What should I feed my dog?

iStock_000024974450_SmallWhat should I feed my dog is a question that is often asked.  As it is fundamental to your dog’s health and well-being this needs to be considered carefully.  Unfortunately this is also a highly controversial subject and throws up many questions:

  • Should I feed my dog a raw diet, a good quality kibble or canned dog food?
  • How often should the dog be fed? How much?
  • What does it mean to feed him a raw dog food diet? Is it safe? How do I do it? Will it help him?
  • Should I prepare my own dog food? How would I do that?
  • Is there anything wrong with feeding my dog commercially prepared dog food?

And so it goes on… So what should I feed my dog?

This is a subject that each dog owner needs to research for themselves and make a decision based on what is right for your dog and your circumstances. I am happy to make suggestions about what to feed him to improve your dog’s health but at the end of the day it is your decision.   I have listed a few links to websites that provide information on the various types of diets for dogs.

Bones and Raw Food Diet:  http://dogsdinner2.webs.com/quickstartguide.htm

Raw Pet Supplies, Cardiff:  http://www.rawpetsupplies.co.uk

Home made dog foods:  http://dogcathomeprepareddiet.com/

Commercially produced dog food:  http://www.best-dog-food-review.com

Whatever diet you pick you should ensure that, not only does it provide your dog with everything he requires nutrionally, but also that it should be varied. Dogs can develop allergies if fed the same diet day in/day out.

There is however, a bigger problem and that is feeding your dog too much

 Overweight and Obese Dogs

Sadly those pleading brown eyes are getting more and more dogs into trouble when it comes to their weight. Owners seem powerless to resist and the result is overweight and obese dogs. Those unwanted pounds are playing havoc with our dog’s health. This is becoming a national problem with 40% of British dogs now overweight.

As a responsible dog owner, the first thing you need to do is to assess your dog’s situation. If you have always fed him the same and his exercise regime has not altered but he is putting on weight, then it would make sense to check with your Vet that there are no underlying health issues such as hypo-thyroidism. If there are no contributing health issues then do him the biggest favour of his life and help him lose weight.

A dog is subject to the following health risks when he starts to carry too much weight or becomes obese: Sugar Diabetes, joint, bone and ligament damage, increased blood pressure and heart disease, difficulty breathing, decreased stamina, heat intolerance, increased risk of cancer and many others. Do you really want to subject your dog to the misery, pain and suffering that comes with many of these conditions?

What can you do?

Fortunately it is not rocket science.  If there is no medical condition that is causing your dog to put on weight then it is a simple matter of feeding your dog less and exercising him more.  You need to evaluate what you are feeding him and how much.

Remember your dog’s weight has everything to do with you and nothing to do with him/her.  Your dog relies on you as to what you feed him and how often you feed him.  He cannot count calories, ask to join a gym or choose to go on a diet when he feels he is putting on a few pounds.  He is completely at your mercy.  To carry on feeding him to the point of obesity is akin to abusing your dog.

“A man’s soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog” – Charles Doran