Studies show that people who have pets in their home can lead a happier, healthier, and longer life. So when it comes to taking care of our pets, shouldn’t we do everything we can to provide them with the same benefits in return? There is a lot of information on the internet about the so-called “best dog food” and “best canine diet” formulas available on the market today. You might hear about all-natural diets, homemade dog food, raw diets, and other trends, but the best place to start when considering a new menu for your furry friend is with a visit to Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth.
Westport pet owners have relied on our highly trained, skilled, and educated veterinary staff for ongoing care and preventive maintenance for their pets since 1975. We can provide you with solid advice based on your dog’s individual needs for his or her age, health, activity level, and lifestyle designed to give them the best nutrition available. Don’t jump on the “fad wagon” when it comes to feeding man’s best friend – speak with your trusted vet at your next veterinary check-up. Certain foods can be used for specific benefits, such as a dry skin treatment for dogs. Other options could be for digestive health, such as pumpkin benefits for dogs. The best way to know what your dog needs is to speak with your vet.
Commercial Dog Food
The first thing that you need to know is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every dog. The food that you choose should take into account the nutritional requirements for your dog based on their breed, age, size, and overall health. The goal of commercial dog food, such as those big bags and cans that you see at the local pet store, is to offer easy-to-use solutions that provide for all of your dog’s nutritional needs. These products often have a mix of meats, grains, vegetables, fruits, and veterinary recommended vitamins. You will see that there are different formulas available to choose from, such as puppy, pregnant and nursing, adult, and senior. There are even options for dogs that are overweight or that suffer from food-based allergies.
Similar to choosing healthy food for humans, it is important to know what your dog needs to thrive. This is when advice from your local animal hospital in Dartmouth can be most beneficial. It is easy to pick food based on the stage of life that your dog is in, but just because the label says “complete” does not mean that the nutrition really offers everything your dog requires in a day. Even the word “balanced” might just mean that the nutrition is proportioned properly within the formula, but that doesn’t necessarily ensure that it is adequately balanced for your dog’s needs. Both wet and dry dog foods have pros and cons, so make sure to discuss these options with your veterinarian at your next veterinary check-up as well.
When is the Best Time to Feed?
When trying to decide the best time of day to feed your dog, you also need to consider your schedule. Don’t start feeding your dog at 3 o’clock each day if you will be gone some of those days at that time. Your dog will learn the schedule and be upset if they don’t get fed at the right time. That could lead to destructive behavioral issues or problems getting your dog to eat when food is served. Free feeding can be dangerous, especially if you have more than one pet in your home. You don’t want one glutinous pet eating up all the dry food and leaving nothing behind for the other.
The basic guideline for feeding dogs is:
- 3-4 times each day for puppies that are six months or younger
- 2 times each day for puppies between six months and a year
- 1-2 times each day for dogs that are a year or older
Check the label of the food that you are serving to determine the amount of food recommended based on the dog’s age. Activity level should also be considered, as a “working dog” that does a lot during the day will require more calories than a “lap dog” that only moves from the couch for meals and potty breaks. If you’re still not sure, speak with your veterinary team about your concerns when you do your next veterinary check-up. Discuss all other issues and concerns, such as behavioral issues, preventive treatment questions, and options in dry skin treatment for dogs.
Call Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to schedule an appointment to learn more about dietary requirements and solutions for your pet. Our team can answer any questions that you might have about exercise, diet, nutrition, and other options, including pumpkin benefits for dogs and alternative feeding recipes. Give us a call today at 508-996-3731.