The dog has specific dietary needs.
In this article we offer you a complete guide to feeding him well.
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Nutritional needs of the dog
- Initially, the dog is carnivorous. Its teeth are made to cut meat and crush bones. He quickly digests an energetic food. By domestication, his digestive system has gradually adapted to assimilate plant and animal foods according to the diet he is given. It is accepted that the dog is carnivorous with an omnivorous tendency.
- Whatever the chosen feeding method, its composition must be adapted to its age (puppy, adult, senior), its size (small, medium, large dog), its personal situation (neutered, overweight…), its expenditure (calm, active) and its health problems (allergies, diabetes…).
- The first kibbles were introduced in 1860 by a Mr. James Spratt who lived in Cincinnati.
- Dog food consists of meat or fish, cereals and vegetables. Fat, vitamins and minerals are added.
- They have the advantage of keeping well, being easy to digest, participating in oral hygiene through chewing, being balanced and adapted to each life cycle or pathology of the dog. There is a therapeutic range.
- They allow you to control a budget.
- They must be served with fresh water, as it is a dry food.
- It is strongly recommended to go for premium quality to have a high quality food. Go the other way if the composition starts with “by-products”.
Dog food contains meat or fish, cereals, vegetables, vitamins, minerals and texturizing agents.
- They are found in the form of pâté, terrines, meatballs, bites or jellies.
- Manufactured in the factory, they are packaged in sterilized boxes or bags.
- They adapt to each age of the dog. They are difficult to keep, cause tartar build-up in the teeth, lead to overweight and represent a significant cost. There is a therapeutic range.
- They can be given occasionally for pleasure or to older (more teeth) and convalescent dogs.
- It has been found that they are often used for small dogs whose appetite is more difficult to satisfy. When moist, they provide good hydration.
- They must be chosen with a high proportion of fresh meat (or fish) and a low proportion of cereals.
The BARF and the household ration
A good alternative for dogs that are recovering, allergic, difficult or who do not digest kibble well, it is absolutely necessary to develop a recipe. BARF or a household ration with your veterinarian, otherwise your dog will be given a deficient diet.
The BARF or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (which can be translated as Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) was put forward by Dr. Ian Billinghurst in the 1990s. This feeding method is close to the original diet of the canid. The dog is offered raw meat, fleshy bones, offal, a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Over time, this diet has evolved into a more balanced version. Oils, eggs, dairy products and a vitamin and mineral supplement have been added.
Advantages of the BARF in dogs
- The BARF has the advantage of being a high quality, easily digestible food suitable for all dogs. Very palatable, dogs love it.
- The quantities to be given are greater than for the croquettes. The animal is well fed.
- The regime BARF requires a great effort of chewing (fleshy bone) which contributes to excellent oral hygiene.
- Dogs fed with BARF A silky, full coat that falls out less, a gain in shape and a harmonious, muscular silhouette.
Disadvantages of BARF in dogs
- On the other hand, the BARF is time-consuming to prepare and demanding of the organization. It is necessary to have the space to store the different foods and always have some available.
- Meat must be frozen to prevent the development of bacteria, as it is given raw.
- This diet represents a large budget. A large dog can eat 600 grams of meat per day. There are specialized sites that offer meat packets to be frozen with the daily amount that corresponds to the size of your dog. The prices are interesting and the meats are varied.
- It’s more complicated to keep a dog on this diet.
- The household ration is getting closer to the regime BARF . The food is given cooked and a portion of starchy foods such as rice or pasta and oil is added. It is interesting to supplement with brewer’s yeast for the beauty of the skin, claws and coat.
- It has the same drawbacks.
Feeding your dog well
To find out if the right food is being chosen for your dog, just look at it:
- He must eat it with appetite.
- His food is well digested if his stools are well shaped. In case of diarrhoea, flatulence or too frequent and large stools, you should change your food.
- His coat must be shiny and outside of shedding, hair loss must be reasonable.
- His weight must remain stable. Sometimes manufacturers change the recipe of their kibbles and your dog may gain or lose weight (by adding lower quality fat or protein). If this happens, be sure to look at the composition.
- In case of repeated allergies or ear infections, questions must be asked. Some dogs are allergic to beef or can only tolerate fish.
Hazardous dog food
- Pits and seeds (contain cyanide),
- Grapes (kidney failure)
- Tomato plant (intestinal disorder),
- Avocado (digestive, respiratory and cardiac disorders),
- And of course the dark chocolate which contains theobromine. For a dog allergic to dark chocolate, ten grams can be fatal.
To meditate: “Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live. »
Mercedes Fittipaldi, ©exclusive-design