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Our dog Robbie is now at the spritely age of 14 – you wouldn’t believe it from this recent picture, would you? He is still bounding about, playing with other pups and enjoying life, just like before – although he’s finding he needs a good sleep afterwards and snores SO LOUD. He is making the most of his golden years, that’s for sure. As he is a Labrador we’ve had to keep an eye on his eating throughout his life. If you leave food out on the side, he will try to get it. Blink and you’ll lose an entire block of cheese – yes, it happened to me more than once! Labradors are ALWAYS hungry (maybe I was a Labrador in a past life?) and if we aren’t careful his weight will go out of control, so we keep a really close eye to ensure he’s eating the right things, staying healthy and most importantly only eating things that are safe for him.
So, if you’ve just got a new dog or wanted to check up on your doggies eating habits, I’ve put together a few tips on how to feed your dog, including some foods which you can and can’t include in their diets – I hope you find this helpful!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOG FOOD
The dietary needs of your dog will vary depending on their size and breed. When you are buying your dog’s food, look out for the guidance on the packaging to ensure you are feeding them the correct portion size. Robbie would just eat and eat if we let him so always go by the measurements instead of trying to gauge your dog’s hunger!
Try to choose a healthy dog food that contains natural ingredients and also free from artificial ingredients, preservatives and colours. We’ve been feeding Robbie James Wellbeloved natural dog food as it provides all the nutritional goodness your dog requires without cheap bulking ingredients or artificial preservatives. It’s also available in grain-free.
If you aren’t sure what food to feed your dog or they have specific dietary requirements, the best option is often to consult a vet, who can advise on your dog’s exact needs.
When changing your dog’s food, ensure it’s a gradual change as a sudden change can affect their digestive health.
Treats are a really good way to reward your dog for good behaviour, help with training or just to strengthen your bond, but you need to be really careful that you are giving them the right foods or they could be detrimental to their health.
Instead of treating your dog with food from your plate, it’s best to use ready-made doggy treats as you know they’ve been designed specifically for purpose and you know they won’t be harmful to your pet.
Dogs can also have small amounts of dog-friendly human foods, such as lean meat and fish, although make sure this only makes up 10% of their daily food intake.
If you decide to offer your dog a treat – make sure to adapt their portion size at their next meal by removing a little to ensure you aren’t overfeeding them.
HUMAN FOODS TO AVOID
Some foods can be poisonous or harmful to dogs, here are ones you should avoid:
- Corn on the cob
- Cooked bones
There are other things around the house you should keep an eye on if you keep a dog. Robbie particularly likes to pull the bin apart if we aren’t looking, so this is a really important one to keep safe as you never know what they’ll get hold of within the rubbish.
- Bins – use a tall, sealed bin, we often put a weight on top of ours!
- Small items like socks
- Keep chocolate out of reach
- Keep sides of the kitchen clear of food if your dog can jump up
- Putting the dog in a separate room when adults or children are eating
- Cleaning chemicals
- Nappies and wipes – put these into the sealed bin straight away
LOTS OF EXERCISE
Lastly, to keep your dog fit and healthy it’s important they get LOTS of exercise. How much will depend on their size and breed, but ensure you are walking your dog enough and giving them lots of fresh air and attention.
I hope these tips help!