Dog owners take pride in their dogs and often go to great lengths to pamper them and treat them like royal members of the family. But many times the most essential element of their livelihood is overlooked. Some may think that buying a national chain food brand is enough, or some even splurge on various treats and health products. When observing a pet’s health, veterinarians are very quickly able to identify the key components of the nutritional profile in the diet. Whether it’s a generic canned dog food or leftovers from dinner, what goes in your pup ultimately controls a number of factors about its longevity and quality of life. While you’re considering what you feed your beloved furry family member, keep in mind a few essentials.
Here are 5 common dog feeding mistakes owners make:
1. Processed Dog Food – When pets consume processed food, they are consuming a number of unidentifiable chemicals and additives that flow into their system with each bite. These are the commercial grade pet foods that are sold at most retailers and online. There are harsh correlations between these foods and the overall health of pets. Being attentive to the ingredients in pet food is just as important as paying attention to the ingredients in human food. Just because there is an additive that is permissible, doesn’t mean it is beneficial.
2. Grain – Over the last 10 years alone, the research that has been conducted on the impact of grain in diet has been overwhelmingly conclusive, it can be triggering for both humans and pets. Since, in their own natural elements, dogs are not exposed to grain for feeding purposes, it is not a substance that they would consume independent of domestication. Grains are loaded into commercial dog food regularly and even marketed as a health benefit to the pups. While there can be nutritional components to grain, the benefit gained is not outweighed by the dangers. Sadly, the grains that are introduced into the common dog foods these days is a leader in causing excessive weight issues. Try to keep the diet lean and consisting of the essential elements that dogs need.
3. Fats – Dogs and humans alike need healthy fats for their bodies to functions. Healthy fats, meaning avocados, oils, and naturally occurring amino acids, allow the adrenal system and metabolism to function properly. In essence, fat is good. When some hear fat, they may have a natural response to recoil. Natural, healthy fats are a great thing and something the body relies upon regularly. Depriving your own body, or your pet of healthy fats can have serious consequences. Along with improving overall health, fats carry a number of nutrients into the blood stream to be absorbed.
4. Table Scraps – This is a big one. What is consumed by humans isn’t always beneficial to humans, let alone pups. When table scraps are fed to a dog, they are consuming all the sugars that are rampantly ingested at the dinner table. While it may seem innocent, over time the amount of food given does add up. This also creates a nasty habit. Something to examine when the pet is not well is their diet. This will likely be the first thing that will need to change to adjust the pet’s overall well-being. Stopping this trade off with your pet is more difficult than avoiding it in the first place.
5. Lack of consistency – There are a few elements to keep in mind to make your dog’s feeding routine consistent and healthy. Firstly, adhere to a feeding schedule. Do not keep food in your dog’s bowl at all times to freely feed whenever they want. Some owners do this to prevent their pets from going hungry, particularly when not around. Similar to humans, when food is in front of you and readily accessible, overeating is more likely to happen, leading to excessive weight gain. Better eating habits occur when scheduled feedings are adhered to. Which leads us to the second suggestion, measuring your dog food portion. In many breeds of dogs, overweight issues can adversely affect their health and energy. Being mindful of the amount you feed your dog will keep them leaner , healthier and more youthful.
The number one thing to remember is that it is not always a one size fits all approach. Understanding your pet’s health is the most important starting point. These 5 common dog feeding mistakes are a good first step to make but the next step is identifying the triggers in your dog’s diet that can lead to potential health risks and doing more research. Finding the right supplements to incorporate for the pet is the final piece that allows for a higher level of health and a longer life span for your best friend.