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Nutrition for your Dog

on Wednesday, 18 February 2015. Posted in Gold Coast Pet Centre

What is the difference between a good diet and a bad diet for a dog? Can you imagine living on McDonalds each day? You will certainly live and probably enjoy the taste of it but you will soon feel the negative effects of it such as lack of energy, obesity, unhealthy skin, high cholesterol and eventually a shortened life span. This is exactly what our pooches are at risk of if fed an unhealthy or low quality food.

A high quality diet can improve the health and well-being of your dog in so many ways including; 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and minimising risk of obesity
  • Reduces the risk of health problems such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis
  • Improves the health of skin and coat
  • Maintains healthy muscle tone and activity levels
  • Extend the lifespan of your dog

What to look for in a high quality dog food

Big or small, fluffy or wiry, boy or girl, we love our dogs! Committing to giving your dog a healthy diet is just as easy as loving them when you know what to look for! Here are some tips to choosing a high quality diet:

  • Look for meat as the first ingredient

Dogs are carnivores and require a diet of meat. Many cheaper or low quality dog food brands incorporate a lot of grains in the food as an undigestible ‘filler ingredient’ to bulk up the food. This is not to say that any grains in the food are bad – some grains are added for a specific purpose. As a general rule the first 2 ingredients should be meat or meat based

  • Interpret the ingredients

When analysing the ingredients list some brands write something like ‘poultry, grains including wheat, barley and/or oats’ or even; ‘meat and/or meat by products’. This is a nonspecific way of saying ‘we threw in whatever was cheapest’. Instead find a brand that lists exact ingredients such as; ‘chicken, chicken meal, rice’. This indicates that the manufacturer chooses a particular ingredient specifically for its nutritional benefit.

  • Choose a food that is appropriate to your dog’s life stage

Puppies have different requirements to adult and mature dogs. For example, a senior dog may become overweight on a puppy food packed with protein, fat and nutrients to support a growing puppy. Likewise a puppy that is fed an adult dog formula may not receive the required nutrients to support development

  • Choose a food appropriate to your dog’s size

Just as choosing the correct life stage, choosing a formula specific to a small, medium, large or giant breed is just as important. The nutrition, vitamin and mineral requirements for a small breed dog are vastly different to those of a large breed. Development problems may arise from feeding an incorrect formula.

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