Willee Cole | BigstockPhoto.com
The image of a dog that refuses its bowl of food is simply heartbreaking for a dog owner. We are so worried that our dog will go hungry or starve that we are capable of doing anything to make sure it eats. Also, many owners think that it is a sign of love to give the dog as much food as it wants. Besides this, let us not forget that we are tempted to spoil our dogs with a wide range of treats, out of the same reason.
Overfeeding your dog is a real danger, which will affect not just the dog’s body weight, but also its state of health. Fat dogs are more prone to getting sick, as their overweighed bodies face very many risks all the time. Their joints, heart, internal organs, they are all affected by the excess weight. So, keep your dog healthy by giving it more love and less food.
Feed the dog adequate food portions
Both the veterinarian and dog food manufacturer can make recommendations when it comes to the right amount of food your dog should eat on a daily basis. The package of every dog food assortment should present a table that can show you how much food you can give your dog, based on its current weight, age, and breed.
Just keep in mind that this is the recommendation for the daily dose, so if you want to give your dog several meals a day, you’ll have to split the amount. Don’t trust your dog’s instincts when it comes to the amount of food it will eat. Some dogs are bigger gourmands than others and they will eat more than they need if they are allowed.
Puppies, in particular, have the tendency to make food excesses. While it is true that they consume more energy than an adult dog, it doesn’t mean that you should give them as much food as they like. This can be quite dangerous and can create digestive issues, especially if you have a small puppy like the mini bernedoodle. Besides this, for a growing puppy, having a large tummy and little feet can lead to bone deformations, as they are not fully matured.
No matter how insistent your dog is beginning, stand your grounds
Many dog owners and dog lovers find it hard to resist a dog that is begging for food. Those large puppy eyes, sad face, even whining sounds, can make a lot of people cave in and offer the dog its much-desired treats. But, you need to be aware that this habit can do it more harm than good.
Feeding dogs scraps from our table, out of the desire to “spoil” it just a little, can lead to severe health problems. Bones that split into sharp pieces can get stuck in the dog’s throat or can puncture its intestines. Human food is also way too salty and spicy, so even if the dog enjoys eating it, it may end up vomiting, having diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
There are even human foods that should never be fed to a dog, as they can be toxic. Chocolate, citruses, grapes, nuts, avocado, onion, garlic, coffee, and alcohol, should never be served to a dog. Weight gain is the least of the problems you need to worry about in this case, as these foods can create toxicity problems if ingested by a dog and threaten its life.
Use praises and happy words instead of treats when training
While food is one of the biggest motivators when trying to train a dog, try not to abuse this method. You can use healthy dog treats to show the dog what is expected of it and then continue with praises. So, each time the dog listens to you, don’t give it just treats. A kind word, pet, and positive reinforcement will work just as well.
The best way to show your dog that you care is by giving it the attention and affection it needs. Trying to replace these with food will not fill the void and will only lead to problems in time. In other words, every dog will appreciate spending more time with its owner, rather than indulging in food. So, play with your dog, take it on walks, and enjoy life together.
What health risks are brought in by overfeeding your dog?
Inadequate dog nutrition can create a wide range of health risks and issues, if left unmanaged. Lacks of nutrients in your dog’s food is as dangerous as giving your dog too much food. So, if the dog food you are buying is not feeding your dog right, increasing the amount of food on a daily basis will not solve the issue. Instead, try opting for dog food of higher quality.
An obese dog will not lead a happy life, as it will come across a set of challenges every day. Getting up and moving from one place to another will become very tiring. Using the stairs can become an uncomfortable task, due to the high pressure applied on the joints. Not to mention that running and jumping will end up being impossible tasks.
A happy dog is a dog that can run, play, and move without an issue. Every vet will say that a dog with a normal weight should have its waistline visible. Thus, if you look at your dog’s back from above and can see its waistline, it doesn’t mean that your dog is skinny. It means it has an athletic body and will be able to perform any kind of exercise.
As soon as you understand that overfeeding your dog is not a sign of love, but more a habit that can lead to problems, you’ll be able to make the right calls. Choose high-quality food and there will be no need to feed it too much, as your dog will get all the nutrients it needs. Stop overfeeding your dog and it will enjoy a longer, happier, and healthier life. For dogs, your love and attention are the best treats.