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Your Vet: The Perfect Resource to Educate You About Your Dog’s Diet

 

Whether you have recently been blessed with a new puppy in your home, or you are a seasoned dog handler, it is wise to speak with a veterinarian about the best diet for your dog.  With so many ideas, diet plans, and dog food varieties on the market, how do you know where to start?

 

Begin with your vet.  A trusted veterinarian wants only what is best for your dog.  Just like you, he or she wants to find and discover what is perfect for your dog’s diet.  Talk about all aspects of your dog’s diet.

 

Your veterinarian can advise you on the basics of a dog’s diet.  Often, your vet will recommend a dry dog food.  Dry food as the main component of your dog’s diet, will increase the likelihood of good dental health for your pet, but this varies depending on specifics.

 

Treats are another area that you will want to discuss with the veterinarian.  Do they encourage specific types of treats?  What snacks are discouraged for your specific pet?

 

Each animal is different and you and your vet know your dog better than anyone.  Working together, you will find what aspects of your dog’s diet work best, and what needs to be altered.  Some breeds, for example, will often have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.  For this reason, your vet may recommend a smaller portion for your dog’s diet than the recommended amount on the side of a dog food bag.  If your older pet has trouble chewing, specific types of dog food may be beneficial as part of your dog’s diet.

 

Your dog’s diet plays a significant role in the health of your pet.  Your vet can inform you about any supplements needed to boost your dog’s outlook for a happy and healthy life.  Glucosamine is one item that is recommended by most veterinarians to promote healthy joints.  This is especially true for dog’s of larger breeds.

 

The next time you are in the vet’s office is a great time to bring up your dog’s diet.  Your vet will be able to weigh your dog to see if weight is an issue.  He or she can take a look at the overall health of your pet.  For example, if your dog has a dull coat, your veterinarian may suggest a different type of dog food or to add an egg to your dog’s diet.

 

During the lifetime of your pet, your dog’s diet may need to be changed to suit his or her needs.  Puppies and older dogs may require additional amounts of protein or  other vitamins and minerals.  If your dog is bred, your vet may recommend other changes to your dog’s diet.

 

With all the hype about what is healthy for a dog’s diet, do not decide to go at it alone and inadvertently choose a poor diet.  Speak to the vet about your dog’s diet and educate yourself on what is best for your beloved pet.  A healthy diet is key to longevity.  Both you and your vet want to see your dog live to be happy and healthy for many years, and providing a nutritious diet for your dog is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.

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Your Dog’s Diet:  Canned Dog Food vs. Dry Kibble

 

A dog’s diet affects every aspect of their health and  well being.  You undoubtedly want only the very best for your furry friend.  When it comes to choosing the best for your dog’s diet, you have so many options available.  It can be hard to determine which food will have the most positive effect on your dog’s diet and health.  Which is better, canned dog food or dry kibble?

 

The debate between canned dog food and kibble has continued since the two varieties have been on the market.  What are the advantages of canned dog food as the main component of your dog’s diet?  Is dry kibble superior to canned dog food?  Possibly, it is simply personal preference between the two varieties.

 

To help you decide, let’s take a look at the advantages of each type of dog food as part of a healthy and balanced diet for your pet.  To get the best advice, schedule a visit with the veterinarian to discuss your dog’s diet.  The two of you can talk about how each type of dog food will specifically relate to your pet.

 

Canned dog food, as the main component of your dog’s diet, has gotten a negative stigma over the years.  Many pet owners feel that the cost of canned dog food is high and unappealing, especially for the larger breeds who require greater amounts of food daily.

 

A significant advantage of canned dog food is the quality.  Frequently, you will find that canned dog food offers large chunks of real meat for your pet.  Fewer additives and fillers are found in most brands of canned dog food.  Knowing the importance of high-quality ingredients, canned dog food certainly has its place in a healthy, balanced dog diet.

 

Another advantage of canned dog food in your dog’s diet is palatability.  Dogs will commonly take to canned dog food quickly.  This can be a true advantage when you are dealing with a picky eater.

 

Dogs who have trouble with oral health and chewing will find the moist food easier to eat.  If you note your dog is struggling to eat the kibble diet, then canned dog food may be just the solution to your dog’s diet problems.

