Creating The Perfect Food Timetable for your Dog:
posted by Admin Goddy Ora on January 14th, 2021
WHAT DO DOGS EAT?
Just like we humans, all dogs have varying diet choices too hence; that sumptuous meal your German Shepherd loves to devour may not work for the next door neighbour's Bulldog. The best approach in making a perfect food timetable for your dog is obviously a visit to the vet clinic but if you feel you can come up with something just as perfect for your dog on your own then we are here to guide you through!
WHAT IS THE NATURAL DIET FOR DOGS?
Basically all animals are either Herbivorous, Carnivorous or Omnivorous in nature. Animals like cows, goats or buffalo only eat plants and plant based foods hence; they are tagged as herbivores or herbivorous animals (herb = plants, right?). While animals like wild cats and dogs e.g Lions, Leopards etc. feed on only flesh and meat of other animals (preys). They are known as Carnivores meaning meat-eaters(in Latin).
Whereas we humans and some other animals like bears, certain insects, raccoons or your pet dogs eat both plant and animal based foods. This class of ours is tagged Omnivores. So basically your pet dog is capable of eating "almost" the same diet as a normal human being but there is certain limitations and food classes that differentiate a dog diet from a human own.
HOW TO COME UP WITH THE RIGHT MEAL PLAN FOR YOUR DOG?
Now that you know your dog is an Omnivore, meaning a little bite of veggies and meat won't do it any bad. We still need to come up with the perfect food timetable for your sweet dog. There are two choices from which you can pick from when it comes to dog feeding. They are:
1. The Dry feed option (Kibble diet) and
2. The Wet feed option (personalized diet).
The most convenient option to giving your dog a healthy meal is sticking with the first option i.e a pure kibble diet. Kibble diets are made by specialized animal feed industrial companies and they are well prepared to match your pet's nutritional needs. They consist of already cooked grains, protein sources, starches, fruits and vegetables. They are further supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals. A walk down to any big store around your area and you could purchase enough quantity of well packaged dry feed for your dog. The most popular ones in the USA include the Purina animal feed and Taste of the Wild kibble diets. Higher-quality kibble contains more protein than starches whereas; lower quality kibble diets contain lesser protein ratio. There are pros and cons to each diet so you might want to make more research on the best option for your dog before purchasing one.
In general, younger dogs (puppies) require the higher quality kibbles because they need the rich protein for their growth and development. As your dog ages, it's needs for high quality protein reduces so you can go for the lower quality kibbles at that stage. By sticking to the Kibble diet option, you can free yourself from constant worries on having to plan your dog meal timetable.
Some dog owners prefer the other option (Wet dog feeds). Some even feed their dogs with raw meat which is while consumable for the dogs yet have some disadvantages. These raw meats contain certain preservatives which were added during the processing stage. Such preservatives might be harmful to your dog so it is always advisable to make sure you slightly cook the raw meat before handing them over to your dog(especially if it's just a puppy). Should you prefer the wet dog feed option then try to always abide with the following instructions:
1. Practice great food hygiene when preparing your dog meal to avoid the risk of it contracting food borne illnesses.
2. While feeding your dog bones, ensure that the bones are large enough that the dog can’t fit all of them at once into its mouth. The bones should be somewhat meaty too and cooked to a reasonable texture.
3. Occasionally treat your dog to great meals like cooked fish or canned sardines or tuna or even tinned salmon in spring water! But ensure to check for those small fish bones first before feeding your dog.
4. All in all, make sure to balance your dog diet with a few veggies like raw grated carrots and cooked pumpkin.
5. Avoid certain foods like Chocolate, Onions/Garlic, fatty and salty foods, raw yeast dough, citrus fruits like lemon and oranges/grapes, and Milk for some dogs which may be lactose intolerant.
HOW TO KNOW THE PERFECT QUANTITY OF FOOD YOUR DOG NEEDS?
After you must have drafted your dog meal timetable, there is still one more work to be done! Knowing the right amount of food to feed your dog is just as important as type of food itself. The amount of food your dog needs largely depends on its age, type of breed, size and how regularly it exercises (to know it's average expended energy). The most important thing is to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding your dog.
THE YOUNG PUPPY STAGE:
At this stage, you have just received your sweet little puppy from maybe a pet store. It's best if you continue with the feeding schedule of the previous breeder to avoid any major diet changes at such a young age. Gradually you can introduce your own new diet schedule and fade out the older one. It's very important to feed them regularly and ensure that they are always well hydrated by refilling their water bowls and changing the unfinished ones every day. They can be fed small meals regularly for up to five times daily. Most dogs might need to grow up to 16weeks before raw (or slightly cooked) meat can be introduced into their diet. It is for the best to stick with higher quality protein-rich kibble meals at this stage for better development of your dog.
THE OLDER PUPPY STAGE:
At this stage, the puppy is already strutting out its canine teeth so it's best to introduce slightly cooked meats and large bones here. The frequency of their feeding can be reduced to twice daily while the water schedule remains intact. Remember once again, overfeeding or underfeeding your pet would cause adverse effects on its general health and well-being. Also your dog exercising acts should be increased with more fun activities like "fetch a catch" introduced.
THE ADULT STAGE:
For kibble feeders, higher quality kibble feeds can be ditched for lower quality ones at this stage. Your dog should be fed once or twice a day and checked frequently for possible sign of obesity or extra-thinness. Small or medium breed dogs are generally deemed to be ’adults’ from 12 months of age, whereas your larger breed dogs take a little longer and don’t really become ‘adults’ until 18–24 months. For wet feeders, ensure you add enough grains, vegetables, and meaty bones to its diet.
THE AGED STAGE:
As a dog turns aged, the frequency of the feeding should be increased and the feed ratio too should be reduced. Some senior dogs may need more fibre, protein or other nutrients to ensure their bodies are taken care of. Remember, they need your love and support at this stage more than ever (except for the younger puppy stage).
References: verified facts from Wikipedia and vet doctors (via petcoach.co and petforums.co.uk online forums)
Animal Care. Vet guide. Dog Lovers
You make it so easy. Thanks for helping me create a perfect meal plan for my dog.
Gonna have to get a pet dog one day but definitely not a bulldog.