Is it beneficial to feed your dog only food?
If you believe the advertising, then animals that eat only food get all the elements they need from food. But in reality, this is not always correct. When choosing complementary foods for your pet, you need to carefully familiarize yourself with its composition, because there are very few foods that really contain the whole complex of vitamins and minerals. It is worth clarifying that not all nutrients are absorbed in one meal. Such a trifle can lead to disturbances in the digestive system in puppies, so you should be especially careful about choosing food for them.
You need to choose the main food correctly in accordance with how old the individual is and what its weight is. In addition, it should be remembered that dry and natural food cannot be mixed. In this case, the use of food additives is prohibited, because this can lead to hypervitaminosis in a puppy or dog. To increase the variety of the food ration, you can supplement it with canned food of the same brand as dry food. It is also recommended to systematically apply prebiotics.
Since the food in the dog’s stomach swells from water, it is possible for it to become constipated as a result of a decrease in the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is necessary to control the process of defecation of the dog, especially the first time after the introduction of dry complementary foods into its diet. As a rule, after a certain period of time, the pet’s stomach gets used to dry food and its functionality is restored. If the animal is tormented by constipation, you can give it special medications, after consulting a veterinarian.
How to properly feed your dog dry food
Properly organized nutrition of the dog is an important factor in ensuring not only the excellent condition of the body, but also the well-being of the animal. Thanks to dry food, it has become possible to properly feed your pet with a balanced and healthy food, while saving money and time. But the difficulty lies in the fact that not every dog breeder knows how much food can be given, whether it is necessary to add other foods to the diet, and which ones. Having made the decision to feed their pet dry food, the owner must know how to do it correctly.
How to train a puppy to feed
When a person buys a puppy, then you need to find out from the previous owners how he ate before and how much food he ate at one time. The first week after the puppy got to a new place, you should not change its diet.
Having made the decision to feed the puppy with dry food, you do not need to give him other hearty foods, because mixed food is not recommended for dogs. over, it is wrong to give any kind of food to small puppies. It is important to ensure that the pet has free access to drinking water.
It is allowed to add vitamin and mineral supplements to the puppy’s diet in cases of illness, poisoning or infection. Also, along with the main food, you can give the puppy small treats in small quantities, such as:
- pieces of cheese;
- any boiled meat, with the exception of pork;
- dried fruits;
- special purchased treats.
A puppy should receive such snacks for the execution of certain commands as a reward after eating.
Dry food can be fed to a puppy after it reaches three weeks of age, while he is still drinking his mother’s milk. Due to the fact that the animal does not have well-formed teeth, the feed must be finely chopped and added with warm water or milk. At the age of 1.5 months, the puppy is already able to chew dry food.
It is also worth clarifying how many times a day the puppies are fed:
- at the age of 2 months, the animal is fed 5-6 times a day, over time, reducing this amount;
- at the age of 4-5 months, the puppy is fed no more than 3 times a day;
- after 6 months. no more than 2-3 feedings per day.
General rules for feeding dry food
Dry food is of great importance in the nutrition of the dog, it can be used as the main diet, but some rules must be taken into account:
- You should not feed an adult dog or puppy with the cheapest product, there should be a balance between the price and quality of food. The cheapest food will not benefit the animal’s body, but rather harm;
- You need to feed dogs and puppies dry food only on schedule, at the same time the animal should receive the required amount of food. How much food to give to the animal, the owner decides on his own based on the average norms and habits of the pet;
- When eating dry food, the dog’s body needs a lot of fluid. Therefore, a container with clean water at room temperature should always be in the puppy’s field of vision.
- Dry food should only be stored in tightly closed containers at room temperature. Due to improper storage, it quickly deteriorates, and the owner may not notice this and continue to feed the animal with a spoiled product;
- You can accustom your pet to a new type of food for 7-20 days, gradually increasing its portion.
How to train an adult dog to feed
You can train an adult dog to feed using the same methods as puppies, only you need to act more decisively.
- Train the dog to feed as a treat, sometimes rewarding him for the commands he has completed;
- Gradually mix dry food into ordinary food, increasing its amount over time;
- After the animal gets a little used to eating food, you can start giving it for breakfast. If the dog refuses to eat, the same bowl must be given in the evening.
After 1.5 days, the animal, as a rule, begins to eat food. If this did not happen, then you need to determine the reason.
Reasons for the dog’s lack of desire to eat:
- In a hurry to train the dog to feed, the owner missed one of the stages;
- The dog is not ready to start eating one food, you need to try again later;
- The animal did not like the taste of the food. In this case, you need to try to give her other brands of the product.
- The dog has an intolerance to some components of the food;
- The animal may refuse to eat due to some kind of malaise and poor health.
If you need to transfer the dog to a different food, you need to do it gradually, as well as accustoming to it.
How many times to feed the dog after you manage to teach him to eat food and in what quantity? It depends on the weight and age of the animal. Typically, an adult dog is fed 1-2 times a day. The rate is calculated for each individual individually according to the data on the product packaging.
Pros and cons of feeding dry food
Whether to feed your pet with natural or dry food, only the owner of the animal decides. It is important to make the right choice, taking into account the pros and cons of eating a certain type of food, because the health of the dog depends on it.
