Mealtime for your dog

March 7, 2010


Mealtime

Food:
A bargain brand dog food may not be the healthiest choice, so it can cost you more down the line. Look for a food that uses higher quality ingredients and contains fewer byproducts and preservatives that can trigger food allergies. Ask about your adopted dog\'s previous feeding schedule and food. When you change dog foods, change over gradually, as dogs thrive on a consistent diet.

Feeding dry food helps keep teeth cleaner. For extra nutrients, supplement the daily diet with some fresh vegetables such as green beans and baby carrots and low-fat plain yogurt - dogs love them! But don\'t feed a dog table scraps, which typically leads to begging, weight problems and indigestion. If a vet prescribes a special diet, follow that advice.

Feeding plain rice can help a dog get through a digestive problem. If your dog is on antibiotics, add plain yogurt to his food to help replace the good bacteria in his system.

There\'s no free lunch. Don\'t let a dog grab food. Before feeding, giving treats or petting, give a command (such as "sit") for your dog to practice.


Feeding schedule & tips:
Make sure your dog has free access to clean, fresh water.

Filtered water can offer health benefits to dogs as well as people. Sometimes dogs can be sensitive to something in your local tap water. In many cases, allergic symptoms will abate when a switch is made to filtered or bottled water.


Free feeding can lead to housetraining accidents and spoiled food, so it may be best to feed at scheduled times. Young puppies are usually fed three times a day; older puppies and adult dogs twice a day. If the dog\'s a picky eater, remove the food bowl after 15 minutes and don\'t try again until the next feeding time. Feed other animals away from the new dog to prevent fights.

Your new dog may not be interested in eating the first day, but just try again at the next feeding time.

For health reasons, use stainless steel or porcelain bowls without painted surfaces. Plastic bowls are a breeding ground for germs. Wash food and water bowls between feedings.

Frozen green beans are a great healthy treat - low calorie, too! Being frozen adds to the chewing satisfaction.

 

Positive reinforcement: It is much better to teach your pet that he is a "good boy" or "good girl" for going potty outside, rather than teach him he is "bad" for going inside.