Types of food
Depending on the breed of the dog, its state of health and its age, we can group the types of food to feed it into three categories: dry dog food, wet food and special food. The latter is the type of diet indicated for dogs that have problems relating to weight or health in general. If the dog shows symptoms of liver disease, or lack of energy and vitality, it is useful to subject it to a medical examination to identify the causes, and then evaluate the most suitable type of diet. Specific products cost slightly more than common foods, because they are enriched with nutrients that help the animal return to perfect health. If, however, the dog is healthy and does not have any health problems, then you are spoiled for choice among the various dog food products made specifically for their nourishment. You can choose from a wide range of tastes and flavours, and you will immediately notice how your dog has his own preferences when it comes to food: he will devour some types of food, and instead leave what he doesn't like in the bowl. So consider how long the food stays in the bowl without the dog eating it, so you can be sure what he prefers. Be particularly careful about this, because otherwise the dog risks losing his appetite. Furthermore, it is a bad habit to give the dog what is left over from our table. Our friends' stomachs are not a dustbin where anything can fit! Another general piece of advice is not to give dogs sweets or ice cream, because their bodies are not able to assimilate the sweet flavour. These habits end up producing serious damage to the liver and stomach, so it is better to prevent any problems with suitable food.
These are classic "foods" made from various ingredients, which dogs show they really like. This type of dog food is suitable for any breed, as long as it is an adult animal, because puppies may not digest it easily. Among the best-selling brands we find "Cesar", in its "Patè" version, made with red meat, white meat and vegetables. Those who have let their dog taste this food report that they licked their chops. The smell, then, is not at all unpleasant, as often happens with moist foods. The "slices in sauce" of the same brand are particularly recommended. The risk is that dogs get spoiled when they experience a taste as good as "Caesar" baby food! Don't worry, little owners: "Cesar" products don't cost much, the price/quality ratio is excellent. The "Straccetti in sauce with chicken, green beans and carrots" from "Pedigree" are also suitable for younger dogs. If your dog shows a lack of appetite and little enthusiasm for food, trying this delicious "stew" with sauce will make him want to eat again! It can be served either alone or with the addition of croquettes. Obviously, after opening the package, it is advisable to keep it in the fridge, so that the food remains unaltered. Another tasty and digestible wet food for dogs is that of the "Best Dog" brand. It is a complete and nutritious meal, which helps the dog stay fit and in perfect health. A classic brand of dog food is "Chappi", of which we especially recommend the "Bocconi" and the "Patè", both of which are naturally very tasty. Of the "Friskies" you can choose the "Complete menu" and "Mighty Dog" types. When you give your dog a new food, observe him for a few days to see how he reacts to the new food. In some cases, effects such as diarrhea or, conversely, episodes of constipation may occur.
It is a set of foods that the dog must munch on, so its teeth must be strong and healthy. However, if the dog is quite old, or has particular teething problems, it is better to opt for moist, and therefore softer, foods. Recently the weekly "Il salvagente" published an investigation into the quality of the raw materials contained in the kibbles of the various brands on the market. Very often substances and elements that are truly unhealthy for the dog's health have been found. Below we inform you of some of the research results. The kibbles of the "Eukanuba" brand were judged "good": excellent hygiene, 774 calories per dose, monthly expenditure of around 21 euros, no microbiological contaminations of any kind were found, the right proportions of nutrients were respected which they serve the dog as a daily requirement. The opinion on "Hill's" kibbles varies between good and excellent. The monthly expense is around 12 euros. An excellent balance has been found between the nutritional elements contained, there are no microbiological problems, the feed is pure. The investigation also found the kibbles of "Purina Pro Lan" (with rice and chicken), those of "Nutro choice", "Iams" and "Pedigree" to be "pure". The best three, in order, are:
- Purina Pro Lan;
- I have choice.
The kibbles "Friskies vitality" (with vegetables, cereals and chicken), "Nova foods" and "Royal Canin" (which is judged mediocre) did not prove to be as good and healthy. The dry foods from "Almo natura" are recommended. This is organic feed, consisting mostly of meat pulp. Furthermore, this company does not practice vivisection and animal testing. This is another valid reason to buy its products, which by the way are really good. Your dog will notice!
