Time has its own steady pace and it flies with the same. You would have never wondered that a small puppy, which you bought only yesterday, has turned out to be a fully grown-up dog so early.
With the time, its body size increased, its mannerism became more polished and also its nutrient requirements enhanced a bit. The one which used a small bowl to feed itself, now requires a bigger one to satisfy its appetite.
As it is the rule of nature, small things grow some day, similar did your dog. In accordance to this, it has to be understood by the dog-master that the food which once satisfied its hunger, is too scanty for its growth now.
To put it in a more clear sense, we could say that a fully grown-up dog requires a balanced diet every day. This diet consists of all the vital elements of food such as Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Roughage etc.
When Could The Dog Be Considered As An Adult?
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the dog could be considered as an adult if it reaches 90% of its expected weight and height. Most of the dog breeds take 6 to 7 months to grow fully to adults but some of the bigger breeds could continue growing for a year or more.
How Could He Best Food Be Determined For Pets?
From the mere fact that your dog is surviving well, it does not means that your dog is receiving healthy food. A fact says that one out of every four pet dogs is overweight.
Adhering to the fact, it is very necessary to provide the right nutrition to your pet according to its body structure. You could determine that your food is well balanced by the glossy appearance of its body hair, abundant energy, hearty appearance and high alertness level.
In contrast to this, if your dog is sluggish, is having some kind of body problem, losing its hair and tends to sleep every now and then, your nourishment to the dog needs to be checked again.
You could also view your backyard to see the excreting behavior of your dog. A high amount of excreta means a certain problem in the digestive tract.
Therefore, it is extremely necessary to provide your dog with the right kind of food, so that it develops a healthy body and robust mind.
How Much Food Should The Adult Dog Be Offered Per Day?
The amount of food to be provided to the dog generally depends on its size, age, breed and the amount of activity it does daily.
For this, it is better to consult a vet or a pet-dietician who could tell you the exact amount. A smaller breed of dog with less weight generally requires lesser amount of food than the one with the bigger body volume.
A big role in choosing the appropriate diet is played by the activity level of the pets. A dog which confines itself in the lap of its master may require a lesser amount of food than the stipulated diet. In contrast to this, the one that is highly alert or mischievous may require more than the required level of food.
Constantly working dogs such as the ones in police and those who pull sledges might need food, more on a fattier side.
Under specific emergency conditions such as pregnancy or illness, the energy needs might surge up. You could consult your vet in regards to the specific energy needs.
How Is It Determined Whether The Dog Is Too Slim, The Right-Sized Or Obese?
The determination of the size of dog is necessary to keep a control on the nourishment you offer it. You could keep a check of this with the following tips:
- If the dog is too lean, its vertebrae, ribs and pelvic bones are easily visible outside. For the lesser lean ones, you could feel them with a mere touch of your hand. This is the result of malnourishment and improper balance in the diet it is offered. Apart from lacking the required energy, these dogs are susceptible to the attack of osteoporosis, bacterial infections and parasites.
- The dog-size is appropriate if no bone is visible from outside. You could feel the ribs when you touch the dog and are capable of seeing an abdominal pop, when looking from side.
- If the dog is subjected to obesity, it could have visible layers of fat on its body. Its ribs are not felt and it is quite sluggish to perform any sort of activities. Such dogs are highly subjected to Diabetes and Arthritis etc.
What Is Done If Your Dog Is Overweight?
As described above, an overweight dog is high in weight and less prone to activities and exercises. In such a case, it is to be kept in mind that fatty foods are to be removed from its diet. High-calorie diets such as biscuits etc. need to be cut down from its daily nourishment.
Instead, you could opt for foods that high in fiber. Fibrous foods fill the belly very quickly and in turn do not cause a multiply in the body calories. They also keep the digestive system healthy.
Apart from the ingredients, keep a check on the amount of food that is offered. Do not decrease the amount at once or your dog might lose too much weight and become sick. Reduce the diet constantly and with consultation of the vet.
How Often Should The Dog Be Fed?
It is a common practice for most of the pet owners to feed the dog twice a dog. Though, some with the obese pets may offer foods only once a day.
Two meals a day in the stipulated amount helps the dog in better functioning of the digestive system. It could also be useful in controlling its hunger.
What Is The Amount Of Proteins And Fats, Required For The Pets?
For an adult dog, it is recommended that proteins should make up about 10% of the diet of pets. Fats are present about 5.5% in the diet while the content of Carbohydrates could be as high as 50%.
Are Dog Treats A Healthy Option For A Pet’s Diet?
Dog’s treat is considered easy and helpful by most of the pet-keepers. Vets suggest of not using these treats because you could not be sure of the ingredients they are made up of. They are also not a substitute for a rich and balanced diet. Therefore, the use of these should be limited.
It is suggested that dog treats should not constitute more than 5% of the day’s diet. Also, look for the treats that are low in fats and calories. These do not contribute in increasing the weight of your pets.
You could use homemade treats such as pieces of vegetables like carrots, beans and bell peppers etc.
How Are Dry, Canned And Semi-Moist Dog Foods Beneficial?
The preference of the type of food is generally dependent on the pet and its master. Upon the choice, you could offer it dry foods, moist foods or canned foods.
Dry foods generally are high in nutrition as they contain a lesser amount of water. Dry foods also cost lesser than the wet foods and therefore they are the most appropriate choice for the adult dogs. Apart from this, these foods are said to clean the teeth and keep the dogs away from periodontal diseases.
Canned foods contain about 75% of water in them. They may also contain more meat, seafood and poultry content than dry foods.
For the dogs that are subjected to urinary tract problems, canned foods could prove handy for feeding. Their effective content of moisture helps to digest the food quickly. These could also be used for the pets that are obese, as canned foods ingest lesser amount of calories in the body. A bit of difficulty always hovers with the shelf life of the canned foods.
Semi-moist foods are also a good option as a part of dog-feed. These contain about 25 to 40% of moisture. The adequate content of moisture helps the product to stay cost-effective and at the same time offers it a better shelf life than canned foods.
Could Table Foods Be Given To The Dogs?
Vets suggest that you could give the table scraps but only once in a few days. Your table could contain meat steaks, fatty poultry items or loaded red meats. It is said that a sudden ingestion of high-fat items could pose pressure on pancreas and render it disordered.
Therefore, it is necessary that adult dogs are prohibited from the table scraps. This is even more important if your dog is obese.
With all the instructions above, it is repeatedly advised to keep your dog food balanced as much as possible.
While it is in its growth years, the fulfillment of appropriate nutrition is all the more important. Therefore, an adult dog would stay healthy if it is offered the right variety of nourishment.