Your Dog’s Digestive Health is Directly Related to its Diet
Your dog’s diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining its digestive and overall health. A balanced and healthy diet will result in an energetic, playful, and longer-living canine.
What Makes a Good Diet
A healthy diet for a dog is similar to a healthy diet for a human. Your pup needs a balance of carbs, proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins. Taurine DCM warns that just because a dog food claims to be healthy doesn’t mean that it’s actually good for your pet. The ingredients that are good for you and that you’re familiar with aren’t necessarily good for a dog to eat.
Read the ingredients in your dog’s kibble, and think about what is going on in your canine friend’s metaphorical plate. The ideal meal for any dog is meat for protein and fats, certain vegetables for fiber and vitamins, and grains for energy. A bowl of dog food should contain those same nutrients in a more convenient form.
Signs You’re on the Right Track
Although you should always take your pet in for regular checkups, you can tell if its diet is healthy by the way it looks and acts. VitaLife says that a dog with a healthy diet will have clear eyes, a clean shiny coat, clean ears, a healthy nose without excessive dryness, and energy between periods of rest.
Your dog’s digestive system will also offer clues as to whether its diet is working. Its stool should be solid and segmented in appearance and consistent from day to day. You can use a stool chart (see below) with a scale of 1 through 7 to check the healthiness of your dog’s stool. Ironically, a #2 is the ideal, healthy dog poop. If you notice significant persistent changes in the stool, consider contacting your vet.
Another factor of a successful diet is whether your dog enjoys eating its food. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and will reject something they find unappetizing. Find a dog food which meets your pup’s nutritional needs and makes them excited for dinnertime.
Supplementing Your Dog’s Diet
A diet composed solely of processed food isn’t good for anyone, and the same is true for your canine friend. According to Whole Dog Journal, dogs’ digestive systems are intended to take raw materials like meat and vegetables and turn them into energy. Commercially prepared foods can interrupt this process and deliver less nutrition overall.
The solution may be as simple as occasionally supplementing your dog’s regular meals with a home-cooked meal instead. Lean meats, unsalted vegetables, and high-fiber grains will all result in a healthy and happy pup. Speak with your vet to find recipes that will improve your dog’s digestive system instead of harming it. Raw food diets are increasing in popularity these days. However, you’ll want to contact your vet before making the transition from kibble to raw, or even just to supplement a predominantly kibble diet.
Dogs appreciate consistency in their diets; changing their food suddenly can actually cause digestive issues. Always consult with your vet before making any major dietary changes. By feeding your pet healthy, nutrient-rich foods you will ensure an energetic, cheerful dog with a long life ahead of it which you’ll both get to enjoy!
Just remember, what goes in must come out. Feeding your dog is the fun part. Picking up where they leave off, not so much. That’s why we’re always here to help with the unpleasant side of pet ownership. Get started today!