Real Life Example-Things You Must Know When Feeding Your Dogs
We recently switched our dogs to a new food. It sounds pretty simple, right? But you have to understand it was a process. Two out of the three of my dogs have sensitive stomachs. Harper has a few food allergies and pickles. He often froze up after eating new food; we had to slowly start to add a new food each week, gradually adjusting the amount until about a month later.
Yes, a whole month, the transition was finally complete.
- When you first bring home a new puppy, try to get home some of the same food at the breeders or the rescue.
- Puppies have very sensitive stomachs, and they need to transition their food pretty slowly. So you might not have to do it as slowly as I did. But the slower, the better.
- Otherwise, your puppy may experience an upset stomach, and you may end up cleaning up very loose stool frequently. So resist the urge to doctor up your puppy's food.
- When it's mealtime, just put the food down for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then, pick up any remaining food and make it part of the next meal. But don't give any more than the usual amount.
Reminder: Now, all dogs are food motivated, but it takes a few meals to get the idea that they should eat what is served when it is served.
What kind of food should we buy?
It can be so hard to know, along with stopping the fighting and mastering potty training. This is something most puppy owners want to know.
Now, I want you to know that your dog is not a vegetarian. So if you believe strongly in the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, that's fine. But your dog's health needs require meat to be part of their well-balanced diet. Like foods for humans, there are many differing opinions on the best food for our dogs.
- A lot of it depends on how your dog does. But it doesn't matter what my dogs do on the food.
- It matters how your dogs do to make your work just a little bit more.
- You need to do more research to understand what food is best for your dog.
- You're going to have to oversee your dog on how they react when they are fully transitioned to the new food.
- Things you can watch for their behaviors:
(1) how he settled or how anxious he might be.
(2) The quality of their poop.
(3) And even how much he goes to the bathroom.
- Watch for obvious signs like throwing up.
- If your dog has an issue with the brand or the protein source, you likely will notice it soon after introducing it.
- Sometimes, you may see your dog excessively itching, and it's possible that he could have a food allergy.
Keep in mind that the more you look at your dog's daily activities and notice any new behaviors, the better you'll be able to pick up on patterns. This works for potty training too. As a part of your research into good foods, you can ask your vet for their opinions. But you should know that many vets offices not all but many receive incentives to promote specific foods.
Tips: When I research foods, I look to see who paid for the studies to be done.
Food that humans eat that you may or may not want to feed your dog.
Remember that to a dog; all food is dog food. They don't know the difference, and they don't care. If it's tasty, they're going to eat it. Even if it's harmful to them, they will still eat it. That's where you have a critical thinker in the relationship has to help prevent accidents from happening.
- Many human foods such as fruits and vegetables can irritate a dog's digestive system, sometimes even causing health problems.
- A few foods never to feed your dogs, such as grapes, chocolate, garlic, onion, olives, apple seeds, and gall for a more comprehensive list.
- Alternatively, some foods that you eat regularly can be part of your dog's diet too, and may even be healthy for them. I sometimes feed a few human foods to my dogs, like apples, blueberries, bananas, boiled chicken,eggs, and even white rice. Oh, I almost forgot the cheese. My dog will do anything for cheese.
Evaluating dog food that you're considering when looking at the ingredients list on the back of the bag.
- Be sure to look at the first three to five ingredients. You want to make sure the foods are something you recognize, and they aren't just fillers.
- Remember ingredients are usually listed in order from the most significantamount to leastif you don't recognize one of the ingredients as wholesome and nutritious, then pass on that brand.
- If one of those ingredients is a filler like corn or rice, then you're filling your dog up with a whole bunch of empty foods that have no nutritional value, that food will likely leave your dog hungry for more, and you'll be picking up a whole lot more poop than is necessary(I bet no one will enjoy doing).
Did you know that over 54% of American dogs are overweight because they're eating poor-quality diets and are being overfed?
Many foods have high salt content and even sugars in them. Foods with a lot of calories in them are also not healthy for your dogs. When choosing a dog food, consider if you want to use wet or dry food, or a combination of both wet or dry foods alone can be a complete meal or combined to complete the meal.
Knowing what a healthy weight looks like in a dog is also really important.
How much food should I feed my dog?
Well, how much food you feed your dog is going to depend on a lot of factors, including size, weight, age, breed, and activity level. Now, the label on the dog food bag shouldn't be one of your guides as each food has a different calories makeup.
Keep in mind that manufacturers might want you to buy a little bit more of their products so that they may recommend levels just a little bit higher.
How often should you feed your puppy?
Well, how often to feed your puppy really also depends on his age and the advice of your veterinarian.
- Most puppies are fed three times a day.
- Young puppies who have an empty stomach far too long might throw up a little bit of that yellow foamy bio.
- This is not harmful, but you might need to add in an extra snack or adjust mealtime so that their stomach is not empty for too long.
Around the six-month mark, we often recommend feedings dropped to twice a day.
Quick safety tip:
- We don't want to exercise a dog immediately before after a meal.
- Dogs can get bloat, and their stomach can flip and require surgery to fix.
- This is more common in larger breeds like German Shepherd and less common and smaller breeds like Chihuahuas.
- However, it can still happen, so give a buffer about 30 to 60 minutes before after meals and before allowing your pup to run around and exercise(This includes walks).
How can I make my puppy slow down when he's eating?
If your pup is eating too fast, you can use various global feeders, puzzle toys, and enrichment activities such as snuffle mats to slow down the eating process. While these things may slow the consumption rate, you will need to work on your pups' excitement level around food and impulse control.
What do I do if my pup won't eat from the bowl?
Some pups who don't like to eat from a bowl may make an unpleasant sound when they hit the bowl, and it could cause a reflection that the puppy doesn't understand, or there may be whisker fatigue. In this situation, the puppy doesn't like the repeated touching of the bowl to the whiskers.
Don't you wish they could tell you that?
No. If your puppy prefers to eat off the floor, that's perfectly fine. Many people get a rubber mat or a flat surface to put the food on. Some puppies prefer to eat from a puzzle toy or a game.
They're more motivated to eat when they have to hunt for or work for it. Watch your dog for clues that they may be giving off, and adjust your habits and expectations accordingly.
What about the treats that you should feed your dog?
Ultimately, the treats that work best for your dog are the ones your dog likes the most, and they may vary over time. Most of the time, the treats or food with the highest moisture content is the most desirable, but the novelty may also play a role here. This is not up to you to decide. What your puppy finds tasty is what he finds tasty.
How do you use food with training?
- Well, we recommend using mealtimes, or part of mealtimes is training time.
- You want your dog to enjoy part of his meal, so he's not so hungry during the training session. But save the rest of it for some focused training or pre-training to gain positive association or reinforcement.
When you see behaviors, you want to see more up there. Don't forget to take food or treats with you when you're out on walks with your puppy and reinforced all the good things you see from your pup.