The old adage – “you are what you eat” applies to our canine friends as well. Choosing a well-balanced nutritional diet for your dog is very important, not only for the correct growth of puppies, but as it can also alter their mood and behaviour.
The required protein levels for puppies are 0 – 4 moths is 28%, 4 – 12 months is 22% and from 12 – 18 months only 18%.
Low quality protein, preservatives and artificial colourings only create potential nutritional and behavioural problems and affect their aptitude.
Following the correct daily allowance for the age and breed of dog is vital to prevent obesity, lethargy and the animal becoming unresponsive.
Remember if you own a working dog like a Husky, German shepherd or Collie and they only have one walk a day, they do not need a working dog diet, all that extra unburnt energy the food provides could give rise to bad behaviour. The diet you choose fpr your dog can be a complete dry (meaning nothing needs to be added), raw or home-made.
A supply of fresh water should also always be available. Chewing problems in dogs can be relieved by giving a Kong toy filled with frozen Yoghurt inside or a sterilised bone, providing this is suitable for their age. This offers the dog a natural behaviour outlet for them, which can also relieve stress.
Special diets, by a Canine Nutritionist, for food intolerances to certain ingredients can help with allergies, as well as diet manipulation to alter some aggression, over reactivity, separation problems or hyperactivity responses displayed by your pet.
Finally treats, we all like to spoil our furry friends, we all like to give our dogs little extras. However, please read their contents for high protein levels, colourings, artificial flavourings and derivatives – avoid these at all costs.
Good alternatives are sweet potato treats, small amounts of apple and pear or a whole raw carrot.
Helen Maddison DIP. CABT (QCF) and Dog Trainer