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FAQ's

Feeding Dogs

How much should I feed my dog?

For starters, take your dog to the vet. Get your dog weighed, have the vet give him a physical examination, and talk about whether or not the amount of food you’re currently serving is appropriate.



Next, take a look at the label on your dog’s food and look for a dog feeding chart. Dog feeding charts look straightforward, but they’re not as cut and dry as you might think. For starters, dog food bags typically give an estimate like, “for dogs 10-30 pounds, feed ½-1 ½ cups.” An overly generalized statement like this isn’t very helpful. If you have a 20-pound dog who lays around all day and has no interest in exercising, feeding him the maximum amount would almost certainly lead to unhealthy weight gain. Alternatively, an active dog who zips around all the time probably needs more calories than would be provided by the lower end of the range.



If you are feeding your dog Wellness Core or Harrington’s you will find easy-to-follow guidelines both on our website under each product, and also on the actual packaging.



Source: petmd.com



What are the best foods for dogs?


When comparing food brands some of the keys to look for is the amount of protein, the protein source, the mount of Omega-3 & -6, and whether or not the food contains fillers, by-products, grains and wheat. A high quantity of high quality protein in your pet food is really important and a named meat or fish (or meat meal or fish meal) should be the very first ingredient listed on the label. Pure and Wholesome doesn’t sell any pet food with ambiguous descriptions like “meat by-products”. A lot of economy pet foods as well as some premium foods are made from cheap ingredients,chemicals, additives and by-products that we don’t believe are great for any pet. These low quality and artificial ingredients are harder than natural ingredients for your pet to digest and therefore the nutrients that are present often pass right through your pet’s digestion without being absorbed. A number of now common pet allergies, skin and digestion problems are thought to be result of poor quality food.



For a healthy and happy dog with a shiny coat we want to feed him or her high quality foods that contains everything their body needs to function! We strongly recommend Wellness Core or Harrington’s. Wellness Core is a top class type of food while Harrington’s is a premium brand that is a bit more price competitive.

Is grain-free dog food better?

Not all pets have a grain or gluten allergy and grains are not necessarily bad in pet food. Grain free foods do however more closely resemble dog’s and cat’s natural (ancestral) diet. Dogs and cats have a limited ability to extract nutrients from non-meat sources so we believe that the key is ensuring a high quality protein diet, that any grains included have excellent nutritional value and are in proper proportion to meat.

Grains are much cheaper than meat and many lower quality pet food brands use grains as a filler to help pets feel full but with little or no nutritional value. Corn and wheat are still the most common cheap fillers used.

Some pet owners choose to avoid grains altogether as pets do find them difficult to digest and some pets develop a grain allergy which can lead to digestive lining damage, leaky gut, bowel inflammation, increased flatulence and skin irritations.



Wet vs Dry Dog Food

There are pros and cons to both wet and dry pet food but we believe it’s best to provide your pet with a varied and balanced diet so don’t be scared to use both wet and dry food and mix things up a bit.

Pets often enjoy wet food more. Dogs and cats have fewer taste buds than us and so food with a stronger flavour, as wet food often has, is much more attractive to them. Wet food also provides much needed hydration and is a great choice if your pet is a reluctant drinker. As pets get older they can also lose their sense of smell, (which explains their passion for stinky wet food!), their teeth get brittle and they are less able to cope with dry food.

High quality dry food on the other hand can be more nutritionally dense, is much more convenient and tidier to feed with, keeps better and some are formulated to clean your pet’s teeth as they eat. Dry food can often be a more economic choice however it’s worth remembering that whole meats like chicken, beef and lamb contain 75% water which evaporates in dry food. So if a whole meat is listed first, then make sure that the next ingredient listed is a specified meat meal (for example lamb meal or chicken meal) to ensure that the protein in the food comes from an animal source and not grains. If the dry food lists a whole meat first, followed by a grain this means that most of the protein in the food derives from grains which is less nutritionally available to your pet. Requiring carnivores to get their protein amino acids from grains is considered to be a contributor to pet obesity and allergies.

Can I just switch to another food brand?
When switching to a new food brand, there are a few things to keep in mind. Especially if you are switching from a budget brand to a premium one your dog may react to the higher amount of protein by getting an upset stomach. The best way to avoid this, and to have a smooth transitioning, is to replace your old food with the new one over a few days, according to the suggestion below;

- Day 1: Mix 20% of the new food with 80% of the old.
- Day 2: Mix 40% of the new food with 60% of the old.
- Day 3: Mix 60% of the new food with 40% of the old.
- Day 4: Mix 80% of the new food with 20% of the old.
- Day 5: Feed 100% of the new food.

*If at any point during this process your dog stops eating or develops vomiting or diarrhea, do not feed any more of the new food and call the office.

Source: petmd.com
What is an ideal weight for my dog?

Ensuring your dog is at an optimal body weight is an essential part of maintaining good health. The following Body Condition Score chart is based on a 1-5 point scale:

(1 = emaciated and 5 = obese). This chart is a useful technique to assess the condition of your dog, it is however, only intended to be used as a guide, if your dog does not fall into the ‘ideal’ range we suggest you consult your vet for further advice.

1. Emaciated
Easily visible ribs, lower back and pelvic bones. No visible covering of fat, obvious waist and abdominal tuck. Absence of any muscle mass.

2. Thin
Easily felt ribs, minimum covering of fat, waist easily noted when viewed from above and visible abdominal tuck.

3. Ideal
Ribs felt but without excess fat covering, waist noted behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side.

4. Overweight
Ribs felt but with an excess covering of fat. Waist still observed from above but not as prominent. Abdominal tuck may be absent.

5. Obese
Ribs not easily felt under a large covering of fat. Waist and abdominal tuck not discernible. Fat deposits on lower back and base of tail. May observe signs of obvious abdominal distention.

How can I help my overweight dog to lose weight?

- Cut back on the amount of food you are feeding by 10% in the first instance, but you may need to cut back further

- Make sure you feed your dog good quality foods that does not contain too much fat, wheat or unnecessary fillers. Both Wellness Core and Harrington’s are good options.

- Increase the amount of exercise your dog takes if possible. This can include throwing a ball for him whilst on your normal walk.

- If you currently feed any treats, use part of your dogs daily food allowance for this

- If your dog still appears hungry when he has been fed, you could try soaking the food in a little water before you feed it. This swells the food and leaves your dog feeling more satisfied.

- If your dog is a fast eater, try to slow him down, that way he will register that he is full sooner. You can do this by making him work to get his food, using a Fun Feeder™ (link) instead of a regular bowl, for example.

- The main thing is to feed the right amount of food for the energy he is using. If you feed less than this he will lose weight, if you feed more he will gain weight.

How can I deal with a fussy eater?

- Try and get your dog into a routine when feeding, some dogs can become fussy eaters if they have access to food all day - If your dog is mainly eating dry food, you can make his or her bowl more exciting by trying to add some wet food. Remember to remove about 1/3 of a cup of dry food for every 6 oz (170 g) of wet food (see our wet dog foods). - You could try to moistening the food, heat up in the