 

Dry kibble also has advantages in a dog’s diet.  The dry kibble helps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy by removing plaque and tartar.  Excellent oral health for your pet can be easily maintained with dry kibble as the main component in your dog’s diet.  The moist dog food from cans do not provide the same benefit.

 

Storage of the dry kibble does not require refrigeration after opening.  This can make traveling with your pet easier and more convenient.

 

Cost is yet another reason to consider dry kibble for your dog’s diet.  High-quality dry dog food is available to pet owners at a reasonable price.

 

Whether you choose dry kibble or canned dog food, you will always want to talk over the issue with your veterinarian.  Canned food is great for picky eaters and pet’s with difficulty chewing.  Canned food offers high quality ingredients for your dog’s diet.  Dry kibble is inexpensive and helps promote good oral health.  Providing your pet with the best nutrition is the first step in caring for your pet.

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Where to Find the Best Food for a Nutritious Dog Diet

 

You want your furry friend to eat right.  You are very aware of the numerous benefits of a healthy and nutritious dog diet, but where can you find the best food for your pet?

 

So many excellent types of dog food are out on the market today.  You can purchase bags or cans of dog food simply and conveniently from your local grocery or department store.  Store chains are now beginning to offer varieties of dog food that are higher in quality and lower in cost.

 

If you don’t want to risk purchasing dog food from the grocery store, consider stores that sell feed for other animals.  Companies such as TSC regularly deal with customers interested in excellent nutrition for their pets.  They would undoubtedly be able to help you decide on a specific brand of food to suit the needs of your dog’s diet.  Some upscale dog foods are available at such stores that you may not find at your local Wal-Mart.

 

Several companies use the internet as a marketplace to sell their organic and natural dog diets.  Look online to locate a type of dog food that feels right to you.  Some merchants will even deliver the dog food right to your door.  Your dog’s diet has never been more convenient.  The internet has opened the door for pet owners to expand their choices when it comes to their dog’s diet.

 

Do not overlook the obvious.  Your veterinarian can consult with you about the best types of dog diets.  He or she may sell specific brands or varieties right from their office.  Once you have decided on a specific diet for your dog, consider picking it up when you bring your pet in for a checkup or while picking up your monthly heartworm medication.  A trusted vet would not offer you food that is not suitable for your dog’s diet, so this may be a great place to start.  If the vet recommends a particular type of diet for your dog, due to health reasons, your vet may be one of the only places to find the exact food your dog’s diet requires.

 

You may find the most nutritious dog diet fresh from the garden or your own kitchen.  Some pet owners prefer to cook specifically for their dog.  A dog’s diet requires meat, vegetables, and grain.  Carefully selected meats, grains, and vegetables can be prepared at home to ensure excellent nutrition for your pet.  If you have green beans or carrots from your garden, consider adding these to your dog’s diet.  You know right where the food has come from and how it was prepared.

 

A healthy dog diet may come from a butcher.  If you choose to make your own raw diet at home, you will be able to find the quality meats for your dog’s diet from the local butcher.  Ground turkey or chicken breast fresh is always best.

 

Regardless of what type of food you choose for your dog’s diet, always consult the veterinarian before making any changes or alterations.  Once you have decided on a specific diet for your dog, take advantage of the healthiest and most convenient method available to you.

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Vegetarian Dog Diet

 

You have recently welcomed a furry companion into your home.  Your four-legged friend has adopted you as her own.  Now that you have become a true pet owner, you need to decide what to feed your pet.  You eat a vegetarian diet, so you would like your new dog to follow these same guidelines.  Is a vegetarian diet right for your dog?

 

Let’s take a look at what dogs eat in the wild.  A wolf or stray dog typically will kill an animal or scavenge until she finds an acceptable fare.  In the wild, a dog will consume grains and vegetables, but the dog’s diet also contains meat.

 

Taking a look at your pet’s teeth, you may notice that grinding and tearing surfaces are present.  This is one indication that dogs are omnivorous.  This means that dogs are biological meat and plant eaters.  Straying from nature can be a difficult task, but may not be impossible.

 

It can be possible to feed your dog solely vegetarian meals, but this type of diet is not typically recommended for your pet.  Your dog’s diet must be well balanced and nutritious to support good health and optimal body function.  A completely vegetarian lifestyle may be perfect for you, but difficult to achieve for your dog.

 

A healthy diet should allow your pet to thrive not simply survive.  A vegetarian dog diet will, too frequently, result in a dog who shows signs and indications of a lesser quality of health than a dog fed a well balanced diet contain animal products.

