Mans best friend, the loyal dog, eat mainly a meat-based diet, however, they are also able to eat plant-based foods also. Its not too uncommon to see dogs eating grass for instance. Wild dogs, for instance, have always eaten a variety of foods, consisting mainly of prey animals, including raw meat, bones, organs and small amounts of plant matter.
As all dogs are individuals within themselves, this information should be taken as general advice only. Sometimes a dog may have extra dietary requirements that need to be taken into consideration when creating the ideal meal for your pet. If this is the case, please seek veterinary advice as they are the experts.
A dogs diet should consist of a well balanced commercial dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s current life cycle (senior, adult, adolescent or puppy) and its well-being. Most commercial dog foods cater to the appropriate life-cycle of dogs and will adjust the nutritional content to meet the needs of the age of your dog.
If you choose not to use a commercial dog food mix, it is possible to feed dogs food right out of your kitchen. The best ingredients to give your dog are natural foods such as raw meats (lamb, beef), raw bones and fruit and vegetables. Please note that some breeds of dogs may not be suitable for bones. Some dog with malformed jaws or teeth may have difficulty with bones. In addition, older dogs may have trouble chewing on bones.
When selecting raw meat from the shops. please choose raw meats that do not contain preservatives. Preservatives, although great for extending the lifespan of food, can be harmful to dogs. For instance, a commonly used preservative sulphite can lead to a deficiency in vitamin B1 in your dog. Another ingredient that may be added to foods is sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are poisonous to dogs and should never be given to dogs. Additionally, other processed meats may contain high levels of salt which are unhealthy for your dog.
Some natural foods can be toxic to your dogs. For instance chocolate, coffee, grapes and onions should not be given not your dog. Also, unripe tomatoes can cause your dog harm if your dog eats the green tomato or the vines of the tomato plant.
The question of the quantity of food required to meet your dog’s nutrition really is determined by many factors including age, breed, size and endurance levels. Overfeeding or underfeeding your dog can be harmful so seek a vets advice if you are worried about the size of your dog.
When feeding your dog it is essential that your dog has access to a fresh source of water so that it does not become dehydrated, especially if you feed your dog dry food.
If you are unsure if any food is safe for your dog to consume it is important that you first investigate its safety before giving it to your dog. Your local veterinarian is one of the best sources for advice.