Does Your Dog's Diet Need Supplementing?

by Owen Jones

It is as vital for your dog to eat a healthy, balanced diet as it is for you. Decent dog foods, normally the more expensive ones, are formulated to provide your dog with everything it needs in its food, but feeding the same stuff every day may lead to deficiencies of some vitamins and nutrients.

It is worth looking at the ingredients on the label of your dog food and comparing it to what your dog ought to be getting. This takes a little elementary maths but is not a problem. Look on the Internet to find out what a dog such as yours should be eating for its size, weight, age and degree of activity and write it down in a column.

Then, read off what is in the dog food, multiply that by the amount you give your dog and write that in a different column opposite the names of the vitamins you have already written down. The ingredients will probably be per 100 grams, so if you give your dog 500 grams a day, you multiply the numbers by five.

How do the two lists compare? If you dog is getting all it requires and more, then all well and good, but otherwise you will have to augment your dog's diet with the deficit.

Let's say that your dog's existing diet is a little short of vitamins A and D. Look up these vitamins on the Internet by typing into Google: 'foods that contain vitamin A and D'.

You might have to type the vitamins in one at a time, but you will find a list of foodstuffs that will provide vitamins A and D. In this case, an egg will be the easiest way of offering the extra vitamins.

Serve it boiled or simply stir it into his food. Dogs love eggs so that will not be difficult Then you have to find out how many eggs you have to give a week.

You will find that you can provide almost any vitamins and nutrients you need to give in the various fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts you can buy in the market.

Dogs would obtain a wide variety of these from the stomach contents of its prey in the wild, so if you have to provide them, liquidize them in a food processor and stir them into the dog's standard food. Raw is best, but the grains may have to be steeped in water over night.

There are some very common foodstuffs that are poisonous to dogs, so you will need to cross-check this before attempting DIY food supplementation. Foodstuffs such as raisins, grapes and chocolate are examples of things that are poisonous to dogs, but there are a couple of others too. Print a list off the Internet and pin it up on the inside of the door of the pet food cupboard.

If this sounds like too much work, you could simply discuss the matter with your vet and he or she will be able to recommend an easier answer to your worries.

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