Dog nutrition

#dogs

The dog is not a recycler. It needs a type of food that adapts to the specific and individual needs of its species. The leftovers mustn´t be left in the bowl.

Like its ancestor, the wolf, the dog is not a carnivore. Wolves eat their prey "with skin and hair", so they also take the mostly vegetal intestinal content of their prey. This covers all their nutritional needs for high quality proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Like us humans, dog nutrition today is not immune to a number of trends: from self-cooked rations to eating with raw foods, also known as barley, and vegetarian diets.

If you prepare the dog's food yourself, you should pay attention to the nutritional information. It is important that your dog receives the necessary energy and that you prevent symptoms of deficiency or oversupply. To ensure that it contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the right proportions, it is advisable to be checked by a veterinarian specialized in nutrition. This applies to all servings of own preparation, whether raw or cooked.

For the sake of your dog and family, you shouldn't be shy when it comes to breaking in, either. Feeding raw meat increases the risk of infection with pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasites. You can eliminate this risk of infection by cooking better the meat. Please avoid raw pork mainly. Your dog may be infected with Aujeszky's disease, a deadly disease similar to rabies.

Do you live a vegetarian life and you would like your dog to do the same? For a fully developed and healthy animal, this is basically impossible. However, if you want to feed your dog permanently and exclusively vegetarian food, you can only do so on the basis of a scientifically crafted ration plan. This also applies to a vegetarian diet. However, this is not possible for growing, pregnant and nursing dogs, and it’s not recommended for animal welfare reasons, because purely vegetable food does not meet their needs. In addition, it should not be forgotten that dogs, due to the anatomy of their teeth and the gastrointestinal tract as well as their natural hunting behavior, are designed to eat meat and like to do so.

The simplest option, if you don't want to cook for yourself or follow special nutritional trends, is the ingestion of a completed meal which are commercially available. Dry or wet foods cover all day’s energy and nutrient needs of the specified animal species. Your dog will be fine if you make sure you choose a complete, high-quality, balanced food.

Regardless of the feeding method you choose: Provide your dog with fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

How much food does the dog need? 

The amount of energy in the form of food your dog really needs depends on its age, size, exercise behavior or existing pregnancy. If the dog is active and exercises a lot, it will need more energy than a dog with little exercise.

Growing, pregnant and lactating also have a significantly higher energy requirement.

The dog mustn't eat this. 

Basically a dog's menu does not include:

  • Sweets of all kinds, chocolate, for example, is even poisonous for dogs. 
  • Fats and spices 
  • Raw pork 
  • Raw fish 
  • Raw egg white 
  • Onions and garlic 
  • Avocado 
  • fish with fishbones, they could drown 
  • Most dogs do not tolerate milk..

Avoiding overweight

Almost everyone likes to eat and your dog will be happy with every bite. Consider these snacks, which also include chewable ones, when calculating the serving, as their caloric content is not insignificant. Once the animal is overweighted, the result can be serious diseases such as joint problems, diabetes, cardiovascular aliments, an increased risk of tumor diseases and death-threatening reactions to anesthetics. In addition, severely overweight pets have a 20 percent lower life expectancy. For these reasons, optimal, individual and needs-based feeding is particularly important. Therefore, always consult your veterinarian so that you can intervene if necessary and adjust the diet accordingly. After all, this increases greatly your dog's quality of life.

How often do we feed them? 

Puppies need four meals a day after weaning off their mother. With the age increase, it can be reduced to three meals a day at first, and from nine months of age also to two meals a day. Divide the required serving of food between two meals, especially for larger dogs. Otherwise, his greedy neck can twist his overfilled stomach, because, like his ancestors, he instinctively eats as much as possible to prepare for the times without "prey." Such stomach twisting can be fatal in a few hours. Therefore, always feed your dog only after you have been physically active while playing or going for a walk. In this way, your dog will sleep peacefully after feeding and digesting in the process. However, this does not apply to a late "dinner", which you should avoid so that your dog does not have to sleep at night with a full stomach. Ideally, you'd feed him the first time in the morning and the second time in the afternoon or early in the evening.

Supposedly the fresh food in the fridge hits the dog in the stomach. Always heat it to room temperature before putting it in the bowl.