In order for the puppy to be healthy and develop well, we must take care of the right diet for him. What is a proper diet? This means providing all nutrients - proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, amino acids and water in the right amounts and proportions to each other.
There are the following types of diets:
1. Cooked - prepared by the owner
3. Commercial foods
I am often asked which of these types of feeding is the best. I can't give you an unambiguous answer to the question of which diet will be the most suitable for your dog. The choice is yours, but I can give you some valuable tips.
1. Cooked diet - before you decide on this way of feeding your dog, you must be aware that a complete meal for a dog does not consist only of 1/3 of rice, 1/3 of meat and 1/3 of vegetables. A properly prepared cooked diet is time-consuming and requires a lot of knowledge about nutrition to ensure balanced portions of ingredients: for example, although meat is a source of protein, it is low in calcium. Just adding calcium is not enough. The minerals are interrelated. Calcium and phosphorus created such a connection in the process of bone and tooth formation, but it requires their proper proportions.
If you want to follow this diet, you must carefully follow the recipes created by specialists. The cooked diet is often used as an elimination diet in the case of food allergies.
2. BARF – raw food diet (raw vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, bones, etc.)
Before you decide on this type of diet, you need to know that it is not enough to give your dog raw meat and bones to provide him with a balanced meal. I am writing about this because I have met many breeders, dog owners who feed their dog raw meat and bones, not providing him with more nutrients. This is not the right course of action. If you want to feed your dog with a BARF diet, you should use BARFA recipes. The question is do you have the time and enough knowledge for it?
3. Commercial foods. Commercial foods are complete foods developed by specialists. The proportions of these foods are determined on the basis of many years of research. Complete commercial foods are just that - COMPLETE. They should not be supplemented with anything, because we only disturb our dog's diet, causing him medical and often behavioral problems. But do all food manufacturers really prepare it with our dogs in mind? Well, no - that's why you should learn to read food labels. Here are some tips:
– Ingredients listed on the label must be listed in order of weight (those with the most are listed first). It is usually the first 3-5 ingredients that count (the ingredient we know is not much in the food - usually fat or algae).
– Protein from cereals is much less absorbed by the body, so cereals should be as little as possible, and preferably if they are eliminated completely and replaced with fruits and vegetables
- Grain is a huge amount of carbohydrates. If it is grain, we accept whole grains
– Watch out for the tactics of feed manufacturers
a) dividing nutrients into smaller ones. Manufacturers often want to hide a huge amount of cereals in the food - so that they are not at the top of the list. Divided cereals go to the next part of the list, giving the impression that there are not many of them. Meanwhile, if you add them up, they often make up 50-80% of food.
b) Is there really the most meat listed in the first position? Well, no - it should be remembered that the ingredients are weighed before production, during which they lose all their water content - approx. 80% (for meat). Therefore, if the manufacturer writes that the lamb in the food is 20%, you should know that after processing it loses water and falls to the next part of the list. Dehydrated meat and meat meal do not lose water in the treatment, therefore there are as many of them as the manufacturer writes.
– The meat must be of known origin (chicken, lamb, rabbit, turkey, etc.). Let's not buy food on which I write meat from animals - in fact we do not know where it comes from
– We avoid products whose origin is undetermined. Similarly with hardeners, aromas, preservatives, sweeteners (Compounds such as BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, Propyl Gallate) are absolutely forbidden for humans. The requirements do not require feed manufacturers to include preservatives used in semi-finished products. Food manufacturers must only list what they add themselves. You have to be especially careful with fish food - these are the most often canned. Look for clear declarations on products that do not use preservatives.
For those interested, the feed test is below:
In this study, I did not focus on a detailed description of each of the ways of nutrition. I just wanted to interest the reader so that he could reach the sources and thoroughly familiarize himself with such an extensive topic as proper dog nutrition.
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