Most of us want the best for our furry friends. Unfortunately, many of us end up harming our dog through unintentional bad feeding habits. Below are just a few mistakes to avoid when feeding your dog in order to keep your pooch happy and healthy.
Here are 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Feeding Your Dog
Not washing their bowl
It’s very important to wash your dog’s bowl. If food and water bowls are not thoroughly cleaned, bacteria can start to build up on them, which will make your dog sick.
Get into a habit of always cleaning your dog’s bowls before giving them new food or water. Stainless steel bowls tend to be the best choice as they’re light and easy to clean.
Opting for cheap unhealthy brands
Some dog food brands are not made from the healthiest ingredients. While there are no laws preventing them from being sold, you should avoid allowing your dog to live off these foods. Many of these foods are like junk food for dogs in that they contain very little nutritional value. There are dog foods out there made from ingredients fit for human consumption, as this NomNom dog food review shows, that are far better for your dog in the long run. Consider choosing these types of dog foods.
Feeding your dog unhealthy human foods
While there are many human foods that dogs can eat, there are also many foods that dogs should not eat. Onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate, macadamia nuts and avocado all contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Other foods like dairy are not toxic, but will likely give your dog digestive issues. Meanwhile, junk food leftovers can be fattening for your dog. All in all, you should be careful as to what you feed your dogs.
Try not to get into the habit of feeding your dog leftovers after every meal – especially when it comes to processed meals, which may contain ingredients that you’re unaware of. If you want to treat your dog, it’s better to stick to treats that are specifically produced for dogs.
Leaving food outdoors
You should avoid leaving food and water bowls outside for long periods. Such food may attract insects like flies that may lay their eggs in them. The food is also likely to be exposed to more fungus and bacteria while outside. All of this could make your dog ill if it consumed this contaminated food.
Try to keep bowls indoors for this reason or find a way to cover up food so that it cannot be so easily contaminated.
Not checking expiry dates
Many of us bulk buy dog food like kibble to save money. However, you need to be sure that this food is getting eaten before it expires. Just like human foods, dog food that expires can lose nutritional value and become susceptible to mold and bacteria. Your dog could get sick if they continue to eat expired food, so keep an eye on expiry dates. You should also think twice before buying in bulk if you don’t think your dog is going to eat all that food before the expiry date.
Overfeeding your dog
This one is obvious, but many of us are guilty of it. Dogs need to stay within a strict amount of calories. If they eat too many calories, they won’t be able to burn it off and they will gain weight. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to health problems like heart disease, arthritis and diabetes if they get overweight.
Watch your dog’s food intake by looking up the recommended calorie count for their breed and staying within this. It’s also worth regularly weighing your dog to see if they are a healthy weight. A vet will usually be able to tell you if your dog’s weight is healthy.
Not taking measures against bloat
Bloat is a condition that doesn’t affect all breeds. Large deep-chested dogs like Great Danes, German shepherds and Boxers are most at risk. Bloat occurs when dogs try to eat too quickly from a bowl that is too low, causing gastric dilation from gas and fluid. This causes a bloated belly along with other visible signs of discomfort such as pacing around and possibly trying to vomit.
To prevent bloat, consider buying maze bowls that prevent your dog from eating their food too quickly, and consider putting these on a stool or step so that they are raised. You should also try to avoid feeding your dogs very large portions at once if they have a tendency to scoff it all down.