Balance is vital for your dog’s efficiency. Food is the main source of nutrition for your dog. Too little of a specific ingredient may affect the metabolism whereas too much can have an adverse effect. For instance, too much protein and the excess of phosphorus may aggravate kidney issues
Stand above pet and look down on him/her. If you are able to see the ribs, the pet is too skinny. If you can’t see the ribs, place your hands on the side of the chest, if the ribs still cannot be seen or felt easily, your pet is overweight.
If your dog/cat is too heavy, he/ she will be oval shaped. However, we do advise you to check with your vet to be sure!
There is no single ideal weight for any dog. Body Condition is the best estimate to gather your pet’s weight condition.
Yes. Puppies need adequate nutrition for their rapid growth phase, while ensuring that certain nutrients like calcium and phosphorus are not fed in excess. Growing puppies, especially large breed, can develop mal-formed join structures if bones grow faster than muscle, making it extremely important to have optimum nutrient profiles.
A dog may be easily fed a balanced diet at home, by providing a mix of necessary ingredients and maintaining the right protein-fat-carb ratios. However, a diet plan is recommended for growing pups as well as for geriatric dogs. For growing pups, maintaining caloric density along with sufficiency of necessary nutrients is important, while for geriatric dogs, it is important to take note of any health concerns and feed a diet that prevents further diseases, and maintains health.
The body condition score is a system for determining your pet’s weight. The system ranges through underweight, ideal weight and overweight. It is primarily based on a visual examination of the pet.
Cutting your pet’s food intake by 25% along with a gradual increase in daily exercise is a good way to achieve weight loss in an overweight pet.
The common name for tocopherol is vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is necessary for a balanced diet and helps protect cells against the adverse effects of free radicals. Additionally, Vitamin E is important for normal reproduction and immune function.
Fat is required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Fat supplies fatty acids, which in turn provide healthy skin, as well as reduce inflammation.
Fat makes dog food taste better.
Fatty acids promote heart health and optimal brain function.
Ancestrally dogs had 40-60% protein in their diet ancestrally. Thus, for non vegetarian dogs, meat is the best food option. In the case of vegetarian dogs -lentils, tofu, cruciferous vegetables are good options.
Do not feed raw fruits or vegetables to the dog. Either puree them or steam them before feeding. Healthy oils such as flax seed oil, coconut oil or olive oil should be added to dog’s food. However, remember to always add Vitamin E or C as a supplement along with oils.
Whole grains contribute valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and fibre to diets while helping to keep the fat and calories lower than if animal products were used in their place. In most dog foods, it is not the grains that are bad, it is the high ratio of grains that is not advisable. Dogs should not get maximum energy from carbohydrates, as offered by grains. Rather, they should get maximum calories from protein, followed by fats and then carbohydrates.
By-products of meats may contain nails, beaks, hair etc. Like all ingredients, the quality of by-products can vary, so it is important to select manufacturers who have stringent internal quality control standards. However, in India, we do not have established quality control standards for pet foods.
Dogs don’t always eat at designated meal times. This shift maybe because of multiple reasons :
– Sometimes dogs refuse food to seek attention. If this is the case, put the food down and pretend to occupy yourself with something else. If your pooch still doesn’t eat food within a particular time period, then take the food away nonchalantly.
– During the teething process puppies often have swollen gums and sore mouths which may lead to reduced appetites.
– Adult males can also refuse to eat incase there is a female ‘on heat’ in their vicinity.
If there is no obvious cause, a sudden loss of appetite should be reported go your vet as it may be indicative of a medical condition such as thyroid, gingivitis etc.
A: Observe your dog’s habits. Has he been eating too much? Has he been scavenging and eating rubbish? The possible reasons for soft stools could be :
Reaction to an ingredient in his diet – Avoid the 4 main dietary allergens wheat, beef, soya and dairy products. A few days on a bland, low-fat home-prepared diet such as lean chicken or white fish served with boiled rice or mashed potato (fed little and often) is often helpful and will allow the digestion a chance to eliminate residual fat which may have accumulated within the large bowel.
Non-dairy probiotics can be very helpful. A little banana or live yogurt added to each meal may be of beneficial (Avoid yogurt if the pet is lactose intolerant).
Bacterial infections are common, so if things don’t clear up quickly or your cat or dog is unwell in himself, don’t hesitate to call your vet.
My dog has wind! What can I do to prevent this?
Flatulence can occur as a result of a food allergy / dietary intolerance but it’s important to rule out some of the more common causes too. These can include eating too quickly, eating too much and scavenging. Some foods can be gas producing; so a highly digestible diet should be used in the following days. Excessive bloat can be dangerous. If you see your dog’s stomach swell up too much, consult the vet immediately.
The following are few simple pointers for a healthy dog:
Appearance: Soft and shiny coat, clean and clear skin, bright eyes
Behavior: happy, active and responsive
Stools: Small amount of well formed, dark brown firm stool
A dog not eating is fine upto 48 hours, if he or she is drinking water! But, diabetic or hypoglycaemic dogs are an exception! For such dogs, sugar testing is important and glucose may be rubbed on their gums to keep their sugar from falling below the recommended levels.
Praise your dog whenever he or she eats. Praise when he/ she licks
off something from your hand/ bowl. You could even scratch his head.
Milk, Rice, Oatmeal, Lentils, Wheat Flour, tofu, seeds, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale etc. are great sources of protein for vegetarian dogs. However, you may need to give him a taurine supplement as it is present in extremely low quantities in plant protein. Even eggs have a low quantity of taurine. Taurine deficiency is very common in dogs and may affect immunity, eyesight, heart and even brain function.
Bone broth: Almost every dog will be interested in gulping it up
Pumpkin: It soothes the stomach lining
Chicken and rice: It is the safest and the best hypoallergenic food!
Lots and lots of water
The first thing to do is to rule out medical reasons for obesity for which you must get your pet examined by the vet. Once ruled out, begin with a target weight of about 85% of the original weight. Give your pooch smaller and more frequent meals with low cal, high protein food. But make sure that your dog does not loose more than 10% of the weight every week. To ensure that there is no weakness or loss of muscle follow a strict diet plan.