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Becoming the new Pet Chef: 5 nutrition tips for your dog

Golden retriever eating from his bowl advice © Shutterstock

Dogs need to follow a healthy diet to live longer. Learning about the top nutrition tips is excellent when creating a balanced dog diet

By Daniel Mar

Pets have both the capacity and ability to bring the best side in us. Generally, this is a major weakness especially when it comes down to your dog’s nutrition. Any dog owner knows that his pet is a master manipulator. Dogs use their “puppy-face”, which is quite cute and irresistible, to eat anything they want. Unfortunately, your moment of weakness can be harmful for your pet. Pets need to follow a strict diet to stay healthy. Since this is a priority, it is important for you to know these top 5 nutrition tips.

Tip #1: Use dietary supplements

Let’s start simple. As you know, dogs just like humans need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy and in good shape. For these reasons, dietary supplements are very beneficial for dogs. If you feed your dog with processed foods, it is highly unlikely that he is getting enough vitamins or minerals. For example, Omega-3 is not found in many foods and dogs need it for their skin and hair care. According to Dr. Gary Richter,

"When looking for a high quality EFA supplement, look for brands that show independent lab testing for purity. The approximate daily dose for dogs and cats is 150 mg of combined EPA and DHA per 10 pounds of body weight".

Tip #2: Achieve maximum nutrition with a daily schedule

Even though your pet is your weakness, you need to gather the strength to set some basic ground rules. First, you can start by feeding your dog twice a day at the same time. This creates a good routine which trains your dog. Also, by doing so, you can keep in check the amount of food your pet is eating over the course of one day. Do not leave food out all day!

Tip #3: Create a varied diet

Do you like to eat the same thing every day? I’m going to assume you don’t! Dogs don’t like to either. As a matter of fact, food variety is very important to keep you dog healthy. Try to include fruits, vegetables and meat into your dog’s diet. Dogs can only eat a limited number of fruits and veggies like apple, banana, berries, oranges, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Make sure to avoid giving seeds to your pet. Nonetheless, always consult a vet beforehand to learn about your pet’s allergies.

Tip #4: Manage the portions

Managing the amount of times your dog eats per day is an important nutrition tip, but controlling the portion is as important. Under any circumstances, your dog can be eating all day. This will eventually make them ill. You must control the portions accordingly to your pet’s size and behaviour. If your pet is young and active feed them more, but if your dog’s older and exercises less, reduce the portions.

Tip #5: Say NO to snacking!

If you want to follow these nutrition tips, you must be strict. Prevent your dog from learning bad habits, which can lead them to gain weight. As Dr. Barbara Hall mentions in the Huffington Post: “They’re obligate carnivores, so they absolutely really shouldn’t be eating food other than mostly meat. They should have high protein, high fat [and] low, low, low carb”. Remember that every dog is different. Consult a vet before creating a diet. Nevertheless, these nutrition tips must be kept in mind at all times.

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