to obesity.
- Cat food – If you also have cats, keep the cat food away from your dog. It may seem like cat food and dog food are interchangeable; however, they are not. Cat food contains more proteins than dog food, and the amount can be way too high for dogs.
If your dog is overweight or tired, it might be from the food you are giving it. To learn more about this subject, visit a vet clinic in your area.
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