A balanced diet is a basis for long and healthy life. This also applies to our four-legged friends. But food is not the same as food: In order for a dog to be supplied with all the essential nutrients, minerals, trace elements, and vitamins, german shepherd competition its individual needs must be taken into account when choosing food. Nutritional consultation for dogs can help with this. How to find good nutritional advice as well as some basics in terms of dog feeding can be found in this post.
Nutritional advice for dogs: When does it make sense?
Basically, dogs are well supplied with a balanced and age-adapted complete food. However, if you have a four-legged friend with special requirements (chronic illness, old age) or decide on another type of feeding (e.B. BARF), you should take advantage of a dog nutrition consultation.
Specialist veterinarians for animal nutrition offer particularly high-quality feed advice. If you are looking for nutritional advice for dogs nearby, ask your veterinarian. Meanwhile, there is also nutritional advice for dogs online.
But be sure to pay attention to the qualification of the consultant(s): There are many self-appointed “dog nutritionists”. Some of them actually have profound knowledge, others unfortunately not at all. At the veterinarian, on the other hand, you are on the safe side. And when it comes to diseases and adapted feeding, this should always be your very first point of contact!
Depending on the consultant, the cost of dog nutrition counseling also varies. Veterinarians are bound by the scale of fees for veterinarians, which stipulates staggered billing rates for such consulting services. You can ask yourself in advance for a budget, even with non-veterinary consultants, of course.
Dog nutrition at a glance What do dogs eat?
If you opt for food from the pet shop when feeding your dog, you have the choice between dry and wet food. Both variants undoubtedly have their advantages. In many cases, dry dog food is simply more practical: it is easier to dose, does not spoil as quickly in summer, smells less, and does not produce canned waste. Dog wet food contains, as the name suggests, significantly more moisture and thus supports the dogs in water absorption. More information about the advantages and disadvantages of wet or dry feeding can be found here.
In addition to choosing a complete feed, you can also cook for your dog yourself, BARFen (raw feeding) or Preyen (feeding whole prey). However, these diets require a high degree of knowledge about proper dog nutrition and cause sometimes. If you are planning this feeding for your dog, you should definitely seek nutritional advice for dogs from the veterinarian! Otherwise, you run the risk of permanently feeding your darling incorrectly and thus harming him.
How to determine the right amount of food
On the packaging of each complete food, you will find a feeding recommendation, which is usually based on weight and often also on the size of the dog. These recommendations always start from a “normal” dog. So they are optimal for an animal with ideal weight and average activity. If your dog is overweight or underweight and/or if the level of activity deviates from the average, you must correct the recommended amounts upwards or downwards accordingly.
Feeding dog: How many times a day?
When to feed dogs, in the morning or in the evening? How long should the break be after feeding? And should the dog be fed once or several times a day? As is so often the case in dog nutrition counseling, the answer is: It depends.
When healthy, adult dogs are given complete food, you can usually choose between feeding once or several times. The dog feeding time can also be based on your and your dog’s preferences. Remember that immediately after the big feeding, there is first rest and then a walk.
Puppies, older dogs, or those with metabolic diseases are dependent on feeding several times a day. It relieves the digestive tract and is also gladly accepted by healthy dogs. It builds up fewer cravings and can thus help e.B. overweight dogs to lose weight. If there is no fixed feeding time, it makes you more flexible if you travel a lot.
If the dog is fed BARF or Preyen, a once-daily feeding is recommended: These rations need as concentrated, aggressive stomach acid as possible in order to break up the raw components and digest them well. Cooking, on the other hand, massively increases digestibility, so that home-cooked dog food can also be given several times a day.
Dog food recommendation: Which dry or wet food is best for dogs?
No matter which form of food you choose: It is important that it is a needs-based offer, for example, junior, adult, or senior dog food. In addition,shaving a german shepherd you have to make sure that the product is labeled as a “complete feed”. Only then is it guaranteed that it reliably covers your dog’s energy and nutrient needs.
In addition to these so-called complete feeds, there are complementary feeds, which, however, are not suitable as the sole diet for the dog.
Snacks: How often can you give them?
Each dog is individual and has its own energy needs. And as a pet owner, you don’t always have the weight of your dog in mind. But you should, because often the small “sins” of the day are forgotten like treats in the calculation of the daily ration. Especially the well-intentioned snacks can be pure hip gold, as they often contain a high proportion of carbohydrates and fats. So be sparing with food outside of meals.
In dogs, love does not go through the stomach! Attention and caresses are healthy alternatives.
Freshwater – a must
Your four-legged friend should always have enough fresh water at your disposal. shFill the bowls fresh daily and clean them regularly. This is not only important in summer!
If your dog eats wet or fresh food, he will drink less than with dry feeding. If he absorbs too little water, a little meat juice can lead to increased drinking. Alternatively, the food can also be mixed “soupy”.
Feeding at a glance:
The decision on a type of feed (dry, wet, or mixed feeding)
BARFen – “Biologically species-appropriate raw feeding” – as an alternative to dry or wet food
Avoid frequent feed changes
Make feed changeover only in small steps
Pay attention to high-quality feed quality
ensure sufficient rest after eating
always provide plenty of water