Feeding your pet the right type of food is an important part of keeping it healthy. What you feed your pet depends on a number of factors, including the size and age of your pet, its activity level, its specific needs (such as for weight control), and any special requirements that are due to health problems.
If you are unsure what type of food to give then consult with an experienced veterinarian or animal nutritionist.
There are a number of little-known supplements that can be beneficial for dogs. The most common ones include the following:
Sulfonamides, such as sulfa quinoxaline, are also used in treating diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract and parasites. These drugs have a negative effect on red blood cells and can cause anemia. They should not be used to treat a dog with infection or disease of the urinary tract. If you want to give your dog sulfa, it’s best to consult with your veterinary surgeon first.
A lot of owners believe that the only way to get their dog on a special diet is by feeding it Canned food. In reality, if you really care about your dog’s health, Canned food isn’t the best choice for them. In order to provide proper nutrition for their dogs, people should try and get them on a raw diet. This way they can easily adjust their dogs’ diet according to their needs.
Raw diets are especially important for dogs that have a predisposition to certain diseases, such as kidney or pancreatic disease. The reason behind this is that the body of these dogs doesn’t process food properly and often they need to be fed an easily digestible food in order to prevent further complications.
Meat-based commercial pet foods typically contain at least some ingredients such as meat, fat, carbohydrates, protein, ash (mineral content), fiber and water. Some foods also include nutrients from animal by-products.
In the United States, meat is often the most expensive ingredient in a food. As described above, humans have been eating animals as long as they’ve been on the planet; and while we are not directly giving them sustenance, their flesh has always been an important part of our diets. Meat also has a low moisture content (14-15% vs. 21-22% other foods), and therefore little water is required to cook it into a finished food.
Commercially prepared raw diets often contain lower levels of protein than commercial processed foods because they do not use meat. The protein level of such high protein food must be carefully controlled so that it does not cause ammonia toxicity.
Commercial “meat” products generally contain as much or more carbohydrate (starch and sugar) than protein. Animals are not meant to be fed carbohydrates, so the carbohydrate content of these products is artificially increased.
Commercially prepared raw diets emphasize quality over quantity. Ideally, commercial dog foods should contain some types of animal protein and trace minerals, but no fat or carbohydrates. In other words, they should contain a balance of essential amino acids and minerals for good health and beauty. They should also have minimal water content so that the food is easily digested.
Commercial pet foods often are classified as “complete” or “complete/prescription”. Foods with “complete” on the label have been formulated so that they can be fed alone if necessary. In contrast, foods with “prescription” or “diet” on the label require a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase them.
Recently it has been suggested that these foods should only be used in dogs with chronic health problems, but this is not entirely true. The reason behind this claim is that these foods are less suitable for healthy dogs. This is not necessarily because of the ingredients themselves, but because a dog’s metabolism changes if it has some kind of health problem or disease (e.g., kidney or liver disease).
A raw diet can be made for your dog with the use of a dehydrator or through freezing. You will need to purchase either an electric dehydrator or a freezer that is designed to keep food frozen. You will also need some rawhide chews, since your dog will not have access to them while they are on a raw diet.
You can cut up an entire chicken, but don’t simply give your dog pieces of meat or organs from these animals. It’s important to understand that dogs have different metabolic rates than humans do and they should not be fed the same types of foods that we eat (this includes cooked meats).
Some people choose to use a “raw” diet to treat a dog with an illness or disease. The reason behind this idea is that raw foods are believed to be easier for the body to digest and easier for the organism to absorb than cooked foods. Some facts that support this claim include:
For dogs, it can be dangerous to go cold turkey off of commercial pet foods. As with any other ailment, it’s better to gradually reduce how much of the food you feed your dog until you’re feeding him just a few scraps per day.
If your dog seems to show some signs of an illness or disease, get a veterinary checkup that includes a blood test to check for diseases and other ailments. If you see any serious symptoms (such as vomiting or lethargy), discuss it with the vet immediately and see if he’d be willing to stabilize your pet on a commercial diet instead of completely changing the food supply.
Having said all of this, we’re not saying that commercial dog foods are bad for dogs. It’s just that they could be making your pet sick if you continue feeding them what they’re used to eating.