Top Tips For Feeding Your Dog

Did you know that we spend a staggering A$1 billion dollars annually on pet pampering?
And roughly A$3 billion dollars per year on pet food?
Yep, crazy figures. But one thing’s for sure. Just like me, you are a responsible pet owner.

You’ve taken steps to create a safe environment and you are vigilant about keeping your pet healthy.

You use parasite preventatives to keep fleas and ticks at bay, ensure your pet looks, smells and feels clean, and you provide them with the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life. 

And although choosing the right pet food can be an overwhelming task (that’s definitely another blog post), feeding your pet high quality well balanced food is one of the best things that you can do to keep your pet strong, fit and healthy.  

So today, I’m encouraging you all to take a bite out of unhealthy dog feeding habits (yep, I am guilty of some of these myself!) by following my TOP 5 TIPS FOR FEEDING YOUR DOG; your fur-friends will love you (even more) for it.

#1 Over Supplementing
Over supplementing or giving your dog unnecessary or excess portions of vitamins or minerals can be harmful.  You may do it because you want to not because it’s necessary.  If you dog is eating a complete and balanced diet and they’re healthy and have no problems, they do not need supplementation.  Only offer supplements to your dog if recommended by your vet.

#2 Over Feeding
Did you know that you can over-feed your dog?  Not all dogs eat the amount recommended by food manufacturers so if your dog doesn’t eat all of their meal in one go, you may be offering it too much.

A good way to determine if you’re over feeding your dog is to look at its stools.  Firm, dark brown stools are good.  If the stools are firm, but get softer towards the end, this is a classic sign of overfeeding.

#3 Say No To Table Scraps
Table scraps are bad for dogs!  Feeding your dog from the table and plate not only encourages drooling and attention seeking behaviours such as barking and begging but there are several types of people foods that are highly toxic to pets.

If you want to reward your dog for good behaviour feed him or her snacks or treats made or bought especially for him.  Click here for some delectable doggie treats.

#4 Changing Foods
Unless under the direction of your vet, never change your dogs diet abruptly.  If you want to change its diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week.  For example on day one start by mixing 25% new food with 75% old food.

Slowly change the proportions over three days or so by gradually increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the amount of old food.

#5 Do Not Disturb
While your dog is eating and enjoying its meal leave it alone.  Taking the bowl away while it’s eating can cause anxiety, which can lead to possible food aggression.

Adding a little food to your dogs bowl while it’s eating, so it sees you as an asset not a threat, will help your dog feel more comfortable if you need to approach it during meal times.

- Dr Mark

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