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Your Dog's Nutrition

Feb 19, 2008
Choosing your dog's food is an important decision. It's the difference between a healthy, happy canine and an itchy, flatulent, miserable one. There's a huge distinction between living on preservatives & dog food fillers and feeding your dog the best food available for their complete dietary needs.

You want the best for your dog. You certainly want your canine family member to look good and feel good. When you see them smile, it's a joy beyond words. Good nutrition is a basic place to start. Let's face it; you want your dog around as long as possible. They're an integral part of your life. A family member for sure.

Your dog's nutrition can also help prevent some annoyances such as itchy, flakey skin, hair loss, anal gland problems and more. If your dog has allergies, is overweight, underweight, a senior, has kidney problems or is just finicky, there's a food especially for them.

Finding the perfect dog food can be challenging and is not for the weak of heart. It may take some time and require many experiments, but your dog is worth it.

Be patient. Be diligent. Do some research

Once you decide to change your dog's food, do it slowly. Spread it out over a full week. If you change too quickly it's really tough on their sensitive digestive system & your dog will probably have diarrhea or at the least extremely loose stools. This can be sudden & very messy.

The following method seems to work well for dogs when changing their regular diet.

Day 1: 90% Old Food, 10% New Food.
Day 2: 80% Old Food, 20% New Food.
Day 3: 60% Old Food, 40% New Food.
Day 4: 50% Old Food, 50% New Food.
Day 5: 40% Old Food, 60% New Food.
Day 6: 20% Old Food, 80% New Food.
Day 7: 100% New Food.

You may notice a difference in only 3 days or it may take 3 months to know if the new dog food is the one for your unique dog. I suggest giving new food at least 4-6 months before moving on. You'll know by your dog's coat, their eyes, breath, & yes, poop. Are your dog's eyes shiny & clear? Is their coat soft & supple or coarse and dry? Is their skin flakey? Does your dog still need a tic tac? (Note: bad breath can also be a symptom of dental or other health related issues that require treatment).

For the sensitive or allergy prone dog, it's a good idea to not give any treats during this trial period. You want to isolate the allergy triggers and treats can throw this off. When you do introduce treats, do something natural like carrots.

When you do introduce the carrot treat, be aware of your dog's behavior after getting it. Are they scratching more? Was there a dramatic mood shift?

Some reactions are an itchy pup, behavioral changes, they quickly fall asleep, or become super energized. Keep a log of the treats given and if there was a reaction of any kind.

I feed my dogs "Blue Buffalo". This is one of the best holistic dog foods available today. It costs slightly more than other brands, but the rewards are completely worth it. My dog's coats are shiny & soft. Their eyes are clear. They have energy and also sleep very well at night.

In good conscious, I can only recommend the following dog foods: "APD Select Choice, Blue Buffalo Company, Canidae for Dogs, Fromm Family, Halo, Purely for Pets, Holistic Blend, Natura, Newman's Own Organics, & Wellness". Any one of these foods is a fantastic healthy choice for you & your canine family member.

As always, consult with your Veterinarian or Veterinary Technician if you have questions or concerns. Whatever you decide, be sure it's the best you can give your dog.
About the Author
Miss Rae has been a poet & writer since college at UW, class of 1996. Visit her site for all your dog's needs from training programs & nutrition to choosing a vet & books galore. Visit Good Poopy.com.
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