We are what we eat – and so are our pets. Whilst cats are a little more refined in their taste, some could say argue akin to a michelin food critic, their canine counterparts have a tendency to go crazy for anything and are by no means the fussiest of diners.
It can be easy to forget the impact food has on our pets and this post offers 7 quick tips on how to look after your pet’s nutrition.
Let’s face it, we love our pets and we can rarely resist the tail wag that comes at the end of dinner, and those doting eyes, that plead with you to finish what you’ve left on your plate. Similarly, if you have a depressed cat you’ll try anything to perk them up.
It can feel almost cruel to not succumb to those ‘starved’ eyes that look up at you like the answer to their prayers; but from a dietary perspective tough love would appear to be the way forward.
Whilst you might view chocolate as a psychological treat (and so might your dog) there are a number of foods that are poisonous to dogs – including chocolate, avocado, and the sweetener xylitol.
DISCARD THE HYPE AND CHECK OUT THE LABEL
There’s a lot of marketing hype around dog food. You need to look past this and head for the label on the back. A lot of dog food is heavily processed and full of ‘fillers’. You want to check the label, just like you would with human food, to confirm the main ingredient is a high protein meat and not all filler or junk.
In the same way you wouldn’t want to give children too much candy, as it would be bad for their health, too many treats can be unhealthy for your dog. That said, offering treat based rewards is a fantastic way to train your dog. There are now pill treats for dogs that make a healthy alternative to additive filled treats or fattening biscuits.
DO NOT OVERFEED
Whilst simple, this point is easy to overlook and sometimes hard to put into practice. We love our dogs and there are only a few ways we can express that love; the predominant channels being walks, cuddles, and food. The latter, can lead to an overweight dog, particularly if you’re guilty of dishing out the dog treats to compensate for not spending enough time together during the day.
If you have an overweight dog in need of a doggy diet, one of the best tips is to feed earlier in the day and increase exercise.
Humans spend billions on natural healthcare in the form of vitamins and supplements; yet animals benefit from these too. A chronic condition that plagues most dogs, as they get older, are conditions like arthritis – supplementing with preventative remedies like aloe vera and essential omega oils can help.
Dogs need to drink little and often, as dehydration can cause serious health problems, and even death. The higher the temperature, amount of exercise, and panting – the more your dog needs to drink. If your dog eats only dry food then access to a plentiful supply of clean drinking water is even more important.
* This is a collaborative post.