Pet Owner Basics: How to Feed Your Dog
A dog is a faithful friend, but it’s also a huge responsibility. If you own one, you probably know how much effort it takes each morning to go for a walk and how scary it is if something happens to your pup. Proper care is essential for any pet, but dogs require a lot of it: you have to walk them, feed them, wash them, play with them, teach them, and so on.
Feeding your dog seems like a basic action, but it’s not so simple in the end. You have to figure out the appropriate diet and amount, create a schedule, buy food regularly, and change the routine as the dog grows older.
If you have no idea how to do that, don’t worry – we’ve got your back whether you are wondering what the best dog food for a Chihuahua is or how to serve your pet its food. Read on to learn everything about feeding your dog.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
Dogs can eat both meat and plants. However, it’s not recommended to feed them only plants because they lack the necessary nutrients for your pet to stay healthy. Thus, it is crucial to stick to a balanced diet with all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Moreover, young puppies need different amounts of food than adult dogs. A general rule of thumb for adult dogs is around 1/2 cup of food per day for toy breeds, about 1 cup – for small breeds, up to 2 cups – for medium breeds, and 3 to 4 1/2 cups for large breeds.
Younger dogs need less food than adults, but the amount varies depending on their exact age and breed. Make sure to learn more about your dog’s breed to understand its needs and pay attention to recommendations on dog food packages as well.
What Should You Feed Your Dog?
There are two basic types of commercial dog food: dry and wet. Dry food is made from grain, so it’s better for small breeds like Chihuahuas or Toy Poodles. Wet food contains less grain and more meat, so it’s better for medium and large breeds like German Shepherds or Dobermans.
It’s also essential to change your pet’s diet from time to time to avoid any allergies. Don’t worry – your dog will get used to a new diet in no time. However, you should still make sure that the brand you choose is suitable for your dog’s breed – if you are in doubt, consult with your dog’s vet before choosing a new brand for your pet.
How Much Water Should You Give A Dog?
Dogs need to stay hydrated just as humans do. An average-sized dog needs about two cups of water per day, but it depends on many factors. For example, some dogs can be more active than others and require more water, while some other dogs may eat wet dog food and receive additional amounts of moisture from it. Thus, you do not have to measure the exact amount of water for your dog, but make sure to always have a bowl of freshwater for it at home (ensure that you clean it daily, too).
On the contrary, if you have noticed that your dog has been drinking excessively, it may be a symptom of some health issues. If that is the case, do not stop providing your pet with the water it needs, but make sure to visit a veterinarian for a thorough physical examination and tests.
How Long Should You Leave Food Out For A Dog?
Pet owners often wonder how long you should leave food out for a dog before it gets bad and increases the risk of causing health issues. The answer is simple – it depends on the type of food you are feeding your dog.
If you are feeding your dog wet food, you can leave it out for about four hours before it spoils and becomes unsafe, and you can keep opened cans in the refrigerator no longer than for three days.
However, if you feed your dog dry food, you should dispose of its leftovers after about eight hours. Bear in mind that the longer it is left out, the longer it is exposed to bacteria, becoming stale and spoiling.
How To Serve Your Dog Food?
We recommend using a regular bowl so that your pup has an easier time eating his meal. It’s also important to teach your dog how to eat his meal properly – you should not interrupt it while it eats, so try not to talk to your pup or play with it during the process. This way, your dog will get used to eating independently and won’t develop behavioral problems later on.
How To Make Your Dog Eat Its Food?
It may sound weird, as we all know how much dogs love to eat, but many people report that their dogs are picky when it comes to food. They only eat certain brands or turn their nose up at something tasty and healthy just because they don’t like it. In fact, nothing is surprising about it, as studies show that dogs, just like humans, may also have their food preferences.
If this is your pup’s case, don’t despair – there are many ways to make it finish the meal.
One of the most helpful solutions is to use a leaky mat or a puzzle feeder. The latter is basically a toy where you put food inside and let your pet figure out how to get it out by turning or rolling the toy around. These tools can be handy if you want to keep your little friend entertained while having its meal.
Your dog is your top priority, and taking care of it requires a responsible and thoughtful approach. Feeding your pet is one of the most vital elements for keeping your dog healthy and happy. Thus, you should pay due attention when choosing a balanced and nutritious diet, considering your pet’s age, size, activity level, and any special needs determined by its breed.
Doing research is essential, and, hopefully, this article helped you to clarify several points. However, it is crucial not to neglect to consult any significant changes in your dog’s diet with the veterinarian.
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