General Feeding Guidelines For Dogs

Anytime you bring home a new dog, the first question in your mind usually is, “how much should I feed him?” It’s important to feed a dog the right amount of a well-balanced meal to ensure his overall well-being and health. When understanding what and how much to feed a dog, you should learn what a typical dog’s nutritional requirements are and how the requirements have developed over the years.

Even though a dog is a carnivore, that doesn’t mean that he should only have a meat-based diet. Through evolution, the intestinal tract and tooth structure of dogs has adapted to omnivorous diets that include a mix of animal and plants foods. A dog can thrive when fed a well-balanced vegetarian diet but eating an all-meat diet will not meet all your dog’s nutritional requirements.

A Brisbane dog boarding owner suggests for a dog, a well-balanced diet includes the right number of vitamins, minerals, and certain amino acids along with specific fatty acids. All these different components are needed to maintain and build tissue while also carrying out biological reactions. However, keep in mind the right amounts will vary depending on how old the dog is.

Ingredients

When considering dog food for your new pup, make sure to look at the list of ingredients on the can or bag. You should see some specified meat as the first ingredient, not a meat by-product. Adult and puppies should not be eating wheat and corn, so if the first thing listed on the dog food is wheat, corn, bone meal, or meat by-product, then choose something else. Remember that by-products are leftovers like feathers, skin, feet, hooves, and eyes, which aren’t good for consumption by humans. Also, be careful of food that lists ingredients using words like meat and animals instead of duck, chicken, and beef.

Also, a dog food’s first ingredient should be what the food is mostly made of, but that doesn’t always happen. Take chicken for instance. When dog food lists chicken in the ingredients, it’s going by the meat’s weight when it’s raw, not cooked. remember that chicken weighs 80 percent more when it is raw than once it’s cooked and then processed into a food pellet. After it has been processed, your dog is only getting 20 percent of what the meat actually was.

Meal in an ingredient listing means something that is weighed once the water is removed. If you see chicken listed first and then corn, the dog food may very well have more corn than chicken. Remember that corn is not utilized in a dog’s body well and typically just gets pooped out. This causes a dog to need more to eat to get the right amount of nutrients and protein in their body. Corn can also cause bloat, skin allergies, and joint swelling, so it’s important to avoid it if possible.

Dogs also do not have grinding molars, just ripping canines. What this tells us is that they were not intended to eat grain since they don’t have the teeth needed to grind grain up. But they do have those canines to rip into meat. Due to all the grain in dog food these days, many dogs have developed skin issues and other health problems. Overall, a dog should have a grain-free diet.

Good quality dog food may cost more, but dogs can actually eat less since a dog’s body will produce less waste and use more of the food that they eat. It will also keep your vet bills down since your dog won’t be developing issues from eating low-quality dog food. Always read your dog food’s ingredients label to make sure it is high-grade food. A dog on a poor diet will also tend to shed a lot, have body odor and a dull coat. If your dog smells like a corn chip, then you know they are eating the wrong diet.

Quantity & Frequency

First eight weeks – A puppy shouldn’t be separated from his mother before he is eight weeks old. A puppy that has left his mother sooner will have a rough time adjusting and have a higher likelihood of illness. The mother dog’s milk gives the puppy the antibodies and nutrition he needs to become a healthy dog. Between three and four weeks, a puppy should start to eat solid food, so you can try to mix three parts dog food with one part water or even puppy replacement milk. Not only will this make the food easier for a puppy to eat and digest, but he will also have an easier time adjusting to leaving his mother when you bring the little guy home.

Six to eight weeks – At this point, you should feed a puppy three to four times each day. A puppy has different nutritional needs in comparison to an adult dog. Look for a puppy food that gives him the right nutrient balance that a puppy should have. Always make sure that your puppy is getting the correct amount of calcium and protein as well as the right number of calories. Always make sure that a specified meat is the first ingredient listed on the label to ensure that your puppy is eating a balanced diet.

After eight weeks – You should feed a puppy two times a day

Three to six months – Puppies at this age tend to be teething, and he can be a pretty picky eater or even lose his appetite completely. Continue to feed your puppy nutritious food two times a day. Puppies that have an upset stomach for longer than two days need to be taken m to a veterinarian.

Six months to one year – Even though your puppy looks like an adult, he’s still a puppy. You still need to feed him high-quality food due to its added nutrition. Remember that some high-quality food manufacturers don’t even both making separate puppy food since the food is already such high quality that it can be fed to both adults and puppies.
If you are feeding your dog puppy food, find out from your vet when you are able to change to an adult dog food. And ensure that the adult dog food will still provide a well-balanced, high-quality diet that includes a specified meat as its first ingredient, and not a meat by-product.

Eight to nine months – You should feed your dog two times a day

One year – Typically, most dog breeds should be fed two times a day

Remember that you need to feed your dog regularly at the same time each day. This will help to keep him on a regular bathroom schedule. It’s important to consult your veterinarian on how much and how often you should feed your dog.