Balanced diet for your dog

Balanced diet for your dog

A balanced diet for your dog helps it stay healthy, strong and happy. Designing a balanced diet for dogs will depend on many factors such as age, breed, size, physical activity, pre-existing conditions and lifestyle of the animal. We tell you all about their nutritional needs and preferred food types.

Balanced diet for your dog

Proper nutrition helps maintain your pet’s health and prepares it to face day-to-day activities. Among other things, dogs need:

– Sufficient hydration

The recommendation is to drink 60 milliliters of water for each kilogram of body weight. If your puppy weighs approximately sixteen kilos, consuming a little more than one liter of water a day will be fine. This ratio increases in the case of puppies, lactating bitches, very active dogs or hot climates.

– Balanced diet

The ideal diet should contain a combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals; all this in the right proportions to cover the nutritional needs of the dog according to its breed, size and age.

– Measured quantities

Measuring and weighing food is a convenient way to take care of your furry friend’s health, as it will help you avoid obesity and other complications.

  • Up to four months of age, puppies have a faster metabolism and a higher energy expenditure. In this phase, the suggestion is to consume about 10% of your weight in food.
  • After four months of age, the animal’s metabolism begins to decline and its caloric expenditure decreases. Therefore, intake should be reduced to 8%.
  • At twelve months, the dog will have reached adulthood. Here, food intake should be reduced to 3 % of its weight in kilograms.

– Timely transitions

The caloric and nutritional requirements of dogs vary during their development. For example, pregnant or lactating bitches need extra calories. All the details matter when it comes to establishing when to make a dietary change.

Balanced diet for your dog

How do you know your pet needs a change in diet?

There are clear signs in your dog’s appearance and behavior that may indicate it’s time to change the type of food he eats. What should you pay attention to?

  • Obesity or overweight.
  • A dull, lackluster coat.
  • Inactivity or a low energy level.
  • Digestive system problems, such as flatulence or diarrhea.


How to modify your dog’s diet?

It is important that the process is done in one week to avoid digestive alterations. Substitute a small portion of the food gradually. You can start with a proportion of 25% and, after a couple of days, increase to 50%. At the end of the week, your puppy’s bowl should contain only the new food.

Balanced diet for your dog

Types of dog food

There is a whole universe of dog foods, from feeds and pates to bulk foods. How are they similar and how do they differ?

– Commercial foods

Although it is the easiest way to implement a balanced diet, it will not always be the most economical, especially when we are talking about the premium varieties of well-known commercial brands.

In the market you will find a wide range of presentations of dry food  or wet food with different types of proteins, such as chicken, salmon or lamb. These products have been created with the different stages of the animal’s growth, certain diseases and nutritional deficiencies in mind.

– Dry Food

It is a dry, balanced and crunchy food. It contains meat or fish protein, fats, fruits, vegetables, cereals, omega 3, omega 6, vitamins, calcium, etc. In general, dog food includes all the necessary elements to cover the nutritional needs of our furry friends.

The quality of the raw material used in the preparation of the feed varies at commercial level. There are from premium feeds to generic bulk feeds.

– Wet food, pâté or canned foods

Foods with a high caloric content and a good proportion of proteins and fats. They usually have a very pleasant taste and a smooth texture. They have become a favorite among dogs for a reason. As they are easily digested, they are also suitable for puppies with gastrointestinal diseases.

The quality of the wet food may vary to meet specific pet requirements:

  • High in animal protein (60 %): ideal for puppies or adult dogs with dental problems.
  • High in carbohydrates (50%): ideal for weak dogs under ten years of age. Contains rice, peas and other vegetable ingredients.
  • High in fat (50% lipid content): for adult dogs with high levels of physical activity and high energy expenditure.
  • Balanced (40-30-30): meets the ideal amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that dogs need.
  • Low in fat: ideal to keep the dog’s gastrointestinal health intact. It is also recommended in cases of obesity.

– Natural foods

The natural diet is based on the preparation of raw foods. We are talking about a mixture of meat or fish, bones, offal, fruits, eggs, nuts, cereals and uncooked vegetables.

This type of food is known as the BARF Diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). In itself, it seeks to avoid the degradation by heat of the vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes naturally contained in food.

If you decide to opt for natural foods, you should:

  • Choose fresh meats.
  • Take care of hygiene to avoid contamination.
  • Consult your veterinarian to help you calculate the right proportions.

– Homemade food

More than leftovers, it focuses on preparing food suitable for your dog’s diet. The idea is to ensure that your pet receives the amount of calories and the proportions of nutrients it needs.

As you can see, there are many ways to achieve a balanced and adequate diet for your four-legged friend. The important thing, more than the type of food, is that its nutrients cover its daily needs.


Balanced diet for your dog.

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