Dog food is a special nutritional diet designed to meet all the physiological needs of the animal. Industrial dry and canned food has recently been more in demand by dog breeders, due to their many positive qualities and ease of use.
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Dog Diet Basics
The main requirements for the nutrition of four-legged pets are represented by the obligatory presence in the diet of a balanced amount of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, mineral components and vitamins. It is also necessary to regulate the intake of a sufficient amount of liquid by the dog. It is from the variety and level of usefulness of daily food that the life expectancy and health of a pet directly depend.
Ready-to-eat dry dog food is the best, fully balanced and nutritious option for your pet. All specially formulated dog foods contain a sufficient concentration of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and essential amino acids. The highest quality dog diets are free of preservatives, flavor enhancers, and modified ingredients that cause food allergies. It is thanks to the composition based on natural ingredients that the digestion of a four-legged pet is significantly improved.
Modern ready-made types of industrial dry dog food for dogs are presented today on the market of zoological goods in a very wide range. Domestic and foreign manufacturers are currently developing entire lines and series of balanced diets that are designed to feed dogs of all ages and sizes. If necessary, you can purchase ready-made rations:
- For puppies;
- For adult animals;
- For small breeds;
- For medium breeds;
- For large breeds;
- For pregnant women or lactating bitches;
- For elderly or age pets;
- For pets with health problems.
It is interesting! For daily feeding, it is most profitable to use precisely dry diets that are characterized by economical consumption and long storage, but when choosing you need to carefully study the composition, take into account the number of proteins and the absence of artificial taste and aromatic additives.
Of course, when choosing a finished product for a four-legged pet, its breed and age-related features, as well as the level of so-called physical activity, must be taken into account. The diet used in the daily nutrition of the animal should fully cover all the energy or physiological needs of the dog organism. The best option will be the choice of food after consulting a veterinarian.
Types of feed
The classification of feeds according to type is determined by the quality of the finished diet, as well as the main features of production technology. The cost of such zoological products also directly depends on the category and quality composition. The diets related to “holistics” and “super-premium” class have high quality parameters, which differ in composition as close as possible to the natural type of nutrition of animalsch high-quality nutrition can be introduced into the diet of puppies immediately after excommunication from mother's milk.
Categories of dry dog diets are presented:
- Super-premium class;
- Medicinal feeds.
The economy segment is the food that belong to the category of budget diets, differ in low quality characteristics and low nutritional value. Premium and super-premium feed do not have significant differences. They can have grass and fruits, vegetable and grain crops in their composition, as well as various biological additives useful for the animal.
It is interesting! High-quality dog feeds are subjected to minimal heat treatment in the production process, preserving all their valuable nutritional characteristics and taste, which is as close as possible to natural food.
The best for the nutrition of four-legged favorites is considered to be the food feedch diets differ in the content of meat in the range of 50-80 %. They may have several different types of meat at once or high-quality fish, various vegetable crops, fruits and berries, some medicinal herbs and cereals. Also, beneficial bezerane feeds are currently produced. Dry feed do not contain flavorings, harmful dyes or other useless substances.
Foreign feed lines
Many manufacturers of finished diets produce entire feed lines. The most popular manufacturers and brands of such pedigree diets are today:
- Farmina N & D;
- Legacy ValuingTradition;
Also, ready-made diets produced in the food line for dogs of various categories under the brands Royal Canin, Eukanuba and Acana Grasslands have also proven themselves.
Age feed lines
At each age stage, the energy and food needs of the four-legged pet change noticeably, which requires a periodic change in the diet. The age lines of dog feed are currently presented in a rich assortment, so making a competent choice of diet on your own is not difficult.
For the proper formation of the body and good health, the puppy must be provided with a full nutrition by means of premium or super-premium class. They contain high-quality offal, and the share of natural meat products can reach up to 25-30 % or more. Any feed of this segment is always distinguished by a high-quality and completely balanced composition, and vegetables allow for the growing body to fiber. Nevertheless, the best food for puppies are represented by a holistic class, characterized by a perfectly selected and fully balanced composition based on high-quality ingredients.