- Doesn’t take a lot of time to buy groceries and prepare food;
- No risk of contamination of carpets or furniture;
- A high-quality product contains all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the animal’s body;
- The owner himself determines how much food to give to the animal at a time. It helps to train the pet to the daily routine.
- If the product is not of high quality, then due to its prolonged use, there is a risk of developing serious diseases;
- Only high-quality expensive feed is suitable for constant feeding;
- Not every food can suit a pet in taste or composition, so it only needs to be selected individually;
- You can not mix feed or several different brands of food with natural food;
Only the owner can weigh all the pros and cons of feeding the pet with dry food and choose such a diet that will bring as much benefit as possible and ensure the pet’s excellent well-being.
Why your dog shouldn’t be fed cat food?
So what happens if you feed your dogs cat food? In the process of development, cats and dogs have occupied different niches in the natural chain. Yes, both species are carnivorous predators, but their lifestyle and metabolism are very different. Cats and dogs have different blood composition, different norms of glucose, protein and other substances.
Purrs eat little, but often, to keep blood sugar high. Most dogs are adapted to one or two meals a day and do not experience any discomfort from this. Unexpectedly, the larger the dog, the longer it can live without food, this is due to instinctive energy savings, which can be perceived as laziness.
Cats need taurine and feed manufacturers take this into account. The canine body synthesizes taurine and does not need external inputs. Additional taurine regularly consumed by a dog is a cause of heart failure, most commonly cardiomyopathy.
Note! Taurine itself is sharply inscribed in the composition of the cat food, its presence is implied by an increased m of protein in combination with amino acids.
The increased protein content helps cats maintain normal, overestimated digestive tract acidity for dogs. That is, cat food regularly eaten by a dog can cause heartburn, gastritis and ulcers.
All of the above consequences are the result of prolonged and regular consumption of cat food. The owners often do not associate the first alarm bells with the type of food. When a dog has high proteins in its blood, the risk of developing:
After a few months of consuming cat food (especially economy class), it leads to the development of renal failure. Sterilized, small and prone dogs develop rapidly urolithiasis.
Important! Some dog breeds, especially decorative dogs, are at risk of developing allergic shock. The condition is critical, deadly, accompanied by swelling of the larynx and suffocation or abrupt failure of the kidneys.
Raw vs Kibble Dog Food. Which is better? Explained with Pros & Cons of feeding. || Monkoodog
How to choose the right dog food?
Suppose your pets eat only good quality food, but your dog gravitates towards cat food. The reason can be found out only after identifying your mistake in the selection of the diet. According to generally accepted rules, the choice of feed is based on six conditional criteria.
The first criterion is the type of feed. Almost all manufacturers produce four types of products:
- Dry food. granules with neutral odor, color (brown) and minimal m of water. The most popular variety because it is optimal for long-term storage and is cheaper than other types.
- Semi-moist food is a product consisting of feed pieces and gravy. The products are packaged in cans or sachets, have an average price in the line and are used by dogs with great pleasure.
- Wet food or pates are the most expensive segment made for puppies and senior dogs or pets with severe dental problems.
- Treats. not intended for regular feeding, used as a reward.
The second criterion is the feed grade. The classes differ directly in cost and quality. Products are usually divided into:
- Economy class is the most publicized and unsafe brands, positioning themselves as affordable. In fact, the cost of these feeds is not that low (compared to the premium class). Economy food can be identified by delivery, usually it contains legumes or corn ingredients, plant components prevail over animals, animal proteins are inscribed instead of the type of meat, products contain salt and several unreadable names of preservatives. The smell and color of the economy food is more provocative and bright, the granules can be colored in different colors.
- Premium and super-premium (everyday) class. food suitable for daily feeding of healthy animals. The difference between premium and super-premium in vitaminization, the second class is more balanced.
- Holistic class. is considered the highest quality and most natural type, which should be made with the minimum use of preservatives and without salt.
- Medicated feed (allergies, urolithiasis, joint problems). not recommended for use without the appointment of a veterinarian.
- Food for pregnant, emaciated, weakened dogs.
The next, third selection criterion is the age of the dog. According to common criteria, all feeds are divided into the following types:
- For puppies over 2 weeks old and up to 2 months old.
- For puppies and dogs from 2 months to 10 months.
- For dogs over 12 months old and up to 8 years old (for selected breeds up to 6 and 7 years old).
- For senior dogs over 6 years old.
In relation to this criterion, you need to understand that an old dog cannot be fed with puppy food due to the fact that it is more nutritious. In such a situation, it is better to choose a therapeutic or prophylactic product.
Advice: if you are not sure about the dog’s age or think that the composition of the food does not meet its needs, consult your doctor.
The last two criteria relate to the size and lifestyle of the dog. Each pack of feed has tables with recommendations for daily feed intake. Usually the table is divided into three columns: small, medium and large dogs. The degree of activity largely depends on the breed and age, which is taken into account by many producers.
Note! Some dogs are prone to rapidly gaining excess weight; for such pets, many manufacturers produce diet food.
Why do dogs eat cat food??
Most owners find out that the dog eats cat food after the fact. Usually everything happens like this. a cat and a dog live in the house, they eat at the same time and a larger pet steals or eats up the food secretly. There are several reasons for this behavior.
For young dogs, natural curiosity is characteristic, the more active the puppy, the more desperate his actions. Puppies and young dogs eat fast because they have a lot to do. and tend to finish up faster than leisurely cats. The reason for stealing a cat’s food is that it tastes better in a neighbor’s bowl, at least so it seems to the dog.
