Nutrition – General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs

possibly the most common question positron emission tomography owners ask their veterinarian is “ What should I feed my dog ? ” Feeding your chase an appropriate total of a well-adjusted diet is vital to its overall health and wellbeing. To understand how and what to feed your pawl, you need to understand what the nutritional requirements of dogs are and how these requirements have developed through the process of biological evolution.

Since dogs are carnivores, doesn’t this mean that they need to eat a diet that is meat based?

As a species, the dog is a penis of the scientific orderliness Carnivora, a boastfully group of mammal animals that share a similar tooth structure. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this order vary. Some members of this group have an absolute necessity for kernel in their diet ( called obligate or true carnivores ), while others can meet their nutrient requirements through eat implant material ( herbivores ) or a combination of kernel and plants ( omnivores ). Cats are an exercise of an obligate carnivore, cows are an model of an herbivore, and dogs and humans are two examples of omnivores. Because of the dietary needs of dogs, both their tooth social organization and intestinal nerve pathway have become adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. The source of the proteins and fats is less significant than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the frump ‘s diet. Dogs can thrive if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. however, an all-meat diet would be unbalanced and would not meet all of a chase ‘s nutritional requirements.

“Under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods.”

As inquiry into basic and applied nutriment has expanded the cognition of canine nutriment, it is immediately known that a well-balanced diet must besides include an appropriate come of minerals, vitamins, certain substantive amino acids ( from proteins ), and specific essential fatso acids ( from fats ). These components are needed to build and maintain tissue and carry out biological reactions, and the necessary amounts vary slightly with the andiron ‘s stage of life ( puppy, adolescent, adult, pregnancy, senior ).

I was told that dogs cannot digest carbohydrates. Is this true?

To meet their energy needs, dogs have evolved to use proteins and fats as their primary department of energy sources, but they can besides use carbohydrates for energy. The fact that the frank ‘s digestive system produces enzymes that are specific for digesting starches and sugars shows that they are capable of digesting carbohydrates. however, building complex carbohydrates such as grains are more digestible when they are cooked.

I have heard that dogs should only eat raw foods and that dogs cannot properly digest cooked foods. Is this true?

Domesticated dogs have adapted over millennium to consume diets provided by their human companions, including foods that have been cooked. As mentioned above, dogs can actually digest building complex carbohydrates more easily once they have been cooked. Feeding raw diets can carry a number of risks to the pawl a well as people in the family, specially those who are young or immunocompromised.

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These all-important nutrients are required as partially of the andiron ’ s regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. The minimum dietary prerequisite has been established for many nutrients. The maximal adequate amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of perniciousness have been established. What is less sympathize is what may happen over time with bare deficiencies or excesses. Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ( AAFCO ). AAFCO guidelines are the cosmopolitan footing for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. Make surely that your andiron ’ s food meets the AAFCO standards. Keep in thinker that these are guidelines and your frank may need more or less depending on his health condition. Speak to your veterinarian for more data on specific nutrients that your particular frump may need.

What should I look for in a dog food?

The best advice you can receive about feeding your pawl is this : feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford. The differences between a agio food and budget food are not found on the nutrition pronounce ; they are found in the quality and generator of ingredients. Two frump foods may each contain 27 % protein but be vastly different when it comes to digestibility. Pet food ingredients are listed by order of slant. Each component is weighed when it is added to the batch of food, and ingredients such as fresh meat contain a bunch of water, a lot of which is lost during action. This means that a dry diet that lists corn as the foremost ingredient may be nutritionally ranking to one listing kernel first.

“Feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford.”

To further complicate matters, some nutrients are listed as a “ minimum ” share, while others are listed as a “ maximal ” share, meaning that the batch of food may contain a higher or lower percentage of the ingredient than shown on the label. The best method acting to choose a food for your dog is to ask your veterinarian. however, hera are some general tips to help you decide what should go into your andiron ‘s food roll :

  • Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients. If the majority of listed ingredients is unfamiliar to you, find another diet.
  • Select a low-calorie diet. Most adult, indoor, spayed or neutered dogs have low energy requirements. Your dog’s diet should contain a relatively small number of calories per cup; ideally less than 350 calories. If your dog food contains 500 calories per cup and you have a 20-pound dog, the amount you should feed is tiny (and unsatisfying!). Making matters worse, high-calorie foods mean even a few extra kibbles can really pack on the pounds.

How much should I feed?

The ideal method acting for determining how many calories to feed your frump is to determine what your cad ‘s lean weight should be and feed according to that weight. unfortunately, this requires constant monitor ( and weighing ) and is not always virtual.

“Your veterinarian can estimate how many calories your dog needs each day based on his lifestyle and body condition score.”

Your veterinarian can estimate how many calories your pawl needs each day based on his life style and body discipline score. The standard formula used for calculating the energy requirements of the average adult dog that lives inside your base, receives light casual exercise, and is spayed or neutered is : 30 adam weight in kilogram ( or pounds divided by 2.2 ) + 70 = day by day thermal needs

Be aware that few of our dogs are “ average, ” so this recipe is merely a starting point. Most dogs will require fewer calories on a daily basis, while a few will require slightly more. This daily thermal total includes not only your pawl ‘s meals, but besides any snacks and treats. If your frump needs to lose weight, your veterinarian will recommend caloric restriction ( which is normally 70 % to 90 % of the calculate come for weight maintenance ).

