The best possible way to keep your dog fit, healthy and athletic is to feed him the right amount of food in a correct way. Proportion, preparation and quantity are the most influential factors while making food for your barker. Too much of everything may result in obesity or indigestion and too little of anything can cause malnutrition and improper nourishment.
As a pet owner, you need to have in-depth knowledge about food preparation and different methods of feeding your dog. Do keep in mind that every dog is different and the selection of their daily amount of food should vary according to their body weight.
What a dog needs-
You need to make sure your pet eats a complete and balanced diet that needs to include the right balance of the six major nutrient groups:
- Fats and oils
There are several dog feeding methods you can opt for in order to get the most out of the food you are offering to him. Here’s a list of hand-picked dog feeding methods worth watching out for.
(A) Mixed Feeding-
Mixed feeding is a diet that included the combination of wet and dry food. Compared to dry only, a mixture of both wet and dry food is a firm favorite among all breeds. Just like humans, canines also prefer variety in their daily meal and the mixed food offers that much-desired variety to their taste buds. You just need to take care that the total quantity of food fed is in line with the dog feeding guidelines. Wet food and dry food have their own unique benefits like wet food encourages water intake and keeps the calories in check whereas dry food offers high level of nutrition and energy. So do not bereft your pet from the benefits offered by wet and dry food.
(B) Free–Choice Feeding-
Free choice feeding is definitely the easiest option for owners and it is one of the oldest pet feeding methods. In a free-choice feeding process, food is poured in a dog bowl and offered to the dog. The pet can have it whenever he feels hungry. Free feeding is the practice of making food available to your canine at all times. It is his choice when to eat or not. Free-choice feeding is highly criticized by the modern day vets and professional dog trainers. Apart from the risk of food contamination, free choice feeding promotes excess weight gain, metabolic dysfunction and excessive aggression among the dogs. If you are a single parent for your dog unable to look after his feeding, you could go for an automatic dog feeder but refrain from practicing free-choice feeding.
(C) Scheduled Feeding-
Scheduled feeding is the most scientific way of offering meal to your dog. Ask your vet for the suggestion on what should be his food and its amount according to his weight. Then come out with exact time of providing food. It is ideal to feed your puppy two times a day with 8-12 hours time-gap and allow him to eat for 30 minutes before removing dog bowl. Scheduled feeding is useful for the dogs that are suffering from obesity, appetite loss and constipation. To keep your four-legged friend in perfect shape and weight, do take care that you are not overfeeding him even if he is begging for more.
Multi-dog households, pet owners need to supervise the food intake of every dog to ensure all of them are getting equal amount of nutrition. It is more advisable to feed a healthy and well-balanced complete food instead of foods that contain fillers and sugars.