 

Your dog’s body requires high amounts of protein.  Protein is frequently provided through animal tissue and bones in the wild, as well as, in most varieties of manufactured dog diets.

 

Amino acids are also key to your dog’s health.  Only 12 of the 22 essential amino acids can be produced by your dog’s body.  The other 10 amino acids must be provided to your pet through your dog’s diet.  A vegetarian dog diet has trouble meeting the requirements to allow your dog to thrive under these circumstances.

 

As with any change you would make to your own diet, you would want to consult your physician for medical advice.  Talk to a professional about the advantages and disadvantages of feeding a vegetarian dog diet to your pet.  Depending on your specific plan, he or she may be able to recommend some supplements to add to the prospective vegetarian diet that will create a healthy balance for your new furry friend.  If supplements are not available to create the healthy and balanced diet your dog deserves, then the two of you can discuss other options to determine a dog diet that works well for your pet and satisfies your lifestyle.

 

A vegetarian dog diet goes against nature so to speak and is typically not recommended for dogs.  Talking your situation over with a veterinarian will help you to determine the best way to achieve your dietary goals for your pet.  Your dog’s diet must be well balanced and nutritious to provide essential nutrients and amino acids to your furry friend.  Supplementation may help you to achieve your goal.  Keep in mind that you and your vet both want what is best for your pet and you will undoubtedly determine a dog diet that works for your family.

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The Role of Calcium in Your Dog’s Diet

 

It is important for your dog’s diet to contain all of the essential vitamins to ensure excellent health.  One of the important nutrients in your dog’s diet is calcium.  When we think of calcium, strong teeth and bones come to mind.  Your dog’s diet should be rich in calcium to support healthy teeth and bones, but a delicate balance exist in relationship to calcium and your dog’s diet.

 

It is possible to have too much or too little calcium in your dog’s diet.  When a dog’s diet contains too little calcium, your dog may develop a condition called rickets.  This condition creates soft bones that bend under the weight of your dog.

 

In contrast, too much calcium can create bone abnormalities, as well.  Large breed dogs, for example, who are given too much calcium as puppies in their diet, will develop large bones that are low in density.  Strength is a problem with such bones due to the large amount of calcium supplements.

 

When your dog’s diet contains appropriate levels of calcium, such bone abnormalities occur infrequently.  This is just one more reason to carefully select an appropriate diet for your dog.  Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best amount of calcium in your dog’s diet.

 

Calcium plays an important role in your dog’s diet, but other vitamins and nutrients work hand in hand with calcium.  Some minerals are interdependent.  Calcium happens to be one of such mineral nutrients.

 

Calcium works together with phosphorus.  A balance of the two nutrients calcium and phosphorus must exist in a healthy ratio to ensure a dog diet that will maximize the potential advantages for your pet.  Studies involving animal nutrition show that a ratio of 1.0 to 2.0 parts calcium should be coupled with 1.0 part phosphorus.  When calcium and phosphorus ratios vary greatly from this range, bone troubles result.

 

Dog diets consisting exclusively of meats, will not provide the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus to create healthy bones.  Such a diet results in a ratio of about 1.0 part calcium to 18 parts phosphorus.  The range of absorption is where the trouble begins.

 

Vitamin D is another nutrient that influences the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.  If a dog’s diet lacks the appropriate amount of vitamin D, the other nutrients will not provide all the benefits to your pet.  Excessive amounts of vitamin D can have toxic effects on your dog.  It is imperative to maintain appropriate levels of vitamin D in your dog’s diet.  Again, feeding your dog food from a reputable company will allow you confidence in knowing that your dog’s diet is healthy.

 

During pregnancy or when your dog is nursing, higher levels of calcium are important in your dog’s diet.  At this time, feed your pet extra amounts of a balanced dog food.  You should not have to supplement your pet at this time.

 

Milk fever, or eclampsia, cannot be avoided with calcium supplements.  Eclampsia is not a nutritional deficiency, but a metabolic condition that affects the dog after the pups have been born and begin nursing.

 

Avoid supplementing your dog’s diet with calcium or other nutrients without specific discussion with your vet.  When calcium, for example, is out of balance, health can truly be effected negatively.  Feeding your dog a balanced diet is essential.  Reputable dog food companies have researched animal nutrition to ensure the best possible health for your dog.  Providing your dog’s diet in a healthy, balanced formula may be the best way to take care of your pet.

