Dogs are carnivores, omnivores and scavengers by nature. Nutrition is a too huge a subject to cover here suffice to say we are expecting a lot from any single product to be able to fed alone daily and still provide all known nutrients and also those non essential but beneficial agents which prevent cancer, boost immunity and help keep teeth clean. All dogs benefit from having some raw chewy meaty bones or cartilage regularly (2-3 weekly) in the diet to clean teeth and exercise the jaw, alleviate boredom and unwanted chewing of furniture. Chicken wings and necks or rootails are suitable for pups and smaller breeds. For larger breeds try pigs trotters, knuckles, shank bones etc.
It is also worth including some phytonutrient rich dark coloured vegetables like carrot, broccoli, peas, beans, corn, capsicum or sprouted beans/seeds. Fruit like apple, orange, banana, pears or berries are also good. Avoid onion, garlic or chocolate as they may be toxic to dogs. Cereals like weetbix have little place in dog diets and are used as cheap fillers in poorer quality foods. Cereals also interfere with zinc or calcium uptake and frequent causes of food allergies. When selecting a quality food for pups, features to look for are :
- Primarily meat not plant protein and meat not derivatives
- Some (proven) dental benefit properties
- Good fatty acid (omega 3) and DHA profile
- Gut health promoters (prebiotics)
- Joint health formulas for rapid growing breeds.
We think Eukanuba and Iams dry food best cater for these and represent best overall value. Of the frozen foods, Dr Billinghursts “BARF” (Bones And Raw Food) diet is a good raw (frozen) wholefood diet and also good as a treat.
Growing puppies are like adolescents and should be lean not flabby. They will fill into their lanky frame at around 18-24 months. Flappy pups have quadrupled incidence of hip dysplasias and other joint cartilage diseases. If the growing pup is already overweight before maturity and neutering have occurred it will only get worse as adults……..
Ask the Vet or Nurse for help if you are unsure about correct weights.