Having a dog at home is a rewarding experience, and with it comes responsibility. The closeness we feel for our dogs can sometimes lead us to believe that things that are good for us are good for them, too. Human beings are omnivore, have a sense of taste, enjoy different varieties of food and give attention to meals they eat. Unlike us, a dog's behaviour is regulated by his food: the same food, served in the same dish, in equilibrium. We can't forget that dogs are semi-carnivores, and they need different and specific nutrition to be healthy. Dogs, by nature, are very active and draw their energy from fat. They don't have cholesterol problems, but they can suffer from obesity and its consequences, such as heart and joint issues, as well as diabetes. Although you might feel like you're giving your dog a treat when you give them table scraps, in reality, you are upsetting the balance of their diet. Tidbits like a piece of chocolate (which can be poisonous to a dog) or cheese, a lump of sugar or a slice of bread can lead to intestinal disorders and a gradual impairment of the dog's health.
Give several small meals
Depending on his age, your puppy should be given up to three meals a day at scheduled times. Always give the food in the same bowl placed in the same place. This will train your puppy to have good eating habits.
Follow the guidelines recommended on the bag of food. Avoid giving table scraps or food from your plate. This will help prevent problems of obesity, which could affect the puppy later in life.
Your puppy must ALWAYS have access to a bowl of fresh water. Change the water regularly, as puppies tend to play with it.
Puppy's digestive system is not fully developed till it is 6 months old. Treats should be restricted and carefully chosen. The best treats to avoid diarrhea in the first moths would be to take a few kibbles in your hand, rub it gently to get your smell on it and offer it to the puppy as a reward.
It's important to keep a puppy on a consistent diet. Switching food formulas at this critical stage too quickly can cause digestive upset. It's important to consult your puppy's veterinarian before changing your puppy's diet.
As your puppy reaches adulthood, his nutritional requirements will change. It is important to provide your adult dog with a diet that will meet his new nutritional requirements and needs. When changing your dog's diet, make sure to gradually mix the food over a five to seven day period, increasing daily the amount of the new food added so that 100% of the new food will be provided to the dog by day seven. This will help to avoid digestive stress and diarrhea.
The quality of the food is first and foremost dependent on the quality of the ingredients used. Highly digestible ingredients that provide all the nutrients the dog needs are key to a good dog food.
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