Why Your Dog’s Health is Just as Important as Yours

Dog's HealthIs your pug looking a little pudgy? Do you think your whippet could stand to put on some weight? If these concerns sound familiar, you need to read this. Learn what the nutritional guidelines are for your dog, and what you should do if you think your dog could benefit from a little help in this arena.

What Does Proper Nutrition for Dogs Consist Of?

Adult dogs should be fed a complete, balanced diet twice a day, although some dogs can tolerate eating just once a day. Food quantity is determined by several factors, including the dog’s size, age, and activity level.

It’s recommended you choose dog food with no more than 50% of its calories coming from carbohydrates. Additionally, at least 10% of the calories should come from protein, and 5.5% should come from fats. Aim for dog food blends that include 2.5%-4.5% fiber.

Perhaps most importantly, remember that while the occasional nibble of human food is okay, dogs can’t tolerate greasy leftovers the same way we can. Refrain from giving human food to your dog as much as possible.

What Nutritional Tips Do You Have for Obese Dogs?

Obesity is a serious problem for many dogs. If your dog is overweight, we recommend you:

  • Avoid overindulging your dog with extra treats, and show your affection in other ways
  • Exercise your dog more often
  • Get portion recommendations and food suggestions by scheduling an appointment for nutritional counseling at our office

What Nutritional Tips Do You Have for Senior Dogs?

Larger dogs become seniors when they’re about 5 or 6 years old. For smaller and medium breeds, senior dog status occurs at the age of 7. If your dog is a senior, we suggest you:

  • Avoid senior dog diets that have reduced levels of protein
  • Talk to us about increasing your dog’s intake of GLS and FOA, 2 important nutrients that promote health in older dogs
  • Choose dog food with high levels of Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene

Why Is Proper Nutrition So Important?

If you want your dog to enjoy a long, happy life, getting him the right blend of nutrients is a great place to start. The proper dog food will help your dog maintain muscle tone, build teeth and bone, provide energy, keep his coat shiny and healthy, and prevent disease.

Furthermore, obesity—which is a huge problem for some dogs—is associated with diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, joint pain, and immobility. While some pet owners are inclined to view their chubby dogs as “cute,” we encourage pet parents to take this issue seriously.

That said, before drastically restricting your dog’s caloric intake, we strongly recommend speaking with a professional, so you can make sure your dog continues to receive all of the nutrients he needs.

What Should I Do To Make Sure My Dog Is Getting Proper Nutrients?

If you’re concerned about whether your dog is getting the right nutrients, please schedule a nutrition counseling appointment at our office. During the appointment, we’ll assess your dog’s weight, age, and size to determine his optimal diet.

To schedule your appointment, please contact our Columbus office by calling 614.268.8666 during normal business hours. For your convenience, we’re open until 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 7:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 3:30 on Saturdays.