It used to be so easy, way back when. You bought a metal dog bowl and scooped in some Purina Dog Chow or Alpo. You put the dish on the floor. Your dog wolfed it down, slurped some water and gave a satisfied burp. End of story.
Now, there are so many feeding choices its easy to be overwhelmed. Dry food, canned food, raw food, or homemade? Gluten-free, high protein, senior, small breed, vegan, or organic? Ceramic dishes, plastic, aluminum, elevated, or continuous feed?
Food is usually the highlight of a dog’s day. Then there are those dogs that couldn’t care less about what’s on the menu. As your dog’s chef/waiter, YOU are the source of his basic sustenance. The giving of food is a training opportunity:
- Choose the highest quality food you can afford. Its the foundation of your dog’s general health and well-being, plus the better the food, the more efficiently it will be digested, resulting in less poop to scoop!
- Unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise, dog food should be high in protein. The first ingredient is fish, chicken, beef or lamb. If the food is mainly corn, your dog’s behavior will be fueled by carbs and empty calories.
- Adult dogs should get one or two meals per day. Remove the food after 15-20 minutes. Leaving food out all day creates picky eaters and housebreaking issues.
- Your dog is a working animal. Yes, even your beloved Yorkie. Have her sit and wait politely for her meal.
- If you use treats to train, work with your dog before a meal, when his attention and focus are the most acute.
- Its actually okay to add variety to your dog’s food. Find a couple of different brands your dog likes and thrives on, and switch them out. Throw in some peas, unseasoned chicken, baby carrots, and brown rice. Your dog does not need, nor should she have, fettucine alfredo, pizza or potato chips.
- Just because the dog on the TV ad is adorable, or you have a coupon, or the food is on sale, doesn’t mean its good for your dog.
Choosing the right food for your dog is very important!