Being a dog parent is a challenging task. We research stuff since we want to give them the best treatment possible. Each dog is different, and there is no one size fits all criteria when caring for dogs. However, there are moments when one thinks, are we even feeding our dogs the right thing?
Knowing the tips for giving dog food and getting all the nutrients is essential for any pooch parent. Proper nutrition begins at an age when your puppies are small and still learning. For most puppies, this period lasts one to two years.
Since so many changes are occurring in their body, behavior and activity levels, we must constantly evolve their diet.
Understanding the Nutritional Need for Your Small Dogs
Small dogs, specifically those from Maltipoo rescue, have special nutritional requirements that ensure their health and well-being. These cute canines require careful consideration when it comes to taking care of their diet and nutrition. Let us explore certain vital aspects of their nutritional requirements.
1. Energy Requirement
Small dogs have a higher energy requirement than larger breeds because they have a fast metabolism. These dogs also have higher activity levels, so their diet should be rich in calories.
2. Protein Requirement
Protein is essential for the development of muscle and growth. Chicken, turkey or fish are a few options that can fulfill their protein requirement.
3. Nutrient Requirement
Dogs also require essential nutrients besides protein and calories, such as vitamins, minerals, etc. Adding fruits and vegetables to their diet can give them fatty acids that help them have a healthier coat.
Understanding the Food Labels
Only some people prepare homemade food for their dogs because it is time-consuming and can burden office-going people. Most often, everyone prefers to buy packed food in tins. If you are one of those dog owners, you must learn how to understand what is written on dog food labels.
Here are a few tips that can help you read food labels and figure out what is good and what is bad for your dog:
- The ingredient list is one of the most critical components of the food label. It will tell you which protein does the food include. Avoid foods that mention words such as ‘Meat by-products’ or ‘animal meal.’
- Look for healthy food sources on the label, such as fish oil or chicken fat. Other essential nutrients such as fats, vitamins, and minerals must also be mentioned on the label.
- Many foods for small dogs contain harmful ingredients and preservatives. Avoid food that mentions artificial colors or flavors on labels. Also, avoid fillers such as soy and wheat because these ingredients are difficult for small dogs to digest.
Choosing Between Wet, Dry, and Raw food
When deciding what to give your small dog, you will usually come across three options; wet, dry, and raw food. Each type of food has its advantages and disadvantages, and you need to assess which is best for your small canine friend.
1. Dry Dog Food
The most common name for dry dog food is kibble, and many dog owners also prefer it because of its convenience and affordability. Dry dog food has a longer shelf life and helps to maintain dental health. It is more cost-effective in comparison to other options. There is significantly less moisture content in kibble which may lead to urinary tract issues in small dogs, especially those not drinking much water.
2. Wet Dog Food
People also refer to wet dog food as canned food. It has a high moisture content compared to dry food, making it best for dogs that do not drink much water. Wet food is preferable for small dogs because of its texture and taste. This food also provides a well-balanced diet. Wet dog food is more costly in comparison to dry food. It is also less convenient and has a shorter shelf life.
3. Raw Food
As the name suggests, raw food means meat that is not cooked, including vegetables, bones, and organs. Recently, raw food has gained popularity among pet owners because it mimics dogs’ food in the natural world.
Dog owners also report that their pets now have shinier coats and fur after having raw food. However, learning about raw food’s nutritional value is difficult. Uncooked food also has a higher chance of bacterial contamination and may take time to prepare raw meals.
When choosing between raw, wet, or dry food, consider all these points before making the final decision. Also, please consult your vet on which food is better for your dog so you do not unknowingly harm them.
Introducing New Food to Your Small Dog
When introducing your dog to a new food, you must do it gradually. Sudden changes to diet can cause an upset stomach and lead to diarrhea and vomiting. You can mix a small portion of the new food into the current diet and slowly increase the portion over a week. This slow change to diet will not hurt your dog’s digestive system.
After completely switching your dog to a new food, closely monitor your dog’s response to it. Observe any changes in allergy, digestive issues, or energy levels. Even a change in coat condition can be a sign of allergy. If you notice any of these changes, consult your veterinarian.
Additional Tips for Feeding Small Dogs
Small dogs have small body proportions and hence small stomachs. Therefore, portion control is essential to avoid overeating and obesity. If you are unaware of feeding guidelines, consult a vet and follow those guidelines religiously.
Divide the daily food into smaller meals throughout the day so that it does not cause bloating and helps in digestion. Overfeeding your dog is a common problem that can cause them to gain weight. Please do not feed them table scraps or treats irregularly because these will increase their calorie intake.
Stick to the portion sizes that the vet recommends so that your dog maintains a healthy weight. Smaller dogs also often face dental hygiene issues. Please give them a mix of food types especially incorporating kibble into their diet. Selecting dry food or dental chews helps in removing plaques and tartar buildup.
Selecting the right dog food for small dogs is critical to ensure your dog is healthy. Taking care of their nutritional needs and understanding the food labels help you to make an informed decision.
Always remember that once you know the right food to give your small dog, create a schedule and frequency of feeding. Please consult your vet to cover all the essential details related to their diet. Portion controlling and avoiding overfeeding helps to keep them healthy and happy.
Author Bio: M Hassan Iqbal is a skilled digital marketer with 2 years of experience in SEO and content writing. He occasionally writes blogs for Dynamologic Solutions, creating engaging content that attracts traffic and delivers value.