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Properly Managing Your Dog's Eating Habits

Properly Managing Your Dog's Eating Habits

In order to properly manage your dog's eating habits, you must be knowledgeable in what constitutes a good diet for your pet. Like people, dogs require a nutritious diet in order to develop strong minds and bodies. The more you learn about the dietary needs of your animal, the better informed choices you can make in his dietary care.

Choosing Quality Dog Food

One of the best ways to choose healthy and nutritious dog food is to inspect the ingredients on the label of the food you want to buy. Dog food nutrition is not dependent on the price or popularity of the brand, but rather on the nutrients contained within.

Your pet will benefit from food that is well balanced in nutritional value, containing the appropriate vitamins, minerals and proteins his body needs.

Dog food manufacturers categorize their products into life stages to further assist you in choosing the appropriate food for your pet. These life stages are as follows:

growth (for puppies)

adult maintenance (for grown dogs)

gestation/lactation (for pregnant and/or nursing female dogs

senior (for elderly animals)

and all life (appropriate for all dogs throughout their lives)

Other factors that come into play when choosing food for your dog are his personal taste preferences, his lifestyle, health problems and personal environment. Some dogs enjoy the crunchy feel of dry dog food on their teeth, while others prefer the moist, easy to chew kind. Some dog foods are also easier to digest than others. By experimenting with different brands, you can determine which ones your pet enjoys most as well as which foods enhance his health. As a dog owner, it is up to you to discover what diet best suits your pet so that he can grow healthy and strong and enjoy life to the fullest.

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Another important aspect of managing your pet's diet is frequency of feeding. Many pet owners overfeed their animals, resulting in their pets becoming lazy and fat. Most dog food packages give guidelines on how much food and how often to feed your pet. However, you should also use your discretion in the matter. Both an overweight and underweight condition in a dog will have unhealthy consequences. By helping your pet maintain an adequate weight level, he will live a longer and happier life.

Your dog's feeding habits can also be regulated by his life stage. Puppies, for example, require more calories than adult dogs, due to their active nature. An energetic and active puppy will burn more calories faster than his adult counterpart. Once a puppy has been weaned, he can be fed thrice daily until he reaches the age of four to six months. Then you can cut back on his feedings to two a day. Adult dogs generally eat one or two meals per day. Sometimes feeding your dog twice per day is easier on his digestion. The older a dog gets, the less active he becomes. Therefore, you should watch the amount of calories your older pet consumes to avoid problems with obesity.