In this blog post, Dr. A. Swaminathan, a Veterinary Assistant Surgeon, Veterinary Public Health Centre, Chennai, answers pet owners’ queries on a complete and balanced diet for dogs.
1. What is a complete and balanced diet for dogs?
Answer: Similar to humans, pets too need a balanced diet that contains the right amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals to ensure that they stay healthy.
These nutrients have to be present in the correct amounts in their food, and such a diet will provide complete and balanced nutrition to your pet. Packaged pet foods are considered complete and balanced.
2. What is the frequency and quantity to be fed to dogs?
Answer: A dog’s diet varies significantly based on breed, activity level, life stage, environment, and body condition. Puppies need small, frequent feeds.
Toy-breed puppies (such as Chihuahua, Miniature Pomeranian, Miniature Poodle, and Miniature Pinscher) require 4 to 6 meals; medium-breed puppies (such as Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, and French Bulldog) require 3 meals; and large-breed puppies (such as Labrador, German Shepherd, Doberman, and Golden Retriever) require 3 to 4 meals a day. Adult dogs require only 2 meals a day.
The feeding recommendations are usually printed on pet food packs. These recommendations are an estimate of a pet’s nutritional needs. Treats should be 10% of the daily diet.
3. When is the right time to change from puppy to adult food for dogs?
Answer: Dogs that are less than 1 year old are considered puppies and must be fed puppy food during that period. Some of the indicators to change from puppy to adult dog food are size, breed, and age.
Both small- and medium-breed puppies are considered adults at around 1 year of age. Toy breeds are an exception and are considered adults at 9 months of age.
Large- or giant-breed puppies take a little longer to reach maturity and should be switched to adult dog food anywhere between 18 and 24 months of age.
4. What is the best way to change a pet dog’s diet?
Answer: A gradual transition is recommended. This process takes about a week. Begin by introducing a small portion of the new diet along with the old diet; then, gradually alter the ratio of the new diet to the old diet.
In the beginning, work with a ratio of 25:75. After 4 days, increase it to 50:50, and after 6 days to 75:25. Finally, after 7 or 8 days, move to the new diet completely.
It is a good idea to keep a regular feeding routine; ensure that the mealtime and eating area are not changed during the transition.
5. What is the difference between dry dog food and wet dog food?
Answer: Pet foods are available in different shapes, sizes, and textures. It can be confusing to decide whether to feed your pet wet food, dry food, or both.
Dry food contains up to 11% water, which is added to the mixture of ingredients. Wet food contains between 70% and 85% water, which is mixed with the dry ingredients, and is available in cans, pouches, or trays.
Wet food contains higher amounts of protein and fat than dry food, and is often perceived tastier by the pet. For pets who are fussy eaters, wet food might be more appealing and encouraging to eat.
Wet food can be warmed gently to body temperature to increase its aroma. Dry food is more convenient to feed. Also, dry food helps keep the dog’s teeth cleaner; when the dog chews on crunchy kibbles, the food particles create a scraping effect on the teeth.
For older pets, moist or semi-moist food is easier to eat.
6. Which pet food should I choose for my dog?
Answer: Choose complete and balanced nutrition, with the goodness of herbs, that will make your pet healthy and happy.
Healthy PET food, from Himalaya Wellness Company, offers complete and balanced nutrition for puppies and adult dogs. It has a blend of more than 20 nutrients that make it a perfectly balanced food.
The Healthy PET food for puppies has Oats to promote skin health, Papaya to improve digestion, and Black Pepper to boost the immune system.
The Healthy PET food for adult dogs has Gulancha Tinospora to support immunity and regulate glucose levels; Tree of Heaven to improve liver function and support metabolism, and Popala to support kidney function.
With the benefits of these herbs, Himalaya’s Healthy PET food is the right choice for fulfilling the nutritional requirements of your pet dog.
Source: All About Pets. Is Your Pet Dog's Diet Nutritious and Complete?. 2021;1(2):9.
Check out the Pet Care section for more posts on pets' health, diet, and so on.
Explore the Himalaya Wellness blog for more useful articles.