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The Raw Dog Diet

 

Have you ever wondered why dog food comes in this huge bag filled with tiny kibbles of compressed unknown ingredients?  Much of what goes into dog food is not high-quality in nature.  Blood meal, bone meal, and fat frequently come from animal carcasses containing potentially harmful drugs or disease.  Is it time to consider something better for your dog’s diet?

 

Before marketing and advertisers took over the world of big business, what did dog’s eat?  We take a look at how dog’s in the wild gain adequate nutrition.  A wolf, for example, survives from a kill.  The contents of the animals stomach are eaten first.  Doing this, the wolf takes in grains and vegetables, as well as, enzymes needed for good nutrition.  Next, the wolf devours the meat and some bones.  Protein and calcium have now been added to the diet.  This natural diet in the wilderness has been effective in maintaining quality health over the years.  Unlike the domesticated dogs of today, such animals generally have excellent immune systems.

 

When your dog’s diet consists primarily of unhealthy animals, can you not assume that your dog will become unhealthy, as well?  Today, veterinarians have seen more health problems with dogs than ever before.

 

The natural raw diet feeds the immune system of your pet.  Your dog’s diet will contain natural foods that provide the body what it needs to repair itself and perform at its best.

 

The raw diet is prepared one time a day.  It is not complicated and well worth the time and effort to ensure the excellent health of your dog.  Always consult your vet before altering your dog’s diet.  The raw dog diet has helped many dog’s combat health issues such as arthritis, skin problems, and weight trouble.

 

Ingredients of the raw diet include meat, veggies, and grains.  Approximately half of the diet is meat.  Vegetables, fruit, and grain cover the rest.

 

When preparing the dog’s diet, feed the dog about the same amount of the raw dog diet as you would kibble.  This is a good starting point.  From here, you can adjust the diet as necessary to meet your dog’s specific needs.

 

Contact a local butcher to purchase ground turkey, for example.  Each day prepare a bowl of 50% raw ground

Turkey with some wet oats.  Juice some vegetables such as carrots and swiss chard and add the juice to the mix.

 

Juicing the vegetables helps to digest the enzymes for your pet.  This is similar to the wolf consuming the contents from a stomach.  Your dog’s diet will need a variety of different vegetables daily to maximize the potential for best vitamins and nutrients.

 

Carrots should always be the base and alter other veggies daily.  The carrots will regularly supply potassium, calcium, vitamin A, B, C, D, and E.  Greens offer vitamin A, C, and chlorophyll.  Apples are good for vitamin C.

 

Certain veggies have healing properties.  Kale, for instance, helps to remedy digestive disorders.  Watercress and mustard greens help to cleanse the intestines.  Parsley helps the metabolism and thyroid.  Celery has numerous advantages.  It helps with chemical imbalances, blood flow,  and is a natural diuretic.  Beets are good for the blood.  They offer copper and manganese.

 

Some foods to avoid include broccoli, cabbage, and turnips.  These create intestinal gas.  Cucumbers, onions, and potatoes do not digest well in a dog’s diet.

 

Flaxseed is a fabulous addition to the raw diet to encourage healthy joints and coat.  The omega 6 and 3 fatty acids help with such conditions.

 

The raw diet for your dog can combat several health issues.  The natural diet allows your dog to eat what nature intended.  You know what foods are in your dog’s diet.  The raw diet is high in quality and healthy for your pet.

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The Proper Way to Switch Your Dog’s Diet

 

Over the course of your dog’s lifetime, there may be several occasions when you need to switch your dog’s diet.  If is important to know the proper method to change your dog’s diet to ease your pet through the transition.

 

Many reasons exist that may cause you to feel the need to switch your dog’s diet.  A puppy, for example, must change from milk during nursing to dog food.  Your adult dog may need to transition to a dog food diet specifically designed for senior dogs.  Health reasons may be yet another cause for a switch.

 

After consulting with your vet about the change to your dog’s diet, you will want to consider all of your options.  Upon making the final decision, you will want to make the change gradually and over time.  Do not stop feeding one type of diet on Sunday evening and begin a completely new regimen on Monday morning.  Such a drastic change will undoubtedly create some serious results.

