Pet ownership entails a lot of responsibilities which would ensure the animal’s overall health and well-being. One of the most crucial aspects of owning a pet, such as a dog, is observing the right diet for him, which includes giving him the best Dubai pet food out of all the brands and kinds available on the market.
Most dog parents think that it is okay to give their canines any type or brand of food, but this is completely wrong. Putting him on an inappropriate diet could lead to nutritional imbalances and illnesses.
So to guarantee your dog’s health and happiness, here are six common dog feeding mistakes you must avoid.
1. Giving dogs food for other pets
Generally, pet foods are formulated to provide the nutritional needs of a specific type of pet. This means that dog foods are meant for canines while cat foods are for felines, and so on.
So when buying dog care supplies, make sure to read pet food labels carefully. If a bag of food clearly indicates that it is meant for cats, don’t even try to give it to your dog. Bear in mind that pet foods are never interchangeable. This unhealthy practice can result in health issues like liver and kidney problems and obesity.
2. Sharing human food
Sharing people food with pets is a mistake that many dog parents often commit. While this feeding practice may seem like a practical and more economical option (not to mention an opportunity to bond with the pet over yummy snacks), you need to be aware that foods that are delicious and healthy for you may be toxic to your canines, even in small amounts. These include chocolates, grapes, garlic, onions, and avocados, to name a few.
Giving cow’s milk to your dog is also another mistake as he can suffer from stomach upset. So if you have a puppy still relying on milk, consider giving him milk formulas made specifically for pups. If not, consult a vet for a better, healthier alternative.
Your love for your dog is not measured by how much food you give him on a daily basis. Constantly keeping his feeding bowl full, even outside his feeding schedule, will do him more harm than good. For instance, this incorrect practice will cause him to eat more than what he needs, thus resulting in canine obesity.
The same is true with giving dog treats. Showering your canine with treats is not equal to showering him with hugs and kisses. Treats must only be a small part of his diet and should not replace a nutritious meal. Take note that giving him lots of treats will cause him to lose his appetite for his regular meal and can also lead to obesity.
So don’t let your dog’s wagging tail and pleading eyes, which he may put on full blast each time you scoop out his food, drive you to pour more food in his bowl. You must be in full control over how much he eats. Always use a measuring cup to keep track of his daily intake.
4. Raw feeding
Studies have shown that a raw diet can harm your dogs.
For one, it is not nutritionally balanced because most raw diets contain high amounts of vitamin A and D, but few amounts of phosphorus and calcium. So when you choose to give your canine raw foods, you are not giving him a well-balanced diet, which can also result in nutritional imbalances.
Secondly, a raw diet can transmit pathogens from the raw food to you and your family. For example, when your dog eats raw chicken then later kisses your child, there is a huge possibility that your child becomes exposed to salmonella.
5. Suddenly changing his diet
If you suddenly change the food being given to your dog, for whatever reason, he may experience digestive problems. So if there is a need to alter your pet’s diet to make him healthier, make sure to do it gradually. Mix his old food with the new one, slowly increasing the amount of the new food while reducing the old food, to give his tummy enough time to adapt.
6. Giving your dog foods full of grains
Grains are not fatal to dogs, but they can cause different health issues because dogs don’t produce amylase that is necessary to digest starches. So as much as possible, you must opt for grain-free dog foods. Also, avoid foods that depend on grains as an alternative to high-quality protein.
If you are a first-time dog owner, it is inevitable to commit dog care slip-ups. But being aware of the common dog feeding mistakes will prevent you from committing any of these, which is a great start to ensuring your canine’s overall health and well-being.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.