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Finding the Perfect Diet for Your Dog

Diet for Dog
Dogs
,
Nutrition
Share this article
Finding the Perfect Diet for Your Dog
Diet for Dog
Dogs
,
Nutrition
Finding the Perfect Diet for Your Dog
Share this article
Diet for Dog
Eating a balanced nutritional diet packed with vitamins and minerals will set your dog up for a healthy life and give them the building blocks they need to fuel their busy days. A good diet will improve coat quality and shine, maintain and support muscle and bone growth. A nutritionally balanced diet will boost the immune system, which is important in fighting disease and illness.

A well-balanced diet fed in appropriate amounts can prevent obesity, and the health concerns that come with it such as osteoarthritis or respiratory disease. 

Dietary needs change as your dog ages

Each life stage will have different energy requirements and desexed dogs need fewer calories than entire dogs.

Puppies (0-18 months) are actively growing and need larger amounts of calories than dogs in the adult or senior stages of life. They need food that is finely balanced in calcium-to-phosphorus ratios to avoid issues in the growth of healthy bones.

Adult dogs (18 months-7 years) are fully formed and need a balanced diet that supports maintaining their healthy body weight and avoiding obesity. For an adult dog, any diet that meets AAFCO standards is suitable, and following the feeding guidelines is more important than the type of food, as this is the life stage most prone to extra weight gain.

Senior dogs (7+ years) have lower calorie requirements as they tend to be less active, but often need extra supplements, for example, diets with added glucosamine or chondroitin help support optimum joint health. Prescription diets are recommended if your dog has a medical issue that can be supported through diet.

During late pregnancy or when nursing puppies, a female dog's energy requirements are much higher, so feeding extra food, or puppy food, is recommended for her to get the extra calories she needs to support her puppies. She may also need calcium supplementation, so be sure to have some product on hand.

Prescription diets

Food has so many powerful properties and the right food can even treat medical illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, or kidney disease. These foods have extra properties suitable to the disease, for example, diets to support kidney function will have lower salt and protein levels to ease the burden on failing kidneys. This food is prescription only and available from your veterinarian, so talk to them if you want to use nutrition as part of your dog’s treatment.

Features of a good diet

All balanced diets are composed of the following:

  • Water
  • Carbohydrates (including fibre)
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

A good diet follows AAFCO standards, and clearly states on the packaging the ingredients and nutritional composition (e.g., % of crude protein, fat etc). Some pet foods will not have an ingredient list, and these should be avoided as you have no idea what food items you are putting into your dog's digestive system. Dog food should have a feeding guide on the packet or tin, and if you cannot find a feeding guide, this is a product to avoid feeding.

If a pet food advertises that they have a veterinary nutritionist on their team, or the diet has been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist this is a sign of a good diet. It's important that a diet makes your dog feel full, or they may start to eat non-edible items or start begging for food. Using a commercially formulated diet can help avoid this problem.

Home-cooked diets are possible and have benefits for dogs with food or skin allergies for example. There are risks, including malnutrition, so if you are choosing to feed a home-cooked or prepared diet, always work in conjunction with a veterinary nutritionist. You will need to regularly check in with your nutritionist as your dog ages, as there are different requirements for each lifestage as mentioned above. Home-cooked diets are not usually recommended for dogs under one year old, and it's important to double-check if a food item is safe for your dog to eat before feeding.

Diet fads

Grain-free diets are very popular amongst dog owners, but grain allergies are very, very rare in dogs, and grain-free diets have been linked with cardiomyopathies in dogs, so are best avoided.

Raw feeding is another popular food choice. If using this diet, make sure a veterinary nutritionist has assessed it to make sure it is balanced and complete. Risks of raw feeding include constipation, bacterial infections in pets and people, and nutritional imbalances.

Treats

Let's be honest, everyone enjoys a treat occasionally. Moderation is key, and using treats that have added benefits such as dental hygiene can help. Use the VOHC website to look for dental treats that are proven to be effective.

The best thing about treats for your dog is that you can use their normal kibble as a treat or reward during training and they will still get excited about it. Using their normal kibble helps ensure they are not gaining too much extra weight from treats. If your dog likes variety, try small amounts of fruit and vegetables such as carrots, blueberries, or apples.

Treats are not nutritionally balanced so cannot be fed as a diet alone, they must be given in combination with a balanced diet. If you are unsure about brands or amounts to feed, always ask a veterinarian.

