What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Dog

Proper nutrition isn’t just something people need to be concerned about, it’s also important for dogs. For optimum health, dogs need a proper diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Dogs also need to be fed the right amount of food so as not to experience weight problems. If you’re not sure exactly what your dog should be eating, read on for our guidelines.

What Should I Feed My Dog?

There are a number of nutritionally balanced dog foods—both canned and dry—on the market that will keep your dog healthy. Ideally, you want to choose a dog food with the right blend of nutrients.

To find one, look for labels that say, “complete and balanced nutrition,” “Meets the nutritional requirements of dogs established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO),” or “Complete and balanced nutrition for dogs based on AAFCO feeding trials.”

Additionally, if you have a puppy or a senior dog, you should select a dog food that is specifically designed for your dog’s stage of life. Dietary requirements change over the course of a dog’s lifetime—by taking your dog’s age into account when choosing dog food, you can make sure his nutritional needs are being met.

How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

We recommend feeding your dog twice a day, rather than letting him graze all day long. Regularly scheduled feeding times make it easy to establish a walking schedule with your dog, and will also alert you should your dog become ill.

A bowl that goes untouched during regular feeding times could be an indication your dog is sick—should his appetite not return in the next couple of days, please bring him in to see us for a checkup.

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

It takes a bit of trial and error to determine the right amount of food to feed your dog. You can start by following the guidelines on the side of the bag. However, those guidelines are only suggestions and a pudgy pooch—or an aging one—may require less food. Likewise, a very active dog may require a little more.

At your vet visit, we’ll evaluate whether your dog is maintaining, gaining, or losing weight, and make recommendations as to whether you should increase or decrease your dog’s food intake.

What Should I Do If My Dog Doesn’t Want to Eat?

There are a few different reasons your dog may turn his nose up at his food—he might be ill, have teeth problems, the food may be spoiled, or your dog may be spoiled and have grown accustomed to yummy treats and “people food.”

If you’re struggling to get your dog to eat or are experiencing any other problems related to feeding your dog, we recommend bringing your dog in for a checkup and nutritional counseling.

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