Perhaps the young dog is malnourished and steals from the cat’s bowl for this reason. A worse reason is greed, which can degenerate into food aggression. Leadership dogs or puppies who have been deprived while living with their mother are prone to greed.
Economy-class cat food is guaranteed to attract the attention of a dog, as it contains a large number of flavors and flavor enhancers. It just so happened that they try to feed the dogs with more expensive products, and the cats get by with more advertised, but less useful food. Here the owner needs to think about two important points once:
- Is a cat’s health worth the imaginary savings.
- How to protect your puppy from the harmful effects of an overtly harmful feeding method.
Some owners claim that their dogs eat cat food because the pet likes it. In fact, your pet is eating incorrectly just because you allow it. Economy-class foods give off a strong, attractive odor, which explains the first gusts.
Important! After being consumed for a short time, cheap cat food is addictive (in both dogs and cats), which explains the fanatical cravings and rejection of other foods.
If you feed your cat good quality food and your dog steals from your neighbor regularly, the problem is protein deficiency. The fact is that cat food is inferior in composition to dog food in almost everything, except for proteins. Cats are more carnivorous, they need a lot of protein, which is taken into account in the production of quality industrial feed. But do not be in a hurry to rejoice if the dog compensates for his needs in this way. You will not be delighted with the fact that the dog eats plaster, compensating for the deficiency of micronutrients, and these situations are similar and equally dangerous.
Is it possible to feed a dog with cat food: we answer in detail
Many dog owners know not to feed their dog cat food. The fact is known, but few can explain the reasons and name the real consequences of such a diet. Let’s figure it out.
How to wean a dog from eating cat food?
Not sure if you can wean your dog from eating cat food? Is your dog so fastidious and will simply die of hunger if he does not receive the coveted delicacy? Have you tried not to feed, but the pet did not eat and lost weight before our eyes? Oh no, but you have to come to terms with a destructive delicacy, is it better than starving to death? Stop!
Your dog is not fussy, but you are looking for excuses! Naturally, each pet has its own character and among the four-legged gourmets are found. but not a single dog has died of hunger next to a bowl and food! Remember, categorical rejection of healthy food is not a dog’s problem, it is your problem.!
The main reasons that you need to immediately exclude:
- Overeating. reduce portions, remove snacks, eliminate constant access to food.
- Prohibited foods (other than cat food).
- Frequent treats with treats.
- Quickly cooked food. cold, hot, raw, hard, tasteless.
- Poor quality dog food.
- Lack of physical activity. when the dog is not using energy, it does not feel true hunger.
- Health Issues. Visit your veterinarian and make sure your dog is doing well.
Advice: feed the cat in a place inaccessible to the dog and at other times, this will eliminate the risk of stealing cat food.
The most common mistake is a sudden switch to a different type of diet. One day you decided not to feed your dog cat food, but the dog disagrees. Diet change is carried out by mixing. Every 4-5 days, reduce the amount of cat food by 25%, replacing it with useful dog food. Thus, you will avoid boycotts and the dog will not starve.
Food rules and acceptable foods
Can dry food and natural dog food be mixed? In this case, it is very important to combine the types of food correctly.
Mixed ration is suitable for dogs of different breeds, such as French Bulldog, Jack Russell, Yorkie and even Spitz.
If pellets are the main part of the diet, then some rules must be followed.
What can you give your dog with dry food? The following foods can serve as a good supplement:
- fresh vegetables, fruits, berries and even greens;
- cottage cheese, sour milk;
- raw meat, liver, fish;
- eggs (quail or chicken).
Note! The intake of natural food should be at a certain time, for example, either only in the morning or in the evening. Do not mix dry granules with natural ones. Between them, you must take a break of at least 5 hours.
When is mixed feeding of dogs acceptable?
Of course, most veterinarians are not very fond of mixing feed, but at the same time they note that in some cases, alternating the diet is quite acceptable:
- feeding puppies in receivers. Usually, cottage cheese and raw meat are added to dry granules. In this case, the puppy’s gastrointestinal tract will adapt to several types of food at once. Professional breeders do not do this because they do not know what diet the future owners will follow;
- large, hunting or sporting breeds need additional protein in the diet. For example, Labradors, Rottweilers or Sheepdogs are injected with meat, fish, or offal;
- A puppy dog or breeding cable also needs adequate nutrition before mating. During this period, the animal needs a balanced, varied diet, and only natural food will help restore this shortage;
- if the dog is picky about food or eats little. For example, an animal chooses only meat from meat porridge, and vegetables and cereals remain on the plate. In this case, for a change, you can add special granules;
- during vacation or on a train ride, the owner does not have time, the opportunity to cook natural food for the pet, so in this case ready-made food would be a good alternative.
Note! The granules in the stomach of the animal swell, therefore, if the animal eats both natural and dry food in one meal, this will slow down the digestion process, and the dog may have digestive problems.
Why combine dry and natural food
Is it possible to mix the two options, many breeders are interested in
In addition, in the dry version there may be processed products, for example, instead of animal protein, it is much more profitable to add vegetable oil, and instead of animal protein. meat flour. All this makes production cheaper, but can affect the health of the dog. In this case, the product will still be considered balanced, because the ratio of BJU is normal, however, the animal’s body will not receive the necessary microelements.
