WHEN feeding your pooch, do you give in to their puppy dog eyes and give them a little more?
Well, you could be doing more harm than good.
These common mistakes, collected by Vet Street, are often seen by most dog owners, but which one are you most guilty of?
Over half of dogs in the USA are overweight or obese so make sure to take note and make a change today, for your pet's sake.
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You leave your dog's food out all day
Leaving your dogs dry food in a bowl and letting your canine eat it whenever he wants, then filling his bowl when it’s empty may seem harmless, but it’s actually a potentially dangerous problem.
Dogs are natural scavengers, which means they are hardwired to eat all that they can in as short as time possible.
'America’s Veterinarian' Dr Marty Becker says that scheduled mealtimes and food puzzles can help limit how much your dog wolfs day per meal.
You give your dog far too many treats
The clue really is in the name as treats should be reserved for a reward.
As a training treat when they respond to commands and are learning new ones.
Do watch how many you give you pup in a day as they can easily add up and if they get too used to biscuits and chews everyday, they may lose motivation to do their commands.
To cut down your dog’s treat intake, try replacing treats with other reward options like petting, games, going outside, and play.
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You don't measure your dogs food
Remember that you are in control of how much your dog eats, as you feed them.
Over filling your pets bowl to the brim or guesstimating how much they need to eat can be a risky game too.
Ask your veterinarian exactly how much food you should measure out for your dog, but also find out how many times a day is best for your dog to eat.
Then get a scoop that shows the measurement you need and use that to scoop out your dogs food at mealtimes.
You feed your dog from the dinner table
Even if you think you rarely feed your dog from the dinner table, they notice it every time and remember.
Many human foods can be toxic for dogs such as grapes, raisins, garlic and one we all know, chocolate.
If your dog begs for food whilst you are eating, train them to occupy themselves, or put them in another room.
You're not giving them the right food for their development stage and lifestyle
During different stages in their life, from puppyhood to adulthood, your dog will require different nutrition.
As your pet gets older, their nutritional needs change and a puppy’s diet is very different from a senior dog’s.
Sedentary canines that rarely exercise do not have the same nutritional needs as active or working dogs.
If in doubt, ask your veterinarian what to feed your canine as they'll be able to evaluate your pet’s weight, health and activity level to recommend the most efficient diet.
A personalised diet that suits your dogs lifestyle will have them healthier than ever.
You give them real bones
Give a dog a bone may be an old saying, but it could cause an expensive trip to the vets.
Even if you buy a bone that comes from poultry, beef, pork or fish, real bones are all dangerous for dogs.
If a dog eats a real bone, the bone can splinter and puncture their digestive tract.
A bone can also get lodged in your dog’s throat or digestive tract, causing a bloody mouth or painful tongue injuries.
Be careful if you give your dog meat or fish to remove all bones as you do not want them to swallow bones or injure their mouth.
You let them wolf down their food
Some dog breeds such as Labradors, Beagles, Bassets, Cocker Spaniels, Corgis (the Queens fave) and Pugs are far more likely to eat as quickly as possible, which can make it easier for them to gain weight rapidly.
Dogs who wolf down their food can also get uncomfortable gas and bloating, which can be potentially life-threatening.
Try to distract your dog between bites so that they take longer over their food or give them smaller but frequent portions to fill them up slower.
For more pet stories, check out I have a ‘very spoiled’ dog that I prioritize over my boyfriend – am I wrong?
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