Small dogs have a lot of energy, and appetites to match. As the owner of a small dog, one aspect you need to keep an eye on is their diet. The right food will help them stay healthy while the wrong ones can lead to many health problems. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your small dog’s diet:
1. Do: Feed them high-quality food
Just like with people, the better the food, the healthier your dog will be. Look for food that is made specifically for small dogs and that has a high protein content. Avoid foods that are filled with fillers or artificial ingredients.
High-quality foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that help keep your dog healthy. Don’t forget to check the labels of their dry kibble for things like whole meat as the first ingredient, and no corn, wheat, or soy.
High-quality dog food will help keep your small dog healthy, active and happy throughout its life. You can find these foods at many pet stores or online at many pet websites. You can feed them holistic dog food, all-natural food, a raw diet, or even homemade food.
2. Don’t: Overfeed or underfeed
You need to find out the recommended daily intake for your dog’s size and weight. It is important to feed your small dog the right amount of food each day. If there are too many calories in their diet, it can lead to obesity. If there aren’t enough calories in their food, then they won’t get all of the nutrients they need leading to malnutrition. You should be feeding your small dog about 20% to 25% fewer calories than what would normally go into a larger breed’s diet.
It is also important to not feed your dog with too many treats, especially when you are trying to maintain a healthy diet. Just like with people, too many calories from treats can lead to weight gain. Stick to giving them one or two treats per day and make sure they’re made for small dogs.
3. Do: Feed them a consistent diet
Another important thing to remember is that you need to give your dog the same food every day and try not to change it around too much. If you continually change their diet, they can become fussy eaters or even develop stomach issues from eating something new every single day.
If you switch your dog’s food to a new brand, avoid doing so suddenly, as this can cause stomach upset in some dogs. Instead, slowly mix the two together over the course of a week until they are fully switched over.
4. Don’t: Mix therapeutics with food without consulting a vet
If your dog is on a therapeutic pet food diet, do not mix it with the other food without consulting a veterinarian. This can be dangerous for their health and can lead to serious problems. Make sure that you are following the instructions provided by your veterinarian carefully when it comes to mixing the two types of food together. Doing so will help ensure that your dog remains healthy and happy.
Additionally, if your dog is on medication, it’s important not to give them their medicine with food. Certain drugs can be dangerous if taken with food and might even make the medication less effective. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of medication.
5. Do: Include variety in their diet
A healthy small dog diet should include a variety of different foods. This includes dry food, wet food, and treats as well as some fresh fruits and vegetables from time to time if your dog will eat them. Include at least three or four types of protein in their diet, such as chicken or fish. You also want to make sure you have at least one type of vegetable and fruit in their diet every day.
One way to make sure your small dog is getting the nutrients they need is to mix canned food with dry kibble. Wet food will add some much-needed moisture to their diet and also give them a boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while the dry kibble will provide them with the protein they need without any added fat or cholesterol.
While it’s important to be consistent with your dog’s diet, you don’t want to bore them by feeding them the same food all the time. Mix things up by giving them different types of kibble, wet food, and even treats occasionally. This will help keep their taste buds happy and their stomach healthy.
6. Don’t: Give them table scraps
Table scraps are often high in fat and salt which can lead to obesity and other health problems. Not only are most table scraps unhealthy for dogs, but they can also lead to weight gain. This is a problem that is especially common in small dogs as they have a tendency to overeat when given the chance.
Additionally, you should never give your small dog any type of human food. This includes giving them leftovers from your dinner or feeding them snacks that you are eating yourself. Human food is not good for dogs, and can lead to a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
7. Do: Make them exercise regularly
Just like with humans, a diet is only part of the health equation for dogs. If you want your dog to stay healthy, it is important that they get regular exercise. This means at least an hour per day but ideally closer to two or three hours if possible. Most small dogs can easily get the exercise that they need by going for a walk around the neighborhood or playing in the backyard with you. This helps keep them fit and wards off obesity-related diseases like diabetes or heart problems.
Follow these tips for a healthy small dog diet and you will be able to ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition it needs to stay happy and healthy.