dog thinking

   For more than 40 years, dogs have been studied for the sake of learning about human nutrition.   Consequently, scientists have also learned about the dog's nutritional needs.

   Years ago, our dogs were fed whatever we had left over from our meals and they seemed to do alright, right? But, these sometimes nutritionaly poor diets may have contributed to our dogs living a much shorter life than they would have if only we knew then what we do now.

   There are so many varieties of dog foods and supplements on the market today, it's hard to know what to choose. Of course, our veterinarian will be the expert in this area, having had the training and also the experience of their patients. They can pass on valuable information and advice unique to our particular breed of dog. But, ultimately, it is up to us to follow through.

   Reading the ingredients on the pet food containers is very important. They are listed in order of highest content. Whatever is first is the largest amount down to the last, which is the least amount. Below, is a chart of basic nutritional needs.

Vitamin A900 USP Units/lb
Vitamin D200 USP Units/lb
Vitamin E20 USP Units/lb
Thiamine.16 mg/lb
Riboflavin .4mg/lb
Niacin .5 mg/lb
Pyridoxin.2 mg/lb
Pantothenic Acid.5 mg/lb
Choline300 mg/lb
Calcium2.4 gm/lb
Phosphorus3.4 gm/lb
Sodium Chloride2 gm/lb
Magnesium.40 gm/lb
Potassium 2 gm/lb
Iron.012 gm/lb
Copper.15 mg/lb
.25 mg/lb
Manganese1 mg/lb
Zinc1 mg/lb

    If you haven't read, "Monks at New Skete", I highly recommend it. They have a unique way with dogs and a very brave feeding agenda. If you are all for "natural" methods, this is the place to start. They have a website with tons of information.

   The most repeated advice I have received through the years is to mix the dry with the canned at each feeding. I've noticed that the method of feeding is just as important as the ingredients in the bowl. Routine is key. Same times every day. Leave food out for certain amount of time, then take it up. But, make fresh water available all the time. The dry dog food makes that imperative! No solid food until next meal time - even if begging is involved. Haphazard feeding times often develops food anxiety in dogs. This is when they are always concerned with food because they never know if or when they might be fed. They tend to be begging all the time, because that's the only way they get food. Our dogs derive security and peace of mind from our consistency.

   There has been much attention given to food allergies. Our veterinarian recommends the lamb and rice, being careful to read those labels. Some have lamb and rice plus wheat, beef or the other ingredients that we are trying to get away from.

Please be sure to share your feeding experiences and ideas on the PETS MESSAGE BOARD on the PETS main page

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API: What's Really In Pet Food---an API report" .....valuable information for the consumer!
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