Trust the experts

The pet food industry is vast and lucrative for business owners, and there are many companies trying to capitalise on diet trends or pet owners’ fears. If a product sounds too good to be true, stay away.  Always research before feeding a diet to your dog, consult your veterinary team, and choose healthy treat options to keep your dog healthy and happy.

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Eating a balanced nutritional diet packed with vitamins and minerals will set your dog up for a healthy life and give them the building blocks they need to fuel their busy days. A good diet will improve coat quality and shine, maintain and support muscle and bone growth. A nutritionally balanced diet will boost the immune system, which is important in fighting disease and illness.

A well-balanced diet fed in appropriate amounts can prevent obesity, and the health concerns that come with it such as osteoarthritis or respiratory disease. 

Dietary needs change as your dog ages

Each life stage will have different energy requirements and desexed dogs need fewer calories than entire dogs.

Puppies (0-18 months) are actively growing and need larger amounts of calories than dogs in the adult or senior stages of life. They need food that is finely balanced in calcium-to-phosphorus ratios to avoid issues in the growth of healthy bones.

Adult dogs (18 months-7 years) are fully formed and need a balanced diet that supports maintaining their healthy body weight and avoiding obesity. For an adult dog, any diet that meets AAFCO standards is suitable, and following the feeding guidelines is more important than the type of food, as this is the life stage most prone to extra weight gain.

Senior dogs (7+ years) have lower calorie requirements as they tend to be less active, but often need extra supplements, for example, diets with added glucosamine or chondroitin help support optimum joint health. Prescription diets are recommended if your dog has a medical issue that can be supported through diet.

During late pregnancy or when nursing puppies, a female dog's energy requirements are much higher, so feeding extra food, or puppy food, is recommended for her to get the extra calories she needs to support her puppies. She may also need calcium supplementation, so be sure to have some product on hand.

Prescription diets

Food has so many powerful properties and the right food can even treat medical illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, or kidney disease. These foods have extra properties suitable to the disease, for example, diets to support kidney function will have lower salt and protein levels to ease the burden on failing kidneys. This food is prescription only and available from your veterinarian, so talk to them if you want to use nutrition as part of your dog’s treatment.

Features of a good diet

All balanced diets are composed of the following:

  • Water
  • Carbohydrates (including fibre)
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

A good diet follows AAFCO standards, and clearly states on the packaging the ingredients and nutritional composition (e.g., % of crude protein, fat etc). Some pet foods will not have an ingredient list, and these should be avoided as you have no idea what food items you are putting into your dog's digestive system. Dog food should have a feeding guide on the packet or tin, and if you cannot find a feeding guide, this is a product to avoid feeding.

If a pet food advertises that they have a veterinary nutritionist on their team, or the diet has been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist this is a sign of a good diet. It's important that a diet makes your dog feel full, or they may start to eat non-edible items or start begging for food. Using a commercially formulated diet can help avoid this problem.

Home-cooked diets are possible and have benefits for dogs with food or skin allergies for example. There are risks, including malnutrition, so if you are choosing to feed a home-cooked or prepared diet, always work in conjunction with a veterinary nutritionist. You will need to regularly check in with your nutritionist as your dog ages, as there are different requirements for each lifestage as mentioned above. Home-cooked diets are not usually recommended for dogs under one year old, and it's important to double-check if a food item is safe for your dog to eat before feeding.

Diet fads

Grain-free diets are very popular amongst dog owners, but grain allergies are very, very rare in dogs, and grain-free diets have been linked with cardiomyopathies in dogs, so are best avoided.

Raw feeding is another popular food choice. If using this diet, make sure a veterinary nutritionist has assessed it to make sure it is balanced and complete. Risks of raw feeding include constipation, bacterial infections in pets and people, and nutritional imbalances.

Treats

Let's be honest, everyone enjoys a treat occasionally. Moderation is key, and using treats that have added benefits such as dental hygiene can help. Use the VOHC website to look for dental treats that are proven to be effective.

The best thing about treats for your dog is that you can use their normal kibble as a treat or reward during training and they will still get excited about it. Using their normal kibble helps ensure they are not gaining too much extra weight from treats. If your dog likes variety, try small amounts of fruit and vegetables such as carrots, blueberries, or apples.

Treats are not nutritionally balanced so cannot be fed as a diet alone, they must be given in combination with a balanced diet. If you are unsure about brands or amounts to feed, always ask a veterinarian.

