Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on YNN. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet Pointers: Feeding your dogs
Pet parents everywhere want what’s best for their pets, and that includes feeding them correctly. Lisa Chelenza has some tips on feeding your dog this edition of Pet Pointers.
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Much like our own nutritional needs, dogs should eat a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, as well as a little fat and of course water. Look for food that has meat as its first ingredient and has limited amounts of wheat, corn or digest.
While dry and canned food offer complete nutrition, sometimes we humans fail to feed our pets properly. Many dogs are given too much food, causing them to gain unhealthy amounts of weight. So how do you know how much food to give? First, know how much your dog weighs and check the serving suggestions on the package. Most food serving sizes are created by manufacturers with the assumption your dog is an active, healthy adult. Puppies and athletic dogs will consume and need more food while seniors and less active dogs may not even finish a serving size.
Start with the daily amount suggested for their weight and activity level and divide it into two servings, breakfast and dinner. This will allow them to use those calories more efficiently, help prevent “bloat” from eating too much, too fast and may also result in them losing some weight over time.
If you have picky pets, try adding a tiny bit of pure canned pumpkin to dry food, about a teaspoon for a one cup serving. Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A and fiber. It can also help with constipation so give it sparingly.
Be sure to wash out dishes and if you have hard water or just prefer to drink filtered water, give the same water you drink to your pets.
It’s also important that when you change your pet’s food you do it gradually. Mix the food together until you run out of the old food.