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Best Dog Food Advice For Pet Owners

Best Cat Food Advice For Pet Owners

When we think about dog food, it’s easy to picture some grim-looking processed meat and a bowl of generic kibble. However, with time has come a lot of advancement in dietary science and this is equally true for canines. Here we’ll walk you through everything you need to know on basic foods, foods you can and can’t share, fostering wellness, age-specific foods and treats.

Luckily, this industry is well regulated in Canada. All pet food must follow PFAC (Pet Food Association of Canada) guidelines on weight, naming conventions, ingredients, instructions, quantity, nutritional adequacy and/or intended life stage. There are also plenty of online dog food reviews as Canadians are passionate about pet care.

Feed Based on Nutrition 

There are many different dog food brands to choose from and you may feel overwhelmed with choice. Thankfully, in Canada, dog food is well regulated, so many opt to buy local canadian dog food brands.

Sourcing local, organic and healthy food is a staple of living in Vancouver, and this attitude extends to dog food. Some of the best dog food brands in Canada include Royal Canine, Smack from Manitoba, Horizon from Saskatchewan, Orijen and Acana from Alberta, and GO! Solutions from Ontario.

As not everyone is an expert in doggy nutrition, the labels should make it clear if a type of food is complete: good for daily feeds, supplementary: fulfilling a specific need, or a treat: occasional.

Feed Based on Age

All dog food in Canada must have a recommended life stage for consumption clearly marked on the packaging. Make sure to choose the right food for your dog’s age range.

Feed Based on Breed

Your vet or some thorough online research should be able to advise you on how much to feed your dog by its breed.

For example, little dogs require a small serving while a Great Dane pup will need enough food to grow large but not so much that it grows too fast and damages its joints. Do the research and find the balance as over or underfeeding your dog can lead to all sorts of health concerns.

Healthy Food for Dogs

There are a lot of different foods available to help maintain your pet’s health. There are different food combinations you can use to keep your pets in shape. And as your doctor might put you on a specific diet due to a deficiency or to combat a specific illness, you can do the same for your pet.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Weight

While a little puppy fat isn’t a concern while they’re growing, if your dog remains on the heavy side when grown up, you may have to adjust his or her diet. Just like us, doggy metabolisms aren’t universal even in the same breed, so keep an eye on their weight to see if they’re taking in too many or too few calories.

Storing Dog Food

Always store pet food in its original packaging. Dog food packaging is designed to keep it fresh for longer, stop pests getting in and reduce contamination from the elements. You can also refer back to serving sizes, ingredients and use by dates on the packaging.

Foods you can share with your dog

Some committed dog owners try to cook all of their dog’s meals and balance their nutrition. Sometimes this is biting off more than they can chew.

It’s very expensive, time-consuming and complicated to balance all of a dog’s dietary needs. Consider this carefully before committing to a homecooked nutrition plan for your pooch. An alternative middle ground for many Canadians is buying more natural and raw dog foods.

The majority of dog owners use tested pet food from good retailers. As an occasional treat or as a side dish, here are a few foods that are okay to share with your dog. Remember not to share from your plate, as this promotes begging.

Peanuts and Peanut Butter

You can put a bit of peanut butter in with a dog’s food or on a chew. Organic is better as the regular stuff has a lot of added sugar and additives. If you give your dog some peanuts, make sure they’re unsalted. Plain is much better and even then as a small treat.

Hot dogs

This will also appear in our avoid list, but once or twice a year you can treat your pal to a sliced-up hotdog. Despite the name, they’re not good for doggy digestive systems. Whether you should eat them might be worth questioning too.

Whole Grain Bread and Bagels

Just a little bit of bread is okay for your dog; think a tear from your sandwich rather than a slice. They can’t have cinnamon or raw dough.

Popcorn

Some popcorn is okay on movie night if it’s not salted or buttered.

Cheese

Cheese is okay to share with your pooch in moderation. We don’t recommend giving them a block of cheddar for a meal, but if they give you the eye while you’re prepping a sandwich, it’s okay to cut them a slice.

Lean meats

As with people, leaner meat is always better to give to a dog. Lean ground meat, steak and skinless, boneless chicken or turkey are all fine.

Fruit

Fruits can be shared with dogs in small quantities. Too much fruit can give them an upset stomach and always avoid raisins and grapes. Don’t let them eat pits from plums or peaches, only the flesh. Pumpkins seem particularly popular among pooches.

Salmon and Tuna

These fish are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, which are very good for dogs and reduce inflammation. No sushi for pups though, these have to be cooked well-done before being given to them.

Pasta and rice

These are okay for dogs if they are properly cooked, good quality and aren’t in a rich sauce. No carbonara for the canines.

Yogurt and Milk

It’s okay for dogs to have a little of these if you know the signs of lactose intolerance. Look them up if your dog keeps eyeing that Greek yogurt. Only plain yogurt though – avoid added sugar and sweeteners.

Foods You Shouldn’t Share With Your Dog

Here are a few key foods that you should rarely or never give to your dog.

Avocados

Avocados contain a toxin called persin, which sits okay with us but not with dogs. It can upset their stomachs and even cause heart damage.

Hot dogs

Hot Dogs are made of extremely processed meat, full of salt and preservatives that are too much for a dog’s digestive system. Limit these to a treat if you have an extra for the dog at a BBQ once or twice a year.

Little dog and food toxic to him
Keep Your Dog Away From These Foods!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also check these Top tips for summer safety of your Pets

Raw meat

The FDA, CDC, and likely your local vet would advise against giving your dog raw meat. They can digest raw meat, but there’s a health risk due to bacteria. Don’t risk the vet bills, if you feel like treating them, cut them off a lean piece of your steak after it’s cooked.

Grapes and raisins

These fruits contain a lot of concentrated sugar so are bad for a dog’s blood sugar levels.

Chocolate and sweets

This one’s obvious, but chocolate and sweets are really not for dogs and can be fatal.

Almonds and Macadamia Nuts

If you think your boy’s cultured palette extends to these nuts, too bad, they’re a major no. Macadamia nuts are actually poisonous to dogs.

Bones

Dogs chewing bones might seem like the most natural thing in the world, but they’re actually quite harmful. Dogs don’t know when to stop, so bone splinters can injure their mouths, catch in their throats and damage their stomachs. Only give dogs bone products that have been approved for them to eat.

Emergency Dog Food

As we’ve all learned recently, sometimes events beyond our control can move quickly and we’re left without the essentials we need to get by. In case of an emergency, you should have a certain amount of pet food set aside. This isn’t doomsday prepping, it’s just a wise precaution. It also doesn’t hurt to have some extra chow in the house on those days when you’ve forgotten to go to the store and it’s getting late.

The simplest solution is to buy a few cans of dog food. They last for a year or two and keep out unwanted diners like bugs and mice. Keep them in a cool, dark space but don’t forget them – you’ll have to replace them periodically. Maybe set a reminder ahead on your phone to a few months before they go out of date, so nothing goes to waste.

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