You can mix dry food and natural food in some cases, for example:
- the animal does not have allergic reactions;
- the skin, wool, stool of the animal are normal, which means that the state of its health does not cause concern;
- only a quality manufacturer is used;
- the main part of the diet is the dry version, and the natural product is just an additive.
For your information! It is necessary to clearly track the amount of food consumed by the pet.
There are only a few cases when you can mix products.
Can you feed your dog dry and natural food at the same time?
Dog owners are often faced with the problem of composing a diet for their pets. One of the main questions remains: is it possible to feed the dog with dry and natural food at the same time? This issue should be approached very carefully so as not to harm your beloved pet.
Mixed food upsets the balance of dry food
Can you alternate between dry food and natural dog food? In this case, it is possible to feed the dog both dry granules and natural products at the same time, but it is worth knowing about some points. With this type of nutrition, the balance may be imbalanced, which will lead to health problems for the dog. However, do not think that this balance is correct in all feeds. A cheap option for dogs, just as balanced as the Rollton for humans. In more expensive brands, of course, probiotics are present, however, many components will still be lacking. For example, a dog may lack fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, sour milk, cottage cheese, as well as any easily digestible proteins, for example, quail eggs, turkey.
Important! It is best to give preference to premium food, as they rarely cause allergies and gastrointestinal diseases. And also they are in most cases suitable for all breeds.
The main fear of many breeders is an overabundance of vitamins. It is important to remember that, in addition to this, there are concepts such as digestibility and biological compatibility. An excess can only be in the case of the consumption of artificial vitamins and minerals. Natural ingredients will enter the body in the right amount, and the excess will be removed biologically. Many owners, whose dogs are only on dry food, notice some food perversions for their pets (grab and eat anything). In this case, it is necessary to add raw meat or black tripe to the diet.
Mixed food without harm to the health of the dog
Why mixing different options can be harmful
Veterinarians highlight the pros and cons of mixed feeding for dogs. The main reason why such a diet can be harmful is the inability to track the balance of food. The owner is unlikely to be able to accurately track how much protein, fat and carbohydrates entered the dog’s body. This is due to the fact that the composition of natural products in many reference books is indicated averaged.
In addition, dry food may contain substances in a concentrated form, and for this the owner will have to recalculate the elements on his own. This can be the reason that some substances will be in excess, while others will be in short supply. This imbalance will lead to health problems in pets over a long period of time.
Note! When mixing different foods, it is difficult to establish the total calorie content of the diet. A high calorie intake for a dog can cause a dog to be overweight.
Also, on a mixed diet, the animal may develop allergies or other digestive problems.
Of course, most dogs love natural food, because it smells better, is much physiological in consistency, which is why there can be problems with a mixed diet.
Truths and myths about mixed diet dogs
There are several myths associated with this type of food. Below is a detailed discussion of what is true and what is not.
Proper nutrition of a dog is the key to health
Many owners are faced with the question: is mixed food acceptable in a dog’s diet? In some cases, this is appropriate and may be useful, but for a better condition of the pet, you should consult a veterinarian. The most important thing with such a diet is to follow certain rules in order to keep your pet healthy.
Feeding dogs with natural food means giving them food that is permitted for these animals. These include dairy and meat products, cereals, vegetables and fruits, offal.
Interesting! Adherents of this diet believe that self-prepared food will be healthier than store-bought food. However, this has not been 100% confirmed.
The main difficulty of the diet is the need for regular calculation of calorie content, nutritional value. What is it for? The answer to the question is simple. dogs, like other animals, need good nutrition, which will provide the body with substances and energy for growth and development.
In addition to nutrients, pets need minerals, vitamins, antioxidants. This indicates a balanced diet. the intake of nutrients in the optimal ratio and amount.
It is difficult to achieve accuracy in the completeness and saturation of the diet with useful elements when feeding with natural products. For example, there can be significant differences in the nutritional value of meat, depending on the ratio of muscle to adipose tissue, the place of cut and other factors.
Benefits of natural food:
- Diet variety. It is represented by a list of permitted products that differ in consistency, aroma, and taste. This allows different dishes to be served every day. For example, different types of meat are allowed: chicken, veal, beef, rabbit.
- Compliance of natural products with natural food. It is common for dogs to eat raw meat. For some breeds, for example, hunting, it should form the main part of the diet. Usually these dogs do not tolerate dry food.
- Confidence in quality. If you purchase products yourself, it is easier to track their freshness. It is better to give your pet food from private households. In industrial production, quality is difficult to establish.
- The need for constant cooking. Natural food is served raw or boiled. This will take time, so in the absence of it, a natural diet for a pet will not work.
- Storage instability. You will have to cook every 1-2 days, as food spoils quickly, especially when cooked. It is recommended to store food in the refrigerator.
- Financial expenses. Feed your pet with high quality organic products. If you worry about the health of the animal, you will have to spend a lot of money.
Dry industrial feed
Industrial dry food is the type of diet that most veterinarians and breeders tend to adopt. Before covering the pros and cons, it is recommended to learn about the types of finished feed.
There are three main classes: economy, premium and super-premium. They differ in the quality of the ingredients, the completeness of the composition and the price. The first type is prohibited for pets, since the components are represented mainly by plant materials. The rest of the ingredients are of low quality, the composition also contains flavorings, preservatives.
