What Do Dogs Eat? What Should I Feed My Dog?

What Do Dogs Eat?

Just like us, our dogs are what they eat. Their happiness relies on them being healthy; the easiest way to achieve this is to ensure they’re being fed a nutritionally balanced diet.

Whether it’s wet food, dry food or homemade food, our pets require the same benefits from their diet as what we require as humans, including:

  • A good quality source of food to function
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Water

There are many different varieties of food available that cater to your pet’s needs depending on their breed, age and condition. Consider the different types when deciding what you should feed your dog.

Scientifically formulated dog food

Whether your buddy is an active dog, a large breed dog, a puppy or simply if they prefer to eat smaller kibble; there is a variety of food that has been scientifically formulated just for them.

Scientifically formulated varieties are packed with the ‘right’ amount of nutrients, like protein, carbs and fat, to suit your buddies’ needs.

Breed specific dog food

Developed based on the specific attributes of your dog’s breed, this food provides nutritional benefits depending on what your dog needs to be their best, like different levels of vitamins and minerals.

Natural dog food (and holistic/grain free varieties)

Natural and balanced, these foods are jam packed with fruit, vegetables and meat as well as nutrients essential to your pet’s health.

‘Natural’ pet food consists of only natural ingredients without chemical alterations, except for vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients. Pet food defined as’ holistic’ most commonly means that the food contains natural ingredients; no chemical or artificial products are added and the ingredients are selected to benefit the animal.

Mature dog food

Your buddy is considered ‘mature’ from about seven years old. Mature food varieties are designed for older dogs who have started to take life a bit easier and, as a result, had a change in their nutritional needs. With large breed dogs, this change will take place at around five years old.

These types of foods contain ingredients that address your pet’s needs as they get older; such as glucosamine to support their joints, as well as other vitamins and minerals that help them age gracefully.

Special needs dog food

Like humans, our buddies may have special needs that can be addressed within their diet.
Special needs varieties can assist your pet with factors such as:

Supermarket dog food and premium dog food

What is supermarket dog food?

Supermarket brands are usually found in the pet food aisle at the local supermarket. These products appear cheaper in value as the cost per bag is lower than a premium product. Owners are usually required to a feed a greater volume to their dog as the nutritional quality is lower.

What is premium dog food?

Premium products are usually only available from pet specialty retailers and Vet clinics. These products usually appear to be more expensive, however owners are usually required to feed less per meal as the nutrition quality is high.

What is the cost difference between supermarket and premium food?

The most common misconception about premium pet foods is that they are really expensive. Although supermarket brands may appear cheaper, your pet needs to eat much more of it to receive the full nutritional benefit.

What’s the difference between dry dog food and wet dog food?

As long as you’re feeding your dog a super premium food diet, the nutritional value of dry and wet food is quite similar. However pets who eat a wet-food-only diet may experience dental disease, as wet food tends to cause plaque and tartar build up. The manual action of chewing dry kibble can help reduce this. A good solution is to feed your pet a dry food diet with wet food mixed in; your pet will love the combination of textures and it’ll help keep their gums and teeth healthy!

Homemade Dog Food

If you choose to cook for your dog, it’s important to ensure that they’re getting their daily nutritional needs in the right portions to stay healthy.

Pet food manufacturers put a lot of time, money and research into your pet’s food. They also ensure that your buddy will receive the nutrients and minerals they require daily. If you are considering a home diet, please ensure you research your pet’s needs and consult your vet first.

Things to think of if you’re going to make your dog’s food:

  • Must be balanced between protein, plant based foods, grains and ‘good’ fats.
  • Only use good-quality, human grade foods and avoid fatty cuts of meat.
  • Avoid scraps and left overs. These should be given in moderation to your dog, as a treat only.

Bad and toxic food for dogs

There are certain foods that can be fatal to dogs and should be avoided completely. These include:

  • Cooked bones
  • Onions
  • Grapes and sultanas
  • Avocado
  • Lily plants
  • Coffee/tea
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • High energy human food, including barbecued or cured meats

Also avoid feeding fatty marrow bones and only feed raw eggs in moderation.

Tip

Bones should be raw and twice as big as your dog’s head. Remember, you want your dog to chew on the bone not chew it up, so remove it after a few hours. This will also avoid attracting flies.

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