As pawrent, it is up to you to find the right diet for your dog and understanding what a dog’s diet should be will make it happy and healthy.

 

Treat your dog to a balanced diet

The goal is to create a diet with the right balance of nutrition to keep your dog healthy. This can change based on your dog’s breed, size, and age, but the basics are true for all dogs.

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants to sustain themselves and their diet must contain a balance of these six elements from meat and plants: Fats (usually from meat), proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

Your dog should be fed at least twice per day unless a vet tells you otherwise, or if your dog has special conditions. This chart can help you determine how often to feed your dog.

Dog Feeding Schedule

Puppy (<4 months)

Puppy (4+ months)

Adult

Senior

4-6 meals per day

3 meals per day

2 meals per day

1-2 meals per day

 

The different types of dog food

 

Dry Food

Dry food is the most common option. Packaged dry recipes often combine meat and plant ingredients. It is great for keeping food stores for a long time since it has a long shelf-life. However, it does not have enough water to fill a dog’s water requirements.

Wet Food

Wet food comes in a pack where it is mixed with water from the preparation process. The food is packaged in sealed containers that are moist and soft… for yummy lunches and dinners.

It is great for giving your dog softer food, especially for seniors. It can also make it easier to keep your dog hydrated but is often more expensive and less shelf-stable. 

 

 

Treats and Snacks

Dog snacks and treats are often used for training or otherwise rewarding your dog. Snacks like rawhide, that do not count toward meals, can be a supplement in addition to meals or keep dogs occupied between meals.

Fresh Food

Fresh food is becoming more common since it provides more nutrition than any other option. While, it has the shortest shelf-life and can be more expensive than the other options, you can be sure that this will be the best type of food for your dog.

 

The types of food you should avoid

On the other hand, there are foods that you should not give your dog for varying reasons, and, in order to protect your dog’s health, it is not recommended to feed these on regular basis or at all.

Avoid for better nutrition

Avoid giving your dog highly processed or decadent human food. Dogs do not have the ability to digest highly complex food well since they have a history of being scavengers. Giving your dog decadent human food can actually make them sick.

Okay for limited Feeding

Cooked foods, like scrambled eggs without cheese, can be okay to give to a dog. Dog’s have evolved over time to be able to eat the things that humans cook. However, cooking food can make it much harder to digest, so limit it to one occasional meal.

Never Feed These Foods to Dogs

Never feed your dog with ingredients from the onion family, garlic family, or grape family. These are highly toxic to dogs and should be avoided to keep your furry friend as healthy as it should be.

 

Developing the perfect diet for your dog takes time and a bit of trial and error especially when you’re a new pawrent. Keep your options simple and work with your vet if you need help building a diet specifically for your dog. Also, make sure that you feed it according to its age and conditions.