Food Information

Food for thought

Food is the most important factor in your dog's life. Through diet, he has to get everything his body needs: from the energy needed to keep chasing those balls to the array of nutrients that keep every part of the body going, it must all be delivered through his diet. Too much or too little of any one nutrient can quickly cause upsets and if something gets into your dog's diet that shouldn't be there, you can be sure that problems won't be far away. From weaning right through to old age, it is diet more than any other factor that will determine the quality and the length of your dog's life.
Firstly, you will need to choose which category of food you would prefer to feed: wet, dry or raw complete foods or meat (cooked or raw) and mixer. No one category is necessarily better as each includes both good and bad examples. Each type of food has its own pros and cons and the choice of which to feed is really down to which suits you best.


Complete foods

Complete foods are by far the most popular choice for dog owners, In order to be 'complete' they must contain every nutrient required by a dog in sufficient amounts to keep the dog healthy which means they can be fed alone. Complete foods can be dry, wet or raw. One of the best ways of making sure you give your dog the necessary nutrients is to feed according to ‘life stage’. This means feeding a different diet depending on whether your dog is a puppy, adult or senior dog, because dogs of different ages have different nutrient requirements. For example, puppies need more calories in their food because they are so energetic. How much food should I give my dog? Follow the packet feeding guidelines so that you know how much to feed. Weigh the food out to check you’re getting it right. Feeding the right amount of food is important because obesity is the most common nutritional problem seen by vets and causes health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.


Treats

If extra food is given, as treats, your dog must do something with the extra calories. If your dog isn’t being exercised enough, the calories will be turned into fat.
Feed as good a quality food as your budget allows, a food is high quality when it contains real meat (not by products) and does not contain corn, wheat, soy, added animal fat, food colourings or chemical preservatives, in the list of ingredients meat should be first.
Pet Food Nutrition


Tinned meat foods

There are two types of tinned meat foods - one contains cereal and is a complete diet, and one is meat only and designed to be fed in combination with biscuits. There may also be a difference in the amount of biscuits required to be fed per can so be sure to read labels carefully before feeding.


Changing Foods

It is important when changing foods to do so gradually by feeding the old food with a small amount of the new food and then over a few days decreasing the amount of old food and increasing the amount of new. This should avoid any stomach upset due to change of diet and is particularly important with puppies and young dogs.
Traditionally it has been recommended that dogs of 12 months or older should be fed just once a day, with small breeds being fed twice a day because they only eat a small amount at each mealtime. However, more recent research has shown that even large breeds of dog are better fed two or more smaller meals a day as this decreases the risk of digestive problems.


Today there is an increasing interest in a Raw food diet for dogs, this can be of benefit to dogs who suffer allergies and skin problems.
Raw food simply means raw meat, offal and bones fed as it comes in a completely natural state.
It’s recommended that a great deal of research is done into the subject before embarking on a raw diet and it is not for everyone due to the time taken in preparation and storage (a large freezer is required).
Raw Food Quick Start Guide

 

Breed Specific Legislation
Introducing A New Dog