Super Premium foods are recommended for dogs, as they rarely cause allergic reactions or diseases that different breeds are prone to.
High quality ingredients and natural additives are used to create feed.
Premium class products are of lower quality, their use is allowed under normal pet tolerance.
- Completeness and balance. The ready-made feed contains a complex of nutrients in accordance with the needs of the body at different periods of life.
- A wide range of. The companies producing Super Premium and Premium feed have taken care of a diverse product line. For example, products for puppies, mature and senior dogs are presented. There are separate categories: medicinal, dietary, hypoallergenic food.
- Storage stability. Dry granules do not deteriorate for a long time if the recommended conditions are observed. However, in the open form, they can lose nutrients.
- Easy application. To feed your pet, just pour the food into a bowl. Instructions with daily and one-time rates will be indicated on the package.
- High price. Buying Super Premium and Premium feed will hit your wallet. Therefore, before deciding to feed your pet with ready-made food, you should consider your financial capabilities.
- The likelihood of falsification. Popular brands are often counterfeited, therefore it is recommended to carefully study the information on the label.
- Allergy. The response often occurs to poor quality feed, preservatives. When fed with Super Premium, allergic symptoms rarely appear.
Many dog owners still believe that feeding only ready-to-eat foods negatively affects the health of the pet. However, there is no confirmation of this.
Manufacturers have taken care of creating complete diets for different periods of the animal’s life.
When is mixed feeding of dogs acceptable?
Veterinarians discourage the combination of different types of diets. However, they indicate when mixed feeding of dogs is acceptable.
- Feeding puppies in kennels. Cottage cheese, meat products are added to dry granules so that the digestive tract adapts to natural food. Breeders do this because they do not know what diet the future owner will instill.
- large, hunting breeds, working or sporting dogs. These animals require the additional inclusion of protein foods. raw meat, fish and offal.
- Providing complete nutrition for a puppy or breeding cable before mating. These conditions require a balanced and varied diet with maximum concentrations of nutrients. They are better absorbed in their natural form.
- Supplement for fastidious dogs or small dogs. Sometimes the pet eats only meat from meat porridge, ignoring cereals or vegetables. The addition of dry granules will make it possible to replenish the missing amounts of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and other components.
- Incorporation of natural foods as a treat. Sometimes it is allowed to give your pet pieces of vegetables, fruits or herbs, but only as a snack.
- Feeding on travel, on vacation. At these moments, there is usually no desire and opportunity to cook natural food for your pet, so ready-made food will be an excellent helper.
The listed situations allow the simultaneous use of dry and natural products. However, this must be done correctly. The main recommendation is not to give different types of food in one meal.
Remember! Dry granules undergo a swelling stage in the stomach before being digested. If the pet eats them with regular foods, it will slow down the digestion process, cause gastrointestinal upset.
Nutrition 101: Wet or Dry Food.- Which is Better For My Dog?
Pros and cons of different types of feeding
Veterinarians to this day argue about the usefulness of natural food and pelleted dog food. Many experts are of the opinion that the combination of these types of diet is undesirable.
This leads to the need to understand the pros and cons of different types of feeding.
Can you feed your dog dry and natural food at the same time?
When a person is allowed into his life a dog, he must be aware of the responsibility, which is to provide adequate nutrition and proper care. However, owners do not always follow the recommendations.
This happens more often out of ignorance or inexperience. The question that interests the owners is whether it is possible to feed the dog with dry and natural food at the same time.
Feeding rules and acceptable foods
If pelleted food was chosen as the basis of the dog’s nutrition, then it is recommended to know the rules of feeding and acceptable foods. As a supplement to the main diet, the following natural foods are allowed:
- fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs;
- cottage cheese, dairy products;
- raw meat, liver, sea fish;
- quail or chicken eggs.
Natural food should be given a separate meal, for example, given it only in the evening. At least 5 hours should pass between the consumption of dry and regular foods.
How much water does a dog need
The second important question after choosing a pet diet is how much water your dog needs. There is no exact amount, it varies depending on the diet:
- dry food. a lot of liquid, since there is almost no moisture in the granules;
- mixed feeding. moderate amounts of water;
- natural food. drinking regime according to the pet’s needs, since the food is saturated with moisture.
The general rule is that the bowl should always be filled with clean water. It must be changed every day, with thorough washing of the container.
There is still no general consensus on mixed feeding as there is no compelling evidence for or against this type of diet. If you want to feed your pet with a combination of dry and natural products, the main recommendations are compliance with the rules of feeding, the inclusion of only acceptable products.
The benefits and possible harm of dry food for the dog’s body
Dry dog food, like any other product, has its pros and cons, therefore, before making a final decision on transferring a dog to such food, it is worth studying each of them.
The advantages of using dry food will be:
- balanced nutrition of the animal, because even low-quality products contain proteins, fats, basic vitamins and minerals necessary for a dog, not to mention the amino acid taurine, which is not always a part of the diet for self-cooking;
- saving money when buying products of the middle and expensive segments, because in any case, high-quality meat, vegetables and cereals for the same feeding period are unlikely to be cheaper;
- the possibility of long-term storage of feed (without a refrigerator, it will not lose its basic properties within 12-18 months, which cannot be said about fresh meat);
- ease of use (the owner does not have to stand at the stove, it is enough just to pour the food from the bag into the dog’s bowl, regardless of the location of the animal).
