Nutrition Basics

Nutrition Basics

Nutrition Basics

More and more people are realizing how critical diet is to a healthy lifestyle… not just for them, but their beloved pets as well.  However, after feeding your pup processed dog foods and calling it a day for so long, the switch may require some research. What should I be feeding my dog? How much should I be feeding them? What kind of dog foods are there? These are very common questions that you will need the answers to in order to get your dog to their peak.

There are three basic types of dog food, according to Feeding Your Dog: Dry or Kibble (contains 6-10% moisture) which is the most popular form of dog food due to its inexpensiveness; Soft-moist food (contains 23-40% moisture) which has a long shelf life; and Canned food (contains 68-80%) which is the most palatable type of food. There are also emerging types of food such as raw, frozen, and dehydrated. Most dehydrated food has all of the nutrients your dog needs, but is just missing the moisture which you add by mixing water into the food.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the contents of these food types, consult this link (Feeding and Nutrition from MSU.)

Tufts has provided these 3 important questions to consider when deciding what to feed your dog:

• Is the food complete and balanced?

• For which stage of a pet’s life is the food intended?

• How are the claims on the label substantiated?

Puppies, like babies, need to be fed more often and should be fed up to 4 times daily when they are less than 3 months old. They should be fed 3 times from the age of 3-5 months, and can move down to 2 times or even once a day in adulthood. Just remember to keep them on a good routine schedule!

Lisa Freeman suggests using the following simple guideline for determining whether you are feeding your pet too much: “If you can easily feel the ribs, without pushing hard, then you’re feeding the right amount. If you have to push hard to feel the ribs—or you can’t feel them at all—you’re feeding too much.”

As always, be sure to monitor how much water your dog is taking in. Dehydration is a growing concern especially for active puppies. Auburn has found that In general, a dog only gets about 25% of their required water intake from drinking water. The rest must be compensated by the moisture content of the food being given.

Found an orphaned puppy or cat? Follow these special feeding instructions courtesy of UMN to get them back to health and then use the guide above.