One of the biggest questions vets get asked constantly by new dog owners is “What should I feed my puppy?”
Some of the information out there varies, but there are lots of points of mutual agreement.
For example, chocolate is to be avoided at all costs.
No matter how much your pup loves that sugary scent, keep them away because chocolate is actually poisonous to them.
However, the process through which your dog can actually get the proper nutrients through food and not unnecessary additional supplements can be a bit confusing.
Here’s some advice that can help point you in the right direction.
Cooked vs. Raw Food
This is a good segue into the debate about whether or not dogs can safely consume cooked or raw food.
Most people would say that raw food is best for dogs since that is the manner in which they have eaten for thousands and thousands of years before things became mass-produced.
Indeed, raw dog food in Australia is typically seen to be one of the best sources of nutrition and energy for dogs the world over, given its exceptional quality.
At the same time, dogs have adapted themselves to the food made available to them via humans for time immemorial, so cooked food won’t put them in dire straits at all.
Just be mindful of quality. Also, if you have immunocompromised people at home, then also exercise caution around raw food, and make sure that it is kept in a safe place specifically for your pet.
The Truth About Carbs
One startling common misconception is that dogs can’t digest carbs.
While it is true that dogs get most of their nutrients through proteins and fats, they still have energy needs that can only be fulfilled through proper carb intake.
Although their primary source of energy is derived from proteins and fats, they still need a certain amount of carbs in order to reach their full energy capacity.
A dog’s digestive system is capable of producing enzymes that are specifically made for breaking down starches and sugars, so there’s no reason to panic when you find these ingredients on the back of a dog food can.
The main thing to be mindful of on that front is that complex carbs such as grains can’t be eaten by dogs unless they’ve been cooked – the same basically applies to humans.
Shopping for Good Food
The general rule of thumb is that you should try to buy high-quality food – luckily, you’re bound to find something within your budget given the numerous options available on the market.
Also, take a look at the nutrition label; make sure that your pet will get the required 27% of protein, and be on the lookout for the names of recognizable food items.
If you are finding lots of things you can’t pronounce, then it’s best to avoid them.
There are too many formulas available on the market these days, which only adds to the confusion.
People want to make sure that they feed their pets well, but that can be a tall order given the different options out there.
The general rule of thumb is to stick to healthy, whole ingredients, and check in periodically with your veterinarian.