The benefits of high-quality dry dog food are obvious, but at the same time, some owners talk about the dangers of such products, arguing their point of view as follows:
- excessive amount of carbohydrates in dry food (“by eye” it will not be possible to determine where there is more loaf and where there is more meat);
- the complexity of calculating the optimal amount of food and the ease of overfeeding the animal (dry granules often seem to be not nutritious, especially if the animals at home have a good appetite);
- low moisture content in the granules, due to which, with improper control of the pet’s drinking regime, problems with the genitourinary system and kidneys may occur.
Whether it will be useful to feed the dog with dry food. first of all, depends on the quality of the product, therefore, in order to avoid buying junk food, you should not pay attention to dubious products of little-known companies, especially if its cost differs significantly from the average market.
Switching from natural food to dry
With prolonged feeding “natural”, the dog’s digestive system is tuned to digest cereals, vegetables and meat, which often takes a little longer than in the case of feeding ready-made dry granules.
The owner can change the pet’s diet at any stage of his life, but only if the following conditions are met:
- You cannot change porridge for dry food in one day. Usually the adaptation process takes at least two weeks. The usual amount of feed should be divided into seven parts. For the first two days, the dog is given six parts of natural food and one part of the selected dry food. On the third day, the pet is given 2 parts of dry granules and 5 parts of natural food, continuing to reduce the amount of natural food used with each subsequent day.
- At first, it is advisable to soak solid dry granules in water, so that they will become more like semi-solid food familiar to a dog.
- Before introducing feed into the menu, it is important to take into account the total daily food intake of the animal, calculating exactly how many vegetables, cereals, meat, offal and fermented milk products the pet eats. In the future, this will help to calculate the required amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Do not mix ready-made and self-prepared food. It will be better if the dog eats dry food in the morning and dines on the usual porridge. A sharp change in the menu or the simultaneous consumption of a dissimilar food by a pet threatens to disrupt the functioning of the digestive system and even stress.
Young and completely healthy dogs usually tolerate a change in diet without problems, but if the animal has problems with the gastrointestinal tract or other abnormalities in health, it is better to discuss such a decision with your veterinarian. A specialist will help you choose the most suitable dry product, possibly with medicinal properties.
How to choose food
Considering the importance of a balanced nutrition of the dog, the choice of ready-made dry food should be approached with all responsibility.
There are several main varieties of such products, so the following criteria cannot be ignored:
- Class. All ready-made feeds belong to one of four classes: economy (instead of meat, animal fat, meat and bone meal, soybeans, preservatives are used), premium (include fish, poultry, by-products and vegetable components, without soy), super premium (only from natural meat and are balanced taking into account the age and breed of the animal), holistic (in addition to meat, they contain lentils, brown rice, herbs, berries, fruits and vegetables). The last two options are deservedly considered the most suitable type of food for a domestic dog, due to their diverse mineral composition and the presence of a sufficient amount of fiber.
- Age and breed characteristics of a domestic dog. The active growth of puppies and their burning of more calories made it necessary to choose foods with more proteins, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Depending on the size and growth rate of babies, their optimal ratio of these components is selected: for example, a small mastiff needs more calcium to strengthen the skeletal system than a Shih Tzu puppy, because due to the peculiarities of the breed, the load on the paw bones will be greater. Adult animals need less protein and absorb vegetable and animal fats much better. The amount of these components is reduced only in products for older animals, where they are replaced mainly by easily digestible carbohydrates and minerals that strengthen aging joints. The size of the croquettes depends on the size of the dog: for small breeds, the pellets will be smaller than for feeding large and giant varieties.
- The composition of the feed and the distribution of the amount of its main components in the total volume. The first on the list of “composition” of any feed is the product, which is the most in it. Ideally, this should be meat (if the dog is allergic, preference is given to beef, lamb or salmon). The use of offal is allowed, but only if they do not mean skin and feathers, but the insides of cattle and poultry. Probiotics, cereals and vegetables (primarily carrots) will be no less useful components, but corn is not always well absorbed, so it is better to avoid feeds with its presence in the composition. Pet eggs will be more beneficial as a whole product than as a powder, so do not look for this ingredient in the feed description. Preservatives should be only natural (preferably with vitamins E and C), but ingredients under the names “E320”, “E321” should be avoided.
- Special purpose of feed, which can be therapeutic or prophylactic, intended for pregnant or lactating females, weakened animals and pets prone to gaining excess weight. Medicinal feeds always differ in their composition, and always taking into account the characteristics of a particular disorder. For example, in case of diseases of the cardiovascular system, it is better to feed the dog with food with increased magnesium, potassium, sodium, taurine, L-carnitine, if the animal is diagnosed with food allergies, hypoallergenic products are suitable, and for dogs with overweight it is better to choose dry food with low m fat, helping to adjust the existing indicators.
Among the most popular feeds in 2020 in the expensive segment are:
- NOW Natural Holistic (does not contain animal fats and offal);
- Summit Holistics (has a line of products for sterilized animals);
- Barking heads (like the previous options, it includes only natural meat, contains iodine and is free from any dyes, flavors and preservatives).