Trust the experts

The pet food industry is vast and lucrative for business owners, and there are many companies trying to capitalise on diet trends or pet owners’ fears. If a product sounds too good to be true, stay away.  Always research before feeding a diet to your dog, consult your veterinary team, and choose healthy treat options to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
Eating a balanced nutritional diet packed with vitamins and minerals will set your dog up for a healthy life and give them the building blocks they need to fuel their busy days. A good diet will improve coat quality and shine, maintain and support muscle and bone growth. A nutritionally balanced diet will boost the immune system, which is important in fighting disease and illness.

A well-balanced diet fed in appropriate amounts can prevent obesity, and the health concerns that come with it such as osteoarthritis or respiratory disease. 

Dietary needs change as your dog ages

Each life stage will have different energy requirements and desexed dogs need fewer calories than entire dogs.

Puppies (0-18 months) are actively growing and need larger amounts of calories than dogs in the adult or senior stages of life. They need food that is finely balanced in calcium-to-phosphorus ratios to avoid issues in the growth of healthy bones.

Adult dogs (18 months-7 years) are fully formed and need a balanced diet that supports maintaining their healthy body weight and avoiding obesity. For an adult dog, any diet that meets AAFCO standards is suitable, and following the feeding guidelines is more important than the type of food, as this is the life stage most prone to extra weight gain.

Senior dogs (7+ years) have lower calorie requirements as they tend to be less active, but often need extra supplements, for example, diets with added glucosamine or chondroitin help support optimum joint health. Prescription diets are recommended if your dog has a medical issue that can be supported through diet.

During late pregnancy or when nursing puppies, a female dog's energy requirements are much higher, so feeding extra food, or puppy food, is recommended for her to get the extra calories she needs to support her puppies. She may also need calcium supplementation, so be sure to have some product on hand.

Prescription diets

Food has so many powerful properties and the right food can even treat medical illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, or kidney disease. These foods have extra properties suitable to the disease, for example, diets to support kidney function will have lower salt and protein levels to ease the burden on failing kidneys. This food is prescription only and available from your veterinarian, so talk to them if you want to use nutrition as part of your dog’s treatment.

Features of a good diet

All balanced diets are composed of the following:

  • Water
  • Carbohydrates (including fibre)
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

A good diet follows AAFCO standards, and clearly states on the packaging the ingredients and nutritional composition (e.g., % of crude protein, fat etc). Some pet foods will not have an ingredient list, and these should be avoided as you have no idea what food items you are putting into your dog's digestive system. Dog food should have a feeding guide on the packet or tin, and if you cannot find a feeding guide, this is a product to avoid feeding.

If a pet food advertises that they have a veterinary nutritionist on their team, or the diet has been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist this is a sign of a good diet. It's important that a diet makes your dog feel full, or they may start to eat non-edible items or start begging for food. Using a commercially formulated diet can help avoid this problem.

Home-cooked diets are possible and have benefits for dogs with food or skin allergies for example. There are risks, including malnutrition, so if you are choosing to feed a home-cooked or prepared diet, always work in conjunction with a veterinary nutritionist. You will need to regularly check in with your nutritionist as your dog ages, as there are different requirements for each lifestage as mentioned above. Home-cooked diets are not usually recommended for dogs under one year old, and it's important to double-check if a food item is safe for your dog to eat before feeding.

Diet fads

Grain-free diets are very popular amongst dog owners, but grain allergies are very, very rare in dogs, and grain-free diets have been linked with cardiomyopathies in dogs, so are best avoided.

Raw feeding is another popular food choice. If using this diet, make sure a veterinary nutritionist has assessed it to make sure it is balanced and complete. Risks of raw feeding include constipation, bacterial infections in pets and people, and nutritional imbalances.

Treats

Let's be honest, everyone enjoys a treat occasionally. Moderation is key, and using treats that have added benefits such as dental hygiene can help. Use the VOHC website to look for dental treats that are proven to be effective.

The best thing about treats for your dog is that you can use their normal kibble as a treat or reward during training and they will still get excited about it. Using their normal kibble helps ensure they are not gaining too much extra weight from treats. If your dog likes variety, try small amounts of fruit and vegetables such as carrots, blueberries, or apples.

Treats are not nutritionally balanced so cannot be fed as a diet alone, they must be given in combination with a balanced diet. If you are unsure about brands or amounts to feed, always ask a veterinarian.

Trust the experts

The pet food industry is vast and lucrative for business owners, and there are many companies trying to capitalise on diet trends or pet owners’ fears. If a product sounds too good to be true, stay away.  Always research before feeding a diet to your dog, consult your veterinary team, and choose healthy treat options to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
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