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Dog Food Secrets Revealed – Are You Ignorant Or is it Common Sense?

Dog Food Secrets Revealed – Are You Ignorant Or is it Common Sense?

Having a dog is not all about fun and play. Proper nutrition is a key element in the health and long life of your dog. A healthy dog is a happy dog. To maintain a healthy, balanced diet for your dog, you will need good dog food, common sense and a veterinarian. Dogs require six types of nutrients: water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Those commercial pet foods billed as 100 percent complete and balanced provide all of a dog’s requirements, except water. But all is not what it seems with commercial dog food. Don’t short change your dog’s health. Provide him with clean, fresh drinking water at all times. Water is the key to a dog’s ability to regulate body temperature.

Generally, the more a dog eats the more water it needs. Don’t be surprised if your dog drinks a lot in one day and less in another. If there is more water in the food, the dog needs to drink less. That is why dogs eating canned food usually do not spend as much time at the water bowl. Canned food contains about 75 percent water and dry food has about 8 percent to 10 per cent. However with all the scary dog food recall in 2007 and it is still happening today since there is no regulation that makes it compulsory for commercial dog food manufacturers to recall their pet food. So it is better to be equipped with recent knowledge and dog experts’ advice regarding feeding your dog with usual commercial dog food.

Do you know that…

Table scraps will not provide the balanced diet dogs need. Ideally, table scraps should not be fed. If you do offer them, table scraps should never make up more than 10 percent of the dog’s daily food intake. A point to remember is that it does not mean you must feed your dog food that human eat just because you want to avoid commercial dog food due to the recent pet food recall. You must know what food for human is suitable for your dog. Indiscriminately feeding your pet could be worse off. Feeding a dog raw eggs repeatedly can cause a deficiency of the vitamin biotin. Raw egg whites contain avidin, an enzyme that stops biotin from being absorbed into the body. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), loss of hair and poor growth.

Although dogs enjoy meat, it is not a balanced diet. Raw meats may contain parasites, and cooked meat can be high in fat and do not contain a proper balance of nutrients. Some raw fish can cause a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Symptoms of a thiamine deficiency include anorexia (complete loss of appetite), abnormal posture, weakness, seizures, and even death. Raw salmon will also transit deadly parasites. Raw liver, fed daily in large quantities, can cause a vitamin A toxicity in dogs. This is particularly true if it is fed along with a complete and balanced diet already containing ample vitamin A.

Milk is a food and not a substitute for water. As a food, milk is incomplete and does not provide a balanced diet. It can be useful as a treat for some dogs; however, large quantities of milk may not be well tolerated. Milk contains lactose, which requires the enzyme lactose digestion. If the intestinal tract does not contain sufficient lactose, a high level of lactose can cause diarrhea. Small soft bones (such as pork chops or chicken bones) should never be given to dogs, as they may splinter and lodge in the mouth or throat.

Switching Dog Foods

You can’t switch dog foods overnight. Your dog may end up with gastric “distress”. It’s messy. So switch foods slowly. Start out with a ratio of new food to old in the 1:4 range. Monitor its intake and digestion. Choose a good quality food and stock up. If you change brands, do it slowly so that you do not upset the dog’s digestive system.