 

Switching your dog’s diet too quickly can result in your dog having an upset stomach.  Diarrhea is likely to result.

 

The proper way to switch your dog’s diet takes several days.  Over the course of two weeks, gradually reduce the amount of the original diet and slowly increase the food for the new diet.  For example, if you typically feed your pet a diet of 3 and 1/2 cups of kibble per day, you will only want to change the diet at the rate of 1/4 cup each day.  Keep in mind if you feed your dog’s diet twice daily, divide the amount in half at each feeding.

 

Day 1 of the switch you would feed your dog 3 and 1/4 cup of the original kibble and 1/4 cup of the new dog diet.  This total amount should be portioned between the number of meals during the day.  Day 2 you would feed 3 cups of the original diet and 1/2 cup of the new diet.  On day number 14, your dog’s diet will have been completely changed over.

 

This gradual process may seem slow at first, but be assured, it is for the best.  A dog’s diet is not like a human’s diet.  People vary their diet on a daily basis.  Sometimes we stir things up from meal to meal.  Your dog’s diet is best when it is consistent.  Do not change brands or feeding methods frequently.

 

Once you find a dog diet that works well to promote the health of your pet, it is best to stick with it.  In fact, you should allow several weeks, and preferably months, on a new diet before assessing the results.  This is true unless otherwise directed by your vet.  Some instances may arise when this is not a plausible plan.

 

Your vet can best educate you on when and why to switch your dog’s diet.  Unless otherwise directed, proper method for changing your dog’s diet takes time.  The gradual change will reduce the stress and change to your dog’s system and digestive tract.  Whenever a diet is working well for your dog, it is best to leave your dog’s diet alone.  Consistency is helpful to maintain your dog’s ultimate health potential.

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Protein and Kidney Failure from Your Dog’s Diet

 

Early research indicated that higher levels of protein in your dog’s diet would lead to kidney failure.  Do you know if your dog’s diet is safe?  Are you killing your furry friend by providing too much protein in your dog’s diet?

 

The studies that showed a relationship to high protein levels and kidney failure that sparked concerns about protein levels in dog’s diets were not sound.  The research was performed on rats, not dogs.  Rats primarily eat plants as their natural diet.  Naturally, rats biological makeup would indicate trouble digesting diets containing high levels of protein.  The rats have difficulty excreting protein due to their specific dietary needs, not because the high protein diet causes kidney failure.

 

Still, where do we stand on protein and your dog’s diet?  Dogs are naturally omnivorous.  In the wild, dog’s would hunt or scavenge.  The dog’s diet would consist of both plants and animals.  Naturally speaking, dogs are meat eaters, too.  For this reason, a dog can easily tolerate a diet consisting of 30% protein or more.

 

When protein intake is reduced in a dog’s diet, renal function does not improve.  Renal lesions are not less likely to form when a dog is fed with a low-protein diet.  It is not until a blood urea nitrogen, or BUN, test indicates a level of 75, that a reduction in protein intake be considered for your dog’s diet.

 

If you have concerns about the amount of protein in your dog’s diet, schedule an appointment to speak with a professional on the subject.  Your trusted vet can advise you on the specifics in regards to your dog’s diet.

 

It is a myth that dog’s cannot properly digest high levels of protein in their diet.  Kidney troubles do not result from high levels of protein in your dog’s diet.  Large amounts of protein can be safely digested in your dog’s diet, especially when they come primarily from animal origins.

 

Ten amino acids must be provided in your dog’s diet through protein.  Only twelve of 22 amino acids can be manufactured in your dog’s liver.  For this reason, meat such as heart, spleen, and meat by-products all have a place in your dog’s diet.

 

A high-quality dog food should contain meat as the first ingredient.  This will provide the proper amount of protein for your dog’s diet.  You know you are on the right track when you turn to nature for advice.  Do you ever recall seeing a wild or stray dog happily grazing through the cornfield at mealtime?

 

Senior dogs should not be automatically placed on lower protein diets exclusively based on age.  In fact, some older pets require a dog’s diet higher in protein than during their younger adult stage.  Unless medically indicated, provide your pet the benefit of quality protein in your dog’s diet.

 

Feeding your dog protein should not cause you concern.  You want what is best for your dog and nature tells you that protein will help your dog to thrive.  If you have questions about the myth of protein and kidney failure in your pet, speak to your vet about your dog’s diet.

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