All You Need To Know About Healthy Adult Dog Food
You want to ensure that your dog is getting the right food and all of the vitamins and nutrients that he needs to keep him healthy. You need to know about your dog’s eating habits and general lifestyle before choosing the right food for him.
Does your dog have lots of energy and look forward to long walks outside with you? Or does he prefer to sleep most of the day? Is your dog the right weight for his size, or do you think that he is too thin or too fat?
How To Tell If Your Dog Is An Adult
When your dog has passed his growth stage he will be considered an adult. If he has reached 90% of his ideal weight then he is an adult. Puppies tend to spend the first six or seven months growing, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Larger dog breeds can still be growing after a year so get advice on this.
What Kind Of Food Are You Giving Your Dog Now?
All adult dogs require a balanced diet that is healthy for them to provide the necessary amounts of energy that they need. Take a look at the packaging that your dog’s food comes in, and check for a statement of nutrition. Does the label mention the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)?
Check to see if there is a statement on the label that the food is suitable for adult dogs. If you have doubts about this, then go for foods that have an adult maintenance statement on them. Choosing a food that is suitable for all ages means that there could be growth nutrients included, and these are not necessary for adult dogs.
It is possible to feed your adult dog well from a homemade diet, but you will need advice on this first. There are nutritionists that are certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, that can help you create a diet for your dog that has the right mixture of minerals, vitamins, proteins and fats.
Is Your Dog Benefiting From The Food That You Give him?
The first thing that you can check is the appearance of your dog. Is his coat glossy? Does he have lots of energy? Does he look fit? If you can answer yes to all of these things then you are on the right track.
If your dog does not have a shiny coat then there could be some issues with the food that you are giving him. The processing of food or the inclusion of certain ingredients can prevent the absorption of the key nutrients that your dog needs.
There are other signs too such as a lack of energy, and if your dog is pooing too much this can indicate digestive problems. Change the food that you are giving your dog if you notice any of these problems.
Should You Give Your Dog Canned, Dry Or Semi Moist Foods?
You can give all of these types of foods to your dog but it is important that you understand what is in them. With dry foods your dog will receive more nutrients because most of the moisture has been removed.
You can give your dog less dry food than the other types, and this is a good choice of dog food if your dog happens to be particularly large. Dry food will last longer too, and the cost per serving will be less than canned dog food. If your dog has problems with his teeth, then there are some specialized dry foods that can help with this.
With canned dog foods you will find that they are around 70% water. Canned foods usually have a higher percentage of meat or poultry than dry foods, because of the high water content. Textured proteins from soy and wheat may also be included in canned foods.
If your dog is fat then canned food will fill him up but not add too many calories. The additional water content in canned food can help your dog if he has a urinary tract problem as well. The only problem with canned food is that it will get stale very quickly if it is not eaten by your dog.
Dog foods that are semi moist have become more popular over the years. Their water content is usually around the 30% to 40% mark. Read the labels carefully, as manufacturers of this food often add preservatives such as salts and sugars to prolong shelf life.
Always read the information provided on dog food containers. For your adult dog to be healthy, he will need a minimum of 10% of his daily calories to be delivered in the form of proteins, and around 6% from fats. Fiber should be included in his diet, together with around 50% carbohydrates.
A lot of people give their dogs food from the table but this is not advisable. Giving your dog greasy scraps, such as poultry skin and steak fat, could cause pancreatic problems as your dog is not used to such a high concentration of fat.
What About Treats?
Many dog owners give their dogs treats. This could be a reward for good behavior and used in training your dog, so it is OK to use them. You should choose healthy treats and not those that will make your dog fat.
Go for high fiber and low calorie treats. It is recommended that no more than 20% of your dog’s daily calorie intake should come from treats. Treats do not have to conform to AAFCO standards, so understand what is in them before you use them.
How Much Food And How Often?
There are a few factors to be taken into consideration here. Your dog’s age, size and the amount of exercise that he gets are all important. Labels on food normally have information on the amount of food to give dogs each day. If your dog is small and light then give less, if he is larger and heavier give more.
If your dog is really active and gets a lot of exercise each day, then be prepared to give him up to 40% more food than what is recommended. Some people only feed their dogs once a day, but twice a day is recommended. When he eats twice a day, your dog will digest the food better and won’t get hunger pangs.
Train Your Dog With A Dog Crate
There are many ways that you can train your dog with a dog crate. Once he gets used to the crate he will love it. Please read our review of the top 5 dog crates.