We all want our pets to a long and happy life, so we follow the rules to keep them healthy; exercise, vet trips, medical attention and of course, lots of love. These things keep them in a good physical condition, but we should also pay attention to their food. We as humans often say we are what we eat, so surely this applies to our four legged friends too. Does a healthier diet help your dog live longer? For that matter, what is a healthy diet?
A big part of any healthy diet is the quantity. A study took 48 puppies and assigned them to two groups. One group, the “control”, was fed a “normal” amount, while the other group was fed 25% less of the exact same food. Both groups received medical attention and had exercise. The group that was fed 25% less lived longer, for around two years, and developed little to no diseases or conditions.
Lots of commercial dog food tends to have harmful ingredients. Many foods may also include sugar which is extremely harmful to your dog, so try to avoid it at all costs. Look at the ingredients included in your dogs food and do some research before you buy, so that you can make sure it is the quality that your buddy deserves.
For a diet to work, it must be balanced. This means it must include every nutrient needed for your pet. They need protein, which can be found in meat, not meat byproducts. Carbohydrates, although too much can cause obesity, remember balance is key. Vitamins, should be included in the food your pet consumes. Minerals, although they are not required in large numbers, they are vital. And fat - your furry friend only needs a little to keep healthy.
Last, but definitely not least, water. It is an extremely important part of your dog’s diet, and they should always have plenty available. However, be careful if your dog drinks too much water and too fast. Be sure they have water after exercising, and always keep their bowl filled with clean fresh water, in case they get thirsty.
Before reducing your pet’s calorie intake or changing their diet, we can recommend speaking to your local vet, since your dog might need a special diet or have certain special needs.
A healthier life is what we want for our pets, and the ideal diet is sure to help achieve that. On top of this they need exercise, the normal preventions (vaccines, check ups, etc), and medical attention when it’s needed. And no matter what give them all your love :)