How often should I feed my dog?

The biological development of dogs as hunters has given them specialized digestive and gastrointestinal adaptations that allow them to ingest a large meal followed by up to days of not eating. however, for most favored dogs, feeding once or twice per day is recommended. many dogs will benefit from eating evenly divided meals two to three times per day. See the handout “ Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog ” for more information on prey schedules and mealtimes. regardless of the feed schedule you choose, avoid allowing your frump to exercise vigorously after consuming a large meal, specially if your cad eats its food quickly. This will help minimize problems with bloat, intestinal obstruction, or other good digestive disorders. Be sure your frank has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Is dry or canned food better?

In terms of nutrition and digestibility, there are merely no differences between dry and canned ( wet ) pawl food. You should make your decisiveness based on your life style, preferences, and budget. For dogs that need to consume more water or have certain special dietary needs, canned foods may be a better choice. differently, most dogs will do fine on dry kibble. Some dry kibble rations have been specially formulated as dental diets and can help to mechanically remove plaque. For further information, see the handout “ alveolar consonant Disease in Dogs ”.

Are there any breed differences in nutritional requirements?

In the by respective decades, nutritionists and veterinary researchers have identified that there are definite engender variations in metamorphosis and food requirements. Breeds of dogs that were developed in specific locations, such as Arctic Circle breeds and some of the water system breeds, may have adapted to specialized diets that are common in their rate of lineage. Inbreeding and genetic differences between individuals in each species may result in promote need for individualization of the pet ‘s diet in orderliness to optimize health. In addition to considering your chase ‘s breed, you should besides consider your frump ‘s life style. Working pets ( hunting dogs, field test dogs, herding dogs ) require different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets than lick dogs or sedentary sign of the zodiac dogs.

What is meant by life-stage nutrition?

Dogs have varying nutritional needs during different stages of their lives, and feeding a diet that is formulated for all life stages is not inevitably appropriate. An general-purpose pawl food may not provide enough nutrients to meet the needs of a growing puppy or a fraught or nursing mother. conversely, this like general-purpose diet may provide excessive nutrients to a senior or inactive dog. Feeding your chase according to its stage of life ( puppy, adolescent, pregnancy, pornographic, senior ) is now recommended by respected nutritionists to maintain your frump ‘s overall health and wellbeing and improve both the quality and the quantity of your pawl ‘s life. This data can be found on the label of your pawl ‘s food as the AAFCO Statement. Life-stage feeding for puppies.  Early in liveliness, puppies must eat much and lots ! They need relatively larger quantities of food because they are growing quickly and have limited space in their bantam stomachs. At 6 to 8 weeks of age, they need to be fed about four to six meals a day. By 6 months, the need for food is decreased because puppies are about 75 % of their pornographic size and can be fed two to three meals a day. A good-quality puppy food has advantages over adult cad food because it has been specially formulated for a puppy ‘s demanding nutritional requirements and contains the allow sum of calcium. Because of their rapid growth, any nutritional mistakes made during puppyhood will have more austere, flush irreversible and lifelong, consequences. Because growth is about complete by 8 to 10 months of senesce, the modal puppy can be switched to adult chase food at about 12 months of age. If you have a large- or giant-breed puppy, one that is going to weigh more than 50 pounds ( 23 kilogram ) as an adult, or is at-risk for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or early growth abnormalities ( for example, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds ), you should feed a puppy food specially formulated for large-breed puppies. These diets are formulated to contain the optimum proportion of proteins and calcium to moderate rapid bone growth that can lead to joint disorders. Your veterinarian may besides recommend a transitional adolescent diet for your darling ‘s ‘teenage ‘ years. After weaning, the majority of puppies lose the ability to digest milk carbohydrate ( lactose ). consequently, while small amounts may be tolerated, feeding milk can cause intestinal upset and diarrhea because dogs can not digest it by rights.

Life-stage feeding for the older dog.  Older dogs, specially those over 7 years of historic period, will benefit from a diet formulated for their needs. Senior cad diets often have lower calories, higher protein, lower sodium, and fewer carbohydrates. Many besides contain ingredients such as prebiotics or probiotics to maintain healthy intestinal microbial populations, increased omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids and other antioxidants to combat inflammation, and glucosamine to promote roast health. Be certain to ask your veterinarian about the best food for your elder chase. Some elder diets will include medium chain triglycerides to help slow down changes to the mind that can lead to dotage issues.

What is my take-home message?

Choosing a high-quality food from the hundreds of available brands and formulas can be challenging. The pet nutriment industry is very competitive, and most commercially available foods are very good balanced diets. Ask your veterinary health care team to help you select a diet that is backed by scientific principles and research and that meets your dog ‘s individual needs. If you have any questions about a particular food, your best source for help is your veterinary health care team.

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