The most common question pet parents ask their vet is "What should I feed my dog?"
Feeding your dog a well-balanced and nutritious diet is most vital for its healthy growth and wellbeing.
As dog owners, we want the absolute best for our pups to provide them with long, happy life, and this starts with feeding them balanced, healthy meals. Dog’s bodies, like humans, are unique. What’s best for your dog can be completely different than what’s best for someone else’s dog.
To understand this, the pet owners should understand their nutritional requirements, and how these dietary needs change throughout the lifespan of your fur kid.
In this blog, we have a quick guide for pet owners who have this question in mind. Take a few minutes out to read these guidelines.
Puppies to adult dogs - their dietary needs
When choosing which food to feed, as a pet parent, it is important that you understand the nutritional needs of your dog and how they may differ from other dogs.
A new puppy needs food specifically formulated for young, growing pups. Or if you have a dog on the small or large end of the spectrum there will be a specific formula more suited to your dog’s dietary needs.
Mentioned are the factors to be considered when looking out for the nutritional needs of your dog.
Breed and size
Lifestyle - Active or inactive
Other health conditions like allergies may need any additional supplements.
Can I feed my dog what we eat?
Unfortunately, no! Typical Indian household food is made spicy and loaded with masalas and herbs. Feeding this may upset its digestive tract.
Are home-cooked dog meals healthy?
Preparing healthy, nutritious food from scratch is a sure shot way to know that your canine buddy is getting all the best stuff into its mouth.
Many dogs with allergies, skin conditions, or any gastrointestinal problems respond well to the home-cooked diet. Getting away from such maladies will help him stop any behavioral issues too. This way you and your dog can enjoy each other's company.
Included is a list of some good ingredients that you can feed your dog.
Lean chicken or turkey, skinless and boneless
Beef - grounded or cubed
Most fish - including tuna and salmon
Eggs - in any form, scrambled, poached, or hard-boiled.
Please bear in mind a few things when feeding these/ones of these to your paw friend.
Always make sure that eggs & fish are fully cooked and cooled.
Any meat with excessive salt & masalas shouldn’t be fed.
I am a Vegetarian. Can dogs be vegetarians?
‘Yes’ – we can raise dogs on a vegetarian diet. We know that most Indians are Vegetarians and would like to raise their pet's vegetarian.
Worry not, there are many vegetarian options too.
Cheese - avoid any spicy versions
Nearly all vegetables - steamed, like carrots, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.(No onions and garlic, please)
Lettuce and other leafy greens
Whole cooked grains
Organic Peanut butter
Milk, paneer, and plain curd
Fruits like apples, pears, bananas.
Some Don'ts to be aware of:
You can feed him small portions of fruits as large portions can upset his tummy and may lead to diarrhea.
Avoid raisins and grapes. It may choke them and can cause some serious kidney-related diseases.
Onions & Garlic
Check out this sample recipe of homemade dog food.
How to choose dog food from the store - Wet or dry?
Readily available store-bought dog food options have become more popular among busy pet parents who really cannot devote time preparing home-cooked food for their paw buddies.
Most commercial diets are available in dry and wet options. A few also come in dehydrated forms, like just adding water to feed before your pet's mealtime!
Among those, dry food is widely popular because of
convenience of storage
longer shelf life.
Doesn’t need to be thawed, unlike wet (canned) dog foods.
Dry dog food also promotes good oral and dental health to the dog as the dog has to chew on the kibbles. These dry kibble rations have been specially formulated as dental diets and can help to mechanically remove plaque and improve their oral hygiene.
In the following blogs, we will narrow down the readymade store-bought dog food options and share some recommendations.
Unsure of what to pick for your fur baby, ask our experts at Pupkitt. Book a consultation with us. We are happy to help.
The final say
Always go for an option that works well for you and your fur pal.
We suggest that the pet parents can always strive to strike a balance between the home-cooked dog meal and the readily available food.
We, at Pupkitt, recommend a combination of homemade food with the dry kibble for many.
Try your hand at different combinations of homemade and commercially available dog food and arrive at a choice that makes feeding time enjoyable to you and your paw friend - tasty, nutritious yet budget-friendly.
Footnote: Always be mindful that even healthy food in excessive quantities can lead to canine obesity. Moderation is the key.