If you’re a dog owner, then you have an interest in the health and wellbeing of your dog – if only because a healthy dog is more often a happy and well behaved dog, but hopefully because you feel your responsibility as a pet owner to provide a good life for your pet.
One of the most important ways in which you can affect your dog’s wellbeing is through their diet. ‘You are what you eat’ holds equally true for dogs, and careful attention to what they eat both at home at mealtimes, and out on walks if they’re a forager could help them be healthier, more active and solve problems like your vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Completeness and Age
When you’re buying dog food, you need to look for food that is labelled ‘nutritionally complete’. This means it contains all the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy, so you don’t need to worry about deficiencies and supplements .
You also need to look at the age on the box (or tin) – dogs have different nutritional requirements at different times in their lives. Puppy food won’t be suitable for geriatric dog, and Senior Dog food won’t be right for an adult dog. Make sure you know when your dog will change between these different life stages and make sure you’re ready to react with the food he needs.
Feeding dogs on a raw meat diet is a contentious subject. Those in favour claim that the animals will thrive on a diet similar to their evolutionary ancestors, prior to domestication. Others challenge this, claiming there are risks to the idea in practice that outweigh the benefits.
Dogs can be susceptible to food poisoning just as we are, and uncooked meat is more likely to harbour bacteria. To minimise the risk, you’ll need to buy fresh meat and clean your kitchen surfaces before and after feeding. There’s also the risk of small shards of bone in the meat, that can cause choking, or even puncture the gut!
On top of these risks, you’ll need to think about nutritional balance. A raw food diet doesn’t, by nature, contain everything your dog needs in the right proportion. You may need to supplement your dog’s food with nutrients that their diet is missing. If you’re feeding your dog meat that’s high in liver, it could lead to Vitamin A toxicity! Unless you have the time and money to really specialise in canine nutrition, you’ll likely find it healthier and safer to use supermarket food, with the occasional treat!