DOG FEEDING AND NUTRITION
When it comes to pet keeping, nutrition is a very important subject the health (or life) of your dog depend on the quality and acceptability whatever it is your feed to him. It is used to be claimed that dogs were strictly carnivores and all they needed was meat and bones in their diet. This is false!
Recent findings have it that the dog is better termed an omnivore, because he his able to survive on a diet that is mostly vegetable with some meat. However, a complete lack of meat in his diet will probably lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Dog food should contain a balanced mixture of the major nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. They should also have adequate quantity of minerals and vitamins.
Carbohydrates supply the body with energy and excess amounts are stored as fat. Fats also supply the body with energy (though about twice that of carbohydrates). Proteins are involved in tissue growth and repairs and a greater percentage of vital organs in the body are made up of proteins.
Types of dog food
a) Dry feeds – These include the pelleted feeds and all sorts of biscuits manufactured commercially. They can just be poured into the dog’s food bowl and fed to him. One may need to add water sometimes to moisten the feed.
b) Moist feeds- These include the tinned foods and seem to be the most widely used.
c) Powdered feed- This includes compounded balanced rations which are ground to give a fine powder that is then cooked before being served to the dog as a semi solid meal.
Note- When canned food has been opened, it should be used within 24 hours and kept refrigerated in the mean time.
d) Special feed- These are feed made to cater for the specific needs of some dogs e.g for puppies, geriatric (older) dogs, and also in the management of some disease conditions.
While the bitch is still actively feeding their pups, it may be advisable to keep her on special diets that would help milk the puppies adequately without putting a strain on her own health. During the latter stage of pregnancy too, there are diets specifically formulated to suitably meet her dietary needs.
Diets formulated to assist in the management of disease ambitious include those diets with high fiber content which are directed to take care of patients with diabetes. Food formulation contain low amount of protein are sometimes prescribe for dogs with chronic diseases, also low-sodium diets may be advised for use in cares of congestive heart failure.