Large breeds are approaching the old age in the age of five, and small dogs age noticeably later, but any four-legged pets with age increases the risk of predisposition to a variety of diseases. Different factors have influence the quality and life terms of the dog, including high-quality and proper nutrition, therefore, increased requirements are imposed on all ready-made industrial diets:
- Less activity of the animal implies a low calorie content of food, which will reduce the risk of obesity and other health problems;
- Easy digestibility of food is ensured by the content in the food of certain products, including poultry, vegetables and fish, which improve digestion and prevent constipation;
- The optimal amount of protein does not allow the development of muscle weakness and maintains good joint mobility;
- The presence of vitamin-mineral complexes in the composition provides antioxidant properties and slows down the process of cellular aging.
Dry dog food intended for older dogs must necessarily include only high quality and the most easily, quickly absorbed ingredients to prevent the process of bone decalcification and maintain decent vision for the animal. For aging animals, it is recommended to purchase ACANA SENIOR DOG, ORIJEN SENIOR DOG, PRONATURE HOLISTIC SENIOR OCEANIC WHITE FISH AND WILF RICE, ROYAL CANIN MATURE AND SENIOR DOGS, EAKUNOBA DOG MATURE & SENIOR or BRIT SENIOR.
Important! Increased attention requires the correct selection of food for puppies and older dogs. In the first case, the rapid development and formation of the animal's body occurs, and in the second, age-related changes are of particular importance.
Diet, depending on the breed
Breed characteristics of the dog have a significant impact on the choice of food. For example, large or very active dogs that experience regular exercise require more calories than small indoor four-legged pets. Eukanuba presents products specifically designed for feeding Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers and Dachshunds. No less famous Royal Canin produces ready-made rations for pugs, shih tsu, as well as chihuahuas, dachshunds and Yorkies.
Very small breeds, which include decorative lap dogs, are extremely delicate, fragile creatures that require not only careful handling, but also caring care, including special nutrition. In most cases, such animals are not only picky in feed, but also to some extent capricious. Activity by such pets is extremely rare, so the total amount of nutrients should not be too large.
However, it must be remembered that the need for energy can double:
- In preparation for planned mating;
- Directly during the mating period;
- During the period of pregnancy;
- At the stage of lactation.
The standard diet of small breed dogs must include lean meat (preferably beef or veal), bells with chopped boiled meat, dairy products stewed with herbs and vegetables chopped to a state of mashed potatoes, porridge with the addition of vitamin-mineral complexes.
It is interesting! Experts recommend using the finished feed of the EarthBorn line. This brand was developed by Pro PAC specifically for dog dogs.
Food is always given in small portions three or four times a day. Among other things, some representatives of small breeds, including pugs, as well as the dachshund and the Lhasian APSO, do not know how to control the volume of food consumed, so they may suffer from obesity. It is important to remember that obese dogs do not live for a long time.
The most popular among most dog breeders are representatives of the category of medium breedsch animals most often easily adapt in urban conditions, but increased attention requires hunting, official and sports rocks, the body of which needs to fill a significant amount of nutrients. In this case, carbohydrates that prevent weight loss or a breakdown of strength are the most important source of replenishment of the spent energy.
Medium-sized dogs must be included:
- Thermally processed or boiled offal of boiling water;
- Lenten varieties of meat in raw or boiled form;
- Well-boiled river or slightly cooked boneless sea fish;
- Oatmeal, as well as rice or millet porridge;
- Sufficiently callous rye and wheat bread or bibli;
- Bone flour;
- Cut and slightly boiled or stewed vegetables represented by carrots, beacon, zucchini and cabbage with the addition of greens.
The finished diet Farmina from a famous Italian brand has proven itself. The food is intended for medium breeds of dogs and is represented by meat, eggs, rice, grain crops, fish, vegetable oil, amino acids and vitamins, fiber and chicken fat.
