When it comes to feeding a dog there is lot of doubt dog parents has. In our Treat Unusual hospitals our Doctors are usually been asked with questions like Doctor what to feed ? when to feed ? how many times to feed ? can I give only veg food ? is rice good for dogs ? Is home food good for dogs? And many. This Blog answers many of your feeding doubt that you asked or thought of asking to your Vet. Dr. Nisarga, MVSc, Senior Consultant at Treat Unusual Veterinary Hospital, Chikkamagaluruis briefing you on what diet is good for dogs and what to feed dogs at their different stages and what are the food to be avoided to dogs etc.
Important Considerations in Feeding Dogs
- Dogs are primarily carnivores (meat eaters) but they have ability to eat and digest some omnivorous (meat and plant eaters) foods too
- The amount of food for your dog is absolutely dependent on the size, breed and age of your dog.A 3-year-old Pug with 12 kg body weight will have an absolutely different diet compared to 3-year-old Labrador with 25kg body weight. Similarly, a 3-year-old pug and 8-year-old pug with almost same body weight will have a different diet.
- You can feed your dog with a pure kibble diet or you can mix their diet up with some cooked meat, fish, vegetables and rice.
- Ensure that you should never overfeed or underfeed your dog
- Always ensure that your dog is well hydrated- adequate water should be provided
- Your dog food should contain atleast 30% meat and remaining shall be cereal, vegetables, fruit, egg and pulses
- It is necessary to supplement minerals and vitamins in a regular basis to meet there micro nutrient requirement. Important Macro minerals like Calcium and phosphorus plays an major role in puppy growth, Lactation and skeleton development.
- Kind and texture of food also decides the oral health of the dog, use of one or two bones a day keeps their gums and teeth health with less chances of tarter
Below 3 months
- Puppies Generally grows very fast at these stages
- At this stage it is necessary to feed your puppy 4-5 times daily with the interval of 2 to 3hrs -Puppies have a high nutritional demand and can’t go for long without food.
- Soon puppies are weaned or separated from mother dog Milk Replacer Diet should be starter, with commercially available one or with home made milk replacer
- Puppies usually require high protein content content for their muscle and visceral organ growth and minerals especially calcium and phosphorous – commercially available puppy starters feed with mineral suppliment suggested from your veterinarian should be used to ensure proper growth of puppy.
- Selection of puppy starters depends on the size of the breeds, e.g; for mini/toy/small, medium breed and large breeds.
- You should not make sudden diet changes at these time as you might inadvertently cause a stomach upset.
- Introduce the diet in small incremental stages over a few weeks and observe for any illness or allergy.
- Feeding rice in early puppy hood gives pot belly appearance and other stomach issues– commence feeding rice (as major ingredient) after 3 month
- You can add cooked meats (avoid beef), boiled eggand vegetables or rice (as minor ingredient) as you wish; however, the main diet needs to be the balanced puppy starters – you can use the one commercially available or homemade based on your Vet/nutritionist recommendation
- Raw diets are not recommended for very young pups, you can boil the boneless chicken,mutton or fish with little salt and turmeric to a soupy consistency and then can be fed to puppies.
- Vitamins and calcium supplements are necessary and must at this stage- Take an advise from your Vet and then give the vitamin or mineral supplement based on Vets recommendation.
- Reduce the milk replacers and eventually stop feeding milk replacer
- Vitamins and calcium supplements should be continued with increased quantity.
- Commercially available food specially for young dogs should be given
- Introduce some meaty bones gradually. For young dogs, one large bone a week is generally enough to keep the teeth healthy
- Vegetables like carrot,beans,pumpkin,sweet potato and vegetable leaves should be boiled and fed
- Chicken and fish may be fed but bones should be removed
- When you’re introducing a new food to young dog, keep an eye on all kind of signs illness/distress/itching/redness.
- As your young dog gets older, you can gradually reduce the number of feeds to twice per day.
- Small or medium breed dogs are generally called to be ’adults’ from 12 months of age, whereas larger breed dogs can take little longer time to become adults until 18–24 months.
- Adult dogs should be fed either once or twice a day (preferably morning and evening with 12hrs interval). Use a high-quality commercial dog food which specifically designed for adults. If you want to feed home-made food, please seek and advice from vet and prepare food accordingly
- Ensure that your diet should be complete and balanced. You can add meat (cooked), and vegetables or fish for variety without bones.
- Many dogs lack enough fibre in their diet, and the addition of cooked pumpkin or grated carrot can improve their bowel health.
- Choose large, raw, meaty bones to maintain normal teeth. Most importantly, don’t over feed.
- Supplements like calcium and phosphorus and other minerals are not necessary at this stage, if your dog is suffering from any health issues then you have to provide required ones with consultation of your vet.
- When your dog attaining 8years of age then it will be called as senior dog or aged dog
- It is better to offer the food for once a day as they don’t consume more energy
- For some senior dogs, frequent smaller meals will keep them happy and satisfied.
- Commercially foods specifically for senior dogs are available
- Some senior dogs may need more fibre, protein or other nutrient, visit your vet every 6 month once if your have a senior dog, feed them based on their advice.
- After 8years of age, generally dogs will be having liver, heart and kidney issues. It is better to use commercial foods which are specifically designed for liver,heart and kidney issues
Foods which are harmful to your dog and you must avoid giving them
- Chocolate and cakes
- Ice Cream
- Onions and garlic
- Citrus-such as grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange
- Milk and other dairy products (many dogs and verity of breeds show lactate intolerance)
- Raw yeast dough
- Fatty foods
- Poori,Chapathi, Bread, Bun, Biscuits (wheat in many dogs show skin issues)
- Salty foods (food with little salt is fine)
- Sugary foods and drinks, candy and Gum
- Coffee and tea
- Raw meat, Fish and Eggs
- Tomato, Avocado and Apple
- Human medicines
As early said every dog is different and every home has a different food habits, just check whether your dog is getting the right food for its age, breed and size. Share what you are feeding with our Vets and Animal Nutritionist and get a customized healthy diet for your pets. Call or WhatsApp us on 6363064184 (kerala)/9483169164 (Karnataka) to book online appointment and connect to our Doctors.