Your dog's diet is one of the most important decisions to consider if you want your dog to live a long and healthy life.
A dog's diet can influence the relationship between you and your dog and if you choose the right food for him it can change him from being a bad tempered unhappy animal into a dog to be proud of and a pleasure to be around.
In many ways a dog's diet will have a similar effect on his health as our diets do on us.
If they eat too much and don't get enough exercise they will become overweight and sometimes obese. If they eat the wrong food, or food that is not good for them, they can become lethargic and lack energy, they find it difficult to exercise and the problem gets worse.
Their diet can affect the condition of their coat and their skin. Dogs can get many of the diseases that we do. They can get cancer, heart disease, and have heart attacks and just like us, sometimes they can suffer from diabetes.
Dogs are what they eat, just like we are. Regrettably though, a dog can not let us know if something is not right for them, if they are feeling ill, or if they have a stomach upset from the food we are feeding them.
Most of us try to eat a sensible diet because of the health benefits that come with the effort, and it is the same with our dogs, except we, the owners, have to take responsibility for our dog's diet.
Our dogs diet needs don't differ much from our own. They need the same vitamins and minerals as we do but in a different quantity. They require protein, carbohydrates and fats just like we do. Their stomachs work similar to ours but they have a shorter digestive tract and find it difficult to digest some foods that we are able to.
If we eat too much and don't get enough exercise, we get overweight. Being overweight can bring on a great deal of problems for us. It's no different for our dogs. If they eat too much and do not get enough exercise, they too will become overweight and they too will have to deal with a whole new set of problems especially when they get older.
The food we put into our body can affect our skin and our hair. The food we put into our dog's body affects their skin and their hair. This may seem obvious but many dog owners don't recognise this, or choose to ignore it. We eat certain foods to give us the nutrition we need to keep us healthy. Dogs also need a good nutritious diet.
Although they are unable to digest the same foods as we do, careful attention should be paid to the ingredients in dog food to establish that they are getting a healthy and nutritious meal.
A poor dogs diet can cause many problems for it's health, not to mention the expensive veterinary fees that you will have to pay.
Dogs that are fed a poor diet have low energy levels, they may develop serious healthy problems as they age and they can become overweight or underweight. Their immune system can suffer, they can develop teeth problems, bad breath, infections, the list is endless.
Just as important as a good diet is to keep your dog on a proper feeding schedule.
Free feeding your dog, or not having set meal times, is likely to encourage your dog to become overweight, as some dogs will just eat all day. Getting your dog into a set meal agenda will help his diet in the long-term and also his toilet habits will become more regular..
Nearly all dog owners regard their dog as part of the family, so feeding a dog a good diet brings lots of benefits. It will boost his immune system that will help him fight off many diseases and could prevent problems such as allergies, high blood pressure, digestive issues and even serious life threatening diseases like diabetes and cancer.
The vet should be the first port of call when you are deciding on your dog's diet. Some breeds need different diets and the vet will be able to advise you of the best one for your breed of dog. Ask about things like glucosamine or fish oils. These can help to prevent diseases such as arthritis and skin complaints.
What you feed your dog influences everything in his life, so you can see how important it is to choose wisely when you decide on your dogs diet