An important element of the daily diet of dogs belonging to large breeds is a protein that plays a special role in the growth and development of the animal.
Representatives of large breeds should provide a diet in the form:
- Beef, lamb, chicken or rabbit meat;
- Meat offal, including liver, heart, kidneys and lungs;
- Boiled fish without bones;
- Boiled chicken or quail eggs;
- Cottage cheese, kefir, solid varieties of cheese and dairy products;
- Rice, buckwheat and oat cereals;
- Boiled vegetables with herbs and fresh fruits.
It should be remembered that dogs of the same large breed can differ dramatically in their nutritional requirements, depending on lifestyle, health status and physical activity. In winter, it is desirable to supplement the daily diet of a dog with a small amount of animal fat and special vitamin and mineral complexes, but only high-quality dry diets can provide a large pet with everything necessary.
It is interesting! Champion Petfoods, a Canadian pet food company, produces Orijen diets that are high in protein and high in meat, making them ideal for large dogs that lead an active lifestyle.
Ration depending on where you live
The composition of the food and diet should be different for pets kept in apartment conditions, as well as dogs that are in an aviary. The same rule applies to pets depending on the region of their residence and time of year.
According to experts, dogs exposed to low-temperature conditions need to increase the number of calories by about two to three times. Increasing the calorie content of food contributes to the accumulation of fat, and also reduces or compensates for the calories that are spent on heat production. The lack of additional calories often causes weight loss in animals.
It is interesting! In regions with cold, harsh climatic conditions, the dog's energy requirement is increased by 15-20% compared to the daily energy requirement of pets kept in the southern regions.
Dogs regularly exposed to extreme cold also show a metabolic change that uses fat rather than glucose. It is for this reason that four-legged pets living outdoors during the winter will need to provide more fat in their daily diet.
Food for street dogs
The daily diet of a street four-legged pet must include full-fledged lean lumpy meat, stewed vegetables and cereals with animal fat, as well as special vitamin-mineral complexes and high-energy dog food supplements.
It is interesting! For any dogs kept in aviary conditions in winter, experts recommend purchasing ready-made rations, the name of which contains the additions – "Performance", "Energy", "Active", or "Sport".
Pet dog nutrition
Dogs that spend most of their time in apartments or kept in a warm private home may well receive standard food rations year-round. In this case, the owner of such a pet independently chooses the most suitable feeding option: natural food or ready-made dog rations.
The main components of a natural dog diet are sour-milk low-fat products, lean meat and offal, boneless marine fish, as well as vegetables and fruits. As additives are cereals and cereal products.
The most harmful foods for the animal’s body, including sweets, creams and pastries, coffee and tea, grapes and raisins, citrus fruits and persimmons, rhubarb and potatoes, raw eggs, as well as garlic and onions, must be excluded from the dog’s diet.
Recommendations from veterinarians
It should be remembered that any new products are introduced into the diet of a four-legged pet only gradually, with the control of the health of the pet, which will avoid various intestinal disorders or the development of severe allergic reactions. Milk is most often used only in the nutrition of puppies, since in most cases such a product is very poorly tolerated by adult animals. Any fermented milk products for feeding a dog should be selected and given to pets strictly individually.
Among other things, according to veterinarians, commercial holistic and super-premium diets are usually very similar in their basic composition, but even between them there are very noticeable differences. Firstly, Holistic dog foods belonging to the "Human grade" series are completely suitable as a food source even for humans. Secondly, in the composition of such diets, any freeze-dried products are completely absent, and all ingredients are carefully balanced. It is for this reason that such foods are considered universal and, as a rule, are suitable for feeding dogs belonging to almost any age group.
Also, experts strongly recommend that it is mandatory to control and adjust the amount of food and the quality characteristics of the food, which may vary depending on the age and physiological state of the animal, physical activity, including the total duration of walks, official work or sporting events, as well as the habitat of the four-legged pet, its gender. Health status and even the time of year.