Dog Diet Planning Tips to Ensure Healthy Growth

It can difficult to decide on a healthy dog diet. With all the dog food brands and dog food supplements available, how do you choose which one is right for your dog? Here are some tips to help you decide which diet is best for your dog.

Consider Your Dog's Age

Dogs have different nutritional needs at different times of their lives. Puppies need to be fed puppy food, because it is specially formulated for their nutritional needs. Food meant for adult dogs may not contain the nutrients that your growing puppy needs; puppy food is also easier for your puppy to chew. By the same token, senior dogs should be fed a food that is appropriate for them.

Consider Your Dog's Level of Activity

Active dogs need more food than dogs who live sedentary lifestyles. Some dog food diets are specially formulated for dogs with active lifestyles. If your dog is extremely active, it may be a good idea to purchase one of these foods.

But how do you know how much more food your active dog needs? Most dog food packages carry guidelines that can tell you about how much to feed your dog, based on age and weight. If your dog is extremely active, however, these dog diet guidelines may not be appropriate. You should feed your dog enough so that he maintains a healthy weight.

How can you tell if your dog's weight is healthy? It's easy. Feel your dog's ribcage. You should be able to feel your dog's ribs beneath his skin, but you should not be able to see them. If you can see them, your dog is underweight; if can't see your dog's ribs and you can't feel them beneath his skin, he is overweight.

If your dog seems underweight, and increased feeding does not solve the problem, he may have a health problem that needs medical treatment. If your dog is overweight, increased exercise and dietary changes can help him lose weight.

Feed Your Dog Only Dog Food

Many people don't realize the ill effects that adding table scraps to your dog's diet can have on his health. Never feed your dog table scraps. They can make him overweight. Table scraps can also lead to constipation, gas, diarrhea, and other digestive upsets.

Of course, feel free to include human food in your dog's diet on your vet's recommendation.

Consider A Dog Food Supplement

Dog food supplements can be an important part of your dog's diet. A dog food supplement can serve many purposes; supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids can improve the health of your dog's skin and the appearance of his coat. A drop of peppermint or spearmint oil added to your dog's water can help eliminate bad breath.

Feed All-Natural Dog Food

If at all possible, feed your dog an all-natural diet. All-natural foods are made with human-grade ingredients, unlike most conventional dog foods which contain ingredients judged to be unfit for human consumption. Conventional dog foods are mostly filler, and can leave your dog feeling hungry, which leads to overeating. All-natural dog food diets also provide your dog with all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that he needs, eliminating the need for a dog food supplement.

Consider Your Dog's Health

If your dog has chronic health issues, he may need a special food prescribed by a veterinarian. Diabetic dogs, in particular, need rigorously controlled diets. Arthritic dogs can benefit from the dog food supplement glucosamine. If your dog has chronic health problems, your vet can give you an appropriate, specialized diet plan.