This category includes dietary foods, suitable for dogs that have growth problems, such as continuous lack of appetite, obesity, nutritional stress. Before administering these foods to your dog, it is advisable to have him examined by a veterinarian, especially if you fear the onset of stomach or kidney problems. If the dog has kidney dysfunction, a dietary food such as "Hill's canine K/D" is indicated. According to those who have tried it with their four-legged friend, this food helps to recover full kidney function in a short time, and is very effective. If the dog is not very energetic and dynamic and shows obvious signs of tiredness, it could be a period of "nutritional stress", which occurs when the animal's body is unable to assimilate the nutrients it needs from food. In these cases it is useful to purchase a specific dog food, such as "High Calorie Formula". Many veterinarians recommend it, for example, in post-surgical treatments, to help the dog recover lost physical energy. A few doses of this food are enough, as it is very rich in calories. The ideal would be to divide it into three daily meals. Here is the list of ingredients contained: chicken meal, chicken, fish meal, potassium chloride, beet pulp, chicken grain, DL-methionine, fish oil. The only problem: it's not always easy to find! Then there are the "Eukanuba Veterinary Diets" products specific for each type of problem. There is the "Intestinal" package suitable for treating intestinal disorders; "Renal Formula" in the form of kibbles for specific treatments for kidney dysfunction; "Dermatosis FP Formula", and others. Obviously these specific product lines are recommended by the vet, it is not advisable to administer them without his supervision. On the other hand, we men, when we have a health disorder, resort to specific medicine to cure ourselves. Why shouldn't it be the same for four-legged friends?
Tips for proper nutrition
Water is the first element that must never be missing, whatever the diet followed by the dog. Never forget to fill the bowl with water, especially during the summer months, when the heat forces the dog to drink more than usual. If you bring your dog to the beach, always be careful to create a small corner for him to relax in, with his towel and bowl. Dehydration is very dangerous for dogs, above a certain level (12-15%) it can be lethal. Energy is typically provided by lipids, proteins and carbohydrates contained in foods. In certain circumstances, such as prolonged inactivity, pregnancy, particular climatic conditions, prolonged physical exercise, energy needs may increase. In such cases, as happens to us men, it would be useful to take specific supplements. Generally, dogs' appetite tends to decrease in summer, and it is precisely in the hottest periods that their diet should be reviewed and corrected. The general rule is to reduce protein intake, in order to also favor the metabolic and digestive process. Some believe that the dog is an omnivorous animal, rather than a carnivorous one. For this reason, the dog can follow a vegetarian diet without any problem, completely eliminating meat, which in the long run can create serious problems due to the large quantity of "purines" contained. As proof of this, many veterinarians recommend feeding your dog dry food rather than wet meat-based food. A vegetarian diet ensures the nutritional requirements that the animal needs, without any protein deficiency. Avoid refined pasta and bread, because they have a high glycemic index; whole grains and legumes are fine (but without excess). The vegetable croquettes are excellent, which dogs are fond of, and which are not tested on animals.
Some sites about four-legged friends
Are you looking for some advice to help your friend grow healthy and fit? The web can give you a hand in this, through some sites entirely dedicated to four-legged friends, with advice and suggestions regarding the world of dogs, and beyond. A very interesting site (which contains advice on how to feed your dog) is Tuttocani.it , the portal dedicated to dogs and owners, with a series of "tips" on how to get to know each other better and coexist easily. By following this link you can read advice on nutrition, written by those who know about dogs! Another colorful and fun site about the world of dogs is dallapartedelcane.it . Here you can find absolutely everything: announcements and appeals regarding dogs, articles on how to train a puppy, instructions on how to raise and feed it, etc. Browsing the web, we also found Zampette.it , the "Abruzzo site of Italian animal rights activists", a complete and professional site, where you can find various advice on how to raise your four-legged friends, making them grow strong and healthy. For every doubt and request for clarification on the site there is a direct line to Dr. Cristiana Graziani. Another site worth mentioning for all those who have a dog or want one is Cani.com . The information on dogs ranges at 360°, there are also tips on how to get dogs to get the right "tan", and the necessary precautions to take during the summer months. Inside the site there are articles on nutrition, including the most suitable one for dogs "athlete" dogs. A point of reference for all dog lovers is Cinomania.net . Here you will find information on breeds and the various classifications, health, curiosities about breeding and mating. In short, it is the right site for those who have a passion for for dogs, or a profession that concerns them.
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