Among the products of the budget line, consumers distinguish:
- Pronature holistic (the main component is poultry and cattle meat);
- Dog chow (produced in the form of a universal food, as well as food for small and large dogs);
- NERO GOLD super premium (it has a variety of meat types, includes cereals, oatmeal and potatoes, ideal for feeding dogs prone to allergies);
- Royal canin (you can choose food for a dog of any size and age, but in any case it will be of high quality).
Regardless of the age of the pet, in order to properly feed it, you should divide the daily volume of the selected feed several times. Adult dogs are usually fed twice a day, at least 12 hours apart. Puppies up to three months old can receive food 5-6 times a day, in equal small portions.
It is better to feed pets of large and medium breeds only after a walk, which will help avoid volvulus in case of increased physical activity. In fact, this also applies to small dogs, but among them a genetic tendency to such a violation is relatively less common. If, due to their age, puppies still cannot normally eat large dry granules, at first they can be soaked in warm water for about 20–40 minutes, but in no case mixed with natural food. After a meal, the pet must rest for at least an hour, it is better to completely exclude active games at this time.
On average, the total daily intake of dry food (g / day) is calculated based on the weight of the animal, its activity, so there are always several options:
|Dog weight (kg)||Low activity (up to two hours of exercise per day)||High activity (more than 5 hours a day)|
|more than 50||520-595||820-935|
Can you change your dog’s diet?
The easiest way to feed a pet is to use ready-made dry food and canned dog food, but in many cases, owners resort to self-cooking cereals, with the addition of vegetables and meat. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, but when changing the pet’s diet, you should definitely take into account certain recommendations.
How to calculate the required feed dosage
Obesity is dangerous for dogs for many reasons, because it not only reduces their physical activity, but also disrupts the work of many internal organs: the heart, pancreas, liver. It is possible to determine whether a dog is eating by its behavior after a meal: a well-fed animal calmly gives a bowl and often go to bed immediately. An insufficient amount of food causes increased anxiety, a desire to chew on various objects in the house, a violation of the growth and development rates (relevant for young dogs).
The calculation of the optimal amount of dry food is often performed based on age and the required amount of daily calories, therefore, when organizing nutrition for puppies up to a year, you can use the following table:
|Dog’s age in months||Daily feed rate in grams per 1 kg of body weight||Daily amount of required calories per 1 kg of body weight|
|Until the 1st||15–20||220-250|
|8-12||30-700 (depends on the size and general activity of the pet)||100-130|
Of course, small breed dogs will end up eating less, so owners can buy smaller packs. For example, for an animal weighing 2–5 kg under normal loads, only 80 g of dry granules per day are needed, while for large dogs heavier than 50 kg and the same daily regimen will require at least 520 g of feed per day.
How to properly feed your dog dry food
Dry food contains all the vitamins and minerals a dog needs, but maximum benefit from it can only be achieved with dosed use of the product. The feeding regimen and the number of pellets given to the dog depend on the age and body weight of the animal, the rhythm of its life and physical activity, therefore, in each individual case, there will be its own characteristics when calculating the portion size.
Can you feed your dog dry food?
How to feed a dog dry food: feeding features, benefits and harms
Proper nutrition of a dog is the key to its good health and excellent well-being, therefore it is so important to choose a food that is as balanced as possible in composition. It should include all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the pet, and always taking into account its age. How to feed a dog correctly and what you should know about choosing the right food for it. more on that later.
Is it possible to feed a dog both dry and natural food at the same time?
The question of whether to give a dog dry food and regular food at the same time torments many owners. To avoid problems with proper nutrition, you need to remember that a dog’s body is less adapted to a variety of foods than a human. The answer is unequivocal: it is strongly discouraged to feed the dog with natural food and dry food in one meal.
How to transfer a dog from dry food to natural products
In order to completely transfer the dog from dry to natural food, it will take a lot of time, usually at least two weeks. During this period, drying should also be given separately from natural. Natural food should be started in small portions, gradually increasing in volume. At this time, you must definitely monitor the well-being of the animal and, at the slightest alarming signals, do not hesitate to visit the veterinarian.
However, it also happens that, having tasted natural, the dog categorically refuses hard granules. In this case, the transition to another type of food can be carried out literally in a few days.
After switching to natural food, the dog may begin to drink less. This is normal and natural, because now liquid will enter the animal’s body along with food.
The dog should be given prebiotics when changing the diet because diarrhea is likely to occur.
When transferring to natural, the dog may ask to use the toilet more often. It’s okay too. You need to wait until the digestive tract is normalized.
Combining feed: benefit or harm
So why not mix dry food and natural dog food? It will be too difficult for the stomach of the animal to digest such different types of food, as a result of which the process of digestion of food is difficult for dogs, metabolism is disturbed, and useful trace elements are lost.
On average, it takes no more than a couple of hours to completely digest food by the dog’s stomach, and the food begins to leave the stomach after forty minutes. But when feeding with solid granules, this process is much slower, and during these forty minutes it will only swell. That is, if you pamper your pet with dry food with natural food, the food will leave the stomach along with undigested pieces that will rot in the intestines. That is why the answer to the question of whether it is possible to feed these types of feed at the same time is strictly negative.
What feeding option to choose for your pet
Everyone must determine for himself which food option is better to choose. After all, a balanced menu is very important for your pet’s health. This is especially true for puppies. You need to know exactly when the puppy can be fed dry food or it is better to leave it on natural products.
If you feed dogs with dry food and natural food, an excess of vitamins may appear in the animal’s body, which is no less dangerous for their lack.
