Did you know that in ancient China and Japan, Japanese Chins and Pekingese dogs were of such importance that they were often given their own servants, and given as gifts to other royalty? Today, most of us do not go so far as hiring servants for our pets, but we do care for them a lot and would like to provide them with the best quality of life. An important aspect of keeping your dog healthy is the food they eat. What are some tips for making sure your dog maintains a healthy diet?
1. A balanced diet for dogs should include protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and water. When it comes to judging which dog foods offer balanced nutrition, check for the AAFCO marker. This organization oversees pet food and makes sure that manufacturers make their food to the right nutrition levels.
2. Although you might be tempted to save money on lower quality dog foods, high quality, premium foods are usually better for your dog. A premium dog food will usually pack more nutrition into the food and have less calories, making your dog less likely to develop obesity related issues. Sometimes it even ends up being cost comparable when you need to feed your dog less to get the same nutritional value.
Dog food coupons are available in many places and can help you save money. Always consult with your veterinarian about which dog food is best, especially since the right food for your dog might change as they age or develop health problems that require diet regulation. Your vet might also be able to give you dog food coupons.
3. There are a few foods you should NEVER feed your dog. These foods are not just unhealthy, they are dangerous and if ingested in large enough quantities, can kill your dog. They include chocolate, coffee, grapes and raisins, macademia nuts, onion, and alcohol. Grapes cause kidney failure, while chocolate causes seizures and heart attacks.
If your dog happens to gobble up a stray oatmeal raisin cookie, he will probably be okay, but if you find that your dog has eaten an entire bar of chocolate, call up the vet ASAP. It is also recommended that you refrain from giving your dog real bones to chew on. While not deadly, they can potentially splinter and cause internal injury.