It’s something every dog lover worries about. Pet nutrition. Am I giving my beloved pet the right kind of food? Is it good for him/her? Is it providing the vitamins and nutrients my pet needs? Does it have any harmful toxins or ingredients?
Properly feeding a dog might not be as easy as one would think. Finding the appropriate type of food can be a daunting task, as there are hundreds of brands available, fiercely promoting themselves to gain your attention one way or another. Some brands claim their product to be the healthiest option, some claim to have all-natural ingredients. Other brands might take a different angle, such as claiming to have “real meat straight from the bone”, or maybe they forego meat all together and advertise a vegan diet for your pet. Who can you believe?
In the constant barrage of mixed advertiser messaging it’s easy to get lost. Keeping a dog on a consistent schedule is hard enough as is, one doesn’t need to induce more stress by not knowing which option is the best for their needs.
Look no further – here at Dr. Willard’s we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you decide which brand will make the perfect fit for you. We put an emphasis on healthy, natural brands with solid customer reviews and we spent some time looking through a variety of different sources to come up with a good list. After all of the research on a number of different sites we just kept coming back to the good old standby, Consumer Reports. They have very exhaustive customer reviews and they put particular emphasis on the things dog lovers like us care about like quality of ingredients, mineral and nutritional content and taste. We want our pets to love their food too! According to consumeraffairs.com, the top 10 highest rated natural dog foods on the market are as follows:
- Natural Balance
- Wysong Natural
- Blue Buffalo
- Big Heart
For a more exhaustive list and links to the brands listed above, visit the ConsumerAffairs website.
It’s important to keep track of the ingredients being used in your brand of dog food. A good balance of macro-minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride) and micro-minerals (Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc) is important for many bodily functions as well as maintaining healthy skin and fur. If you notice that your dog food is lacking an important mineral, supplements are an easy way to fill in gaps the brand cannot provide.
Instead of overloading your dog’s diet with various supplements, however, there’s a much easier way to increase nutrient absorption and digestion. Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops were made specifically for this purpose. Along with a slew of other benefits, adding a few drops to the water your pet drinks will greatly increase the assimilation of the macro and micro nutrients listed above. Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops naturally boost both the vitality and the well-being of your animal, which means a happier dog and more smiles all around.
You can check out our Pet Water Drops along with other pet products here, on the Dr. Willard website.
Alright, you’ve done your research and read your fair share of reviews – you’ve managed to select your preferred brand of dog food. Now you need to know how to properly feed your companion.
As is common knowledge, your dog should be on a schedule; they need to be fed at roughly the same time every single day to help solidify a routine. This will aid in activities like consistently going to the bathroom, waking up and sleeping at acceptable times, and maintaining appropriate energy levels throughout the day.
In addition to being on a schedule, dogs also need to be kept on the same type and brand of food once they’ve grown accustomed to it. Unlike humans, a dog’s stomach cannot handle sudden changes in diet well, which usually results in sickness or diarrhea. This only serves to dehydrate your dog, which is especially dangerous during these hot, humid summer months.
Portion sizes are extremely important. Too much food can leave your dog overweight, which carries a lot of the same health risks humans suffer with obesity. According to an article written by PetEducation.com, obese dogs can suffer “joint, bone, and ligament damage, experience difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, decreased immune function, skin and hair coat problems, decreased liver function, and generally have a much lower quality and length of life.” Not enough food is equally negative, as a malnourished dog cannot maintain a healthy weight, cannot produce enough energy to stay active throughout the day, and is at risk of experiencing muscle weakness, heart problems, and possibly even coma. In the event that improper feeding is severe enough, dogs can easily die due to an owner’s gross misunderstanding of food handling.
Finding a Solution
Do not worry, however. There are several methods to determine how much food your dog should receive. You can search online for trusted sources, you can try your hand at calculating it yourself with the aid of a Dog Food Calculator, or you can consult your local veterinarian, which is usually the most preferred method considering they’re an expert in the field.
The most important thing to maintaining a healthy relationship with your animal is to stay informed. Learn about your dog’s breed in particular – learn about differences in behavioral patterns, energy levels, and specific needs your dog might have related to food quality and quantity. An educated owner with a solid understanding of their dog’s needs has a bright future to look forward to with his or her companion by their side.