Do not forget that when changing feeds, it is necessary to gradually increase the portion of the new product, since a microflora has already been formed in the dog’s stomach, which is adapted to digest a certain type of food.
A few simple rules for those who decide to feed a pet mixed
If you do decide to feed your dog both natural and dry food, you need to remember some simple rules:
- When feeding from one bowl, soak the dry granules well beforehand.
- To make the most of the benefits of a dry menu (cleaning the dental cavity), give it a couple of hours after eating a regular meal.
- When choosing feeds, stick to one manufacturer.
If the dog eats “super premium” food, mixing dry food with natural food for a variety of ration is strongly discouraged, since high-quality food meets all the requirements of a balanced diet and contains the right amount of nutrients. Otherwise, the owner of the animal will not even be able to approximately find out how many beneficial micronutrients his dog received.
Before feeding a dog with dry food and natural food, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons and do not forget the basic rule: you cannot mix these products in one step. In the question of whether it is permissible to feed a dog with mixed food, the determining factor is the individual characteristics of the animal, its state of health. Pet owners who decide to use dry food and natural food at the same time should first consult a veterinarian.
Is it possible to give a small puppy dry food and natural food
Should you feed your puppy with both dry food and food from the table? And is it permissible to give the puppy both dry food and natural food at the same time?
No, this is undesirable even for adult dogs. Stress like this is extremely dangerous for the stomach.
Excess vitamins and minerals, which can arise from mixed feeding, are very dangerous for puppies. This can lead to nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Protein overload gives the puppy an extra load. It is very dangerous for bones and joints.
Basic types of feeding
There are two main types of animal feeding: industrial feed and natural feed.
There is also a mixed type, when the animal is fed both natural food and industrial food. Unfortunately, many owners adhere to this type of feeding. This is often recommended by breeders, but let’s make a reservation right away, this is the most unfavorable option for an animal, and any doctor will say that this is wrong. Why is it so?
If the dog’s diet includes only industrial food, there is no need to additionally calculate fats, proteins and carbohydrates, since the composition of the food is already balanced. It meets all the needs of the animal, and industrial food can be selected based on the age and physiological state of the pet. When you add something else to the prepared diet, an imbalance occurs. You can overdose on one or another ingredient in your dog’s food. For example, there may be an excess of protein in the diet, or too high of carbohydrates. It should also be borne in mind that ready-made feed already contains vitamins and minerals in the required amount. And, as you know, an excess of vitamins and minerals badly affects health, as well as their lack. It should also be borne in mind that natural food and feed are digested differently. The body produces different enzymes to digest different types of food, and the residence time of food and natural food in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract varies considerably. Therefore, when feeding with mixed rations, malfunctions of the digestive system may occur.
So let’s take a look at the main types of dog feeding.
Proper dog nutrition
Each owner of a dog, acquiring a puppy, is faced with the question: how to feed him correctly? And this question is one of the key ones, since proper nutrition has a direct impact on the physical shape and health of the pet.
Feeding natural food
If you are an adherent of natural dog feeding, you need to learn how to properly balance the diet for your pet. It is necessary to monitor the ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates in food, and also remember about vitamins, macro- and microelements.
Since it is rather difficult to calculate nutrients in a natural diet, it is recommended to use ready-made vitamin and mineral supplements. However, you should first seek the advice of a dietitian. Natural products are individual and can negatively affect your pet’s health.
What foods can you feed your dogs?
As a traditional source of protein and animal fats, a dog is added to the diet of meat, by-products and fillets of sea fish, dairy products. In addition to fats, the body also needs polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6). These substances are found in oily fish and plant foods.
As source of carbohydrates for dogs, cereals (buckwheat, rice, oatmeal) and pasta made from durum wheat are suitable, but it is not recommended to abuse them.
Vitamins and minerals are found in fruits and vegetables. But it should be borne in mind that some vegetables in their raw form can cause strong gas formation. Also, dogs should not be given dried fruits and nuts.
What foods shouldn’t be given to dogs
There are a number of foods that should not be given to dogs, as this can lead to poisoning, diseases of the digestive system or other negative effects on the health of the animal.
- Onions, garlic (in any form) contain harmful substances that can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
- Grapes, raisins lead to acute kidney damage.
- Chocolate, coffee, tea contain theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. In small quantities, this substance can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and in large quantities. damage to the nervous system (coma, convulsions), up to death.
- Avocado contains persin, a substance also toxic to animals.
- Raw fish contains the enzyme thiaminase, which breaks down vitamin B1 (thiamine). Lack of this vitamin can lead to the development of neurological disorders.
- Citrus fruits can cause severe allergic reactions and adverse gastrointestinal reactions.
- Pomegranate is highly irritating to the stomach lining and can lead to gastritis.
- Broccoli contains isothiocyanate, which is toxic to dogs. Can kill the animal if consumed regularly.
- Mushrooms contain a large amount of chitin, which is why the nutrients that are in the product are practically not absorbed.
- Sugar substitutes (xylitol) are artificial sweeteners found in various sweets that are toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause a sharp drop in blood glucose (hypolycemia), a decrease in potassium levels, and toxic liver damage.
- Bones (any) do not carry nutritional value, when they are gnawed, sharp fragments are formed that can injure the walls of the stomach and intestines.