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Raising a healthy dog requires a lot of work and a good understanding of canine care. But even first-time owners can do it successfully. A lot depends on the diet you choose for the pet. Remember that the costliest isn’t always the best when it comes to a canine diet. You can devise a simple program with a mix of branded food and home-cooked meals to deliver the best nutrition. At the same time, factors like timing and hygiene also matter. You can follow some diet rules to raise a healthy dog. Here are the ones that keep your pet’s health on track.

Focus on Nutrients

A balanced canine diet is all about the right nutrients, just like it is for humans. You may opt for a meat-based or plant-based diet, but ensure it is nutritionally adequate. The nutritional value of food is more important than the ingredients you feed to your canine companion. Check the labels of ready-made variants and research the nutritional profile online if choosing home-cooked foods. You can seek advice from your vet as well. 

Never Take a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

The worst thing you can do with a canine diet is to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Some dogs thrive on a plant-based diet, while others do well with meat-based diets. You cannot just follow what a friend or colleague feeds their pet. Take a personalized approach considering factors such as the breed, weight, activity level, health condition, and food allergies of your pet. Watch out for telltale signs that a specific food is not working for your pet and avoid it completely. 

Skip Processed Foods

Processed foods are bad for dogs, just as they are for people. Excess salt and preservatives can increase the shelf life of such foods, but they harm animals. They can increase inflammation and elevate the risk of conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Check your facts on dog food brands to avoid because they are high on preservatives. Ditching processed foods is a good idea. Substitute them with fresh alternatives that are high in nutrients.

Follow a Feeding Schedule

Following a feeding schedule is another diet rule every dog owner must follow. Overfeeding is not a way to show your love. It can do more harm than good and make the animal sick and obese. Create a personalized feeding schedule and stick with it. Dogs can go with bigger meals less frequently, so focus on this tip. You can take a hit-and-trial approach to find what works for your pet.

Avoid Feeding From Your Plate

You may feel tempted to feed your pet from your plate as an expression of love. At times, you may do it out of sheer laziness. But remember that the human diet isn’t right for dogs, and some foods can even be dangerous. Get your facts right with some research so that you have a fair idea of safe foods for your furry companion. Even if something sounds safe, watch out for allergies and reactions.  

Following these simple diet tips takes you a long way with raising a healthy and happy dog. Invest extra effort in hygiene while cooking and feeding, and your pet will never get sick. 

photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/RCDcigzmtII

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