Dog parents know the importance of a balanced diet. Dogs have evolved from the wild creatures they used to be millennia ago, but their diet is not that entirely different from that of their ancestors. Learning a few things about the foods your dog should and should not eat will help you keep him or her in perfect health.
Pick a high-quality dog food for your pet
The rule of thumb is simple. Make sure that your dog eats a balanced diet, by choosing a premium dog food from the brands available. Such food should contain high-quality protein and plenty of vitamins and oxidants.
If you notice that some dog foods on the market contain veggies and fruits, fret not. While dogs do not directly eat such foods, their digestive system is used to them. How? When they used to live like wild animals, their diet consisted of other wild animals.
Their prey was, often, herbivore, and that meant the content of their stomach still contained traces of fruits and vegetables when they were devoured. That is why dogs can be tolerant and need such foods in their diet.
Don’t forget to feed a diet suitable for the life stage of your pet
If you have a senior dog, feed him or her senior dog food. If you have a puppy, pick a brand of dog food that caters to the specific needs of dogs still in full-fledge development. The good news is that many dog food manufacturers now have recipes for all life stages, and it is easy to pick the right one.
Feed your dog only raw meat that would be consumed by humans
Your dog may grow bored with the same dog food all the time. That is the right moment for introducing a bit of variety. That may include raw meat and bones, but be aware; the ones that are sold on the market as dog food can be filled with preservatives.
Your best choice is to buy some raw meat and bones that are good for human consumption. This way, you will be able to complement your dog’s diet with nothing but the highest quality food ingredients.
Any processed meats, sausages, and other similar meat products on the market should be avoided. They usually contain sulfite preservatives, and these are detrimental to your dog’s health.
What about cooked food?
You can introduce some cooked food in your dog’s diet, but, by no means should you just feed your dog leftovers. For instance, you should avoid giving your dog cooked bones (chicken bones especially), because these may splinter and cause internal damage once ingested. Also, boiled carrots are okay, and so is prepared rice or pasta. Keen an eye for the sodium content, though, as dogs aren’t supposed to eat as much salt as humans.
Other foods that are allowed
Fish is a good option to supplement your dog’s diet, especially since it is rich in fatty acids that are good for brain development. Another thing you can do is to allow your dog to roam freely somewhere where he or she can eat grass that was not chemically treated.