1. Choosing Food for Your Dog
Try out dry food on your dog.
Dry foods are generally cheaper to feed in the long run, have some benefit on dental health due to the “scraping” of plaque off of teeth by the dry kibble and are easier to store due to their dry form. However, dry food isn’t as tasty as wet food so some dogs reject them or don’t eat as well. Make sure the dog has access to fresh water, as he won’t derive any moisture from the food.
See if your dog prefers canned food.
Canned food are much tastier for dogs to eat and have the added benefit of adding extra moisture to the diet. However, owners that feed canned food have to be vigilant with their dog’s teeth as these types of food tend to lead to an increase in plaque and dental tartar build up.
- Canned food tends to be a bit more expensive than dry foods.
- You will have the added mess of disposing of the can.
Try semi-moist foods.
Semi-moist foods aren’t as prevalent as canned and dry foods. They are a little easier to store and clean up after than canned foods, but liked canned foods they can lead to plaque and tartar build up on the teeth. They can also be more expensive to feed as dry foods.
Talk to an animal nutritionist about a raw food diet.
Raw diets are fine for dogs as well, although a bit more time consuming to prepare and store correctly. If you want to feed a raw food diet for your dog, it is absolutely vital to contact an animal nutritionist. Make sure your dog is receiving all the nutrients he or she needs. Dogs do have different nutritional requirements than humans.
Never feed your dog certain human foods.
There are many kinds of foods suitable for humans that should never be fed to your dog, since they are toxic for dogs. These include:
- Grapes and raisins
- Any food containing the sweetness
- Coffee and tea
- Fruit pits or apple seeds
- Garlic and onions
- Walnuts and macadamia nuts
- Dough made with yeast
Read the ingredients of dog food. The most important factor is that the food is high quality. This means being able to read and understand the label. Most dogs will do just fine on a commercial dog food as long as you remember to read the ingredient list on the can or bag to ensure the food is healthy. These are listed in order of the most prevalent food in the food.
- Meat should be the number one (and preferably the second) ingredient on the list, followed by a grain. By-products are fine but they should be far down the list.
- You can always ask your veterinarian for advice in choosing food for your dog
2. Feeding your Dog
Feed adult dogs one to two times a day.
Adult dogs over a year should be fed two times a day. Dogs older than two years can be fed once a day.
- Large breed dogs or dogs with large chests should be fed small meals two to three times a day to prevent bloat, and never exercised immediately after eating. This can be a serious medical issue for some dogs.
Feed puppies more.
Puppies younger than three months need to be fed their daily allowance split into three or four feedings. Puppies younger than a year need to be fed two to three times a day.
3. Exercise Your Dog
Take your dog for walks.
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise will also keep your dog fit and give him good mental and physical stimulation. At a minimum, your pet pal will appreciate a twice daily walk. Pay attention to the dog during walks, and interact and play with them. Make the walks interesting by going to different locations.
- The length will depend upon the age and breed of your dog: puppies and small breed dogs will need shorter walks (about 15 minutes maximum), while larger breeds or more athletic dogs may require up to one hour of exercise a day.
- Encephalitic dogs (think of dogs with pushed-in noses like bulldogs) do best with short walks (about 10 minutes) three to four times a day.
- Of course, no dog should do much exercise until it has been conditioned to exercise just like a human athlete
Play a game with your dog.
Another fabulous way to exercise a dog and have fun at the same time is to play interactive games. Fetch the ball is a great game to play as long as it is inside an enclosed park or yard to make sure your dog can’t run away during the heat of the game.
- Blowing bubbles for your dog to chase is another fun game where you don’t have to expend much energy.
Check the weather before you go outside.
Make sure the weather is not going to adversely affect your dog when you go out to exercise. If it is too hot, your dog may be at risk of heatstroke. If it’s too cold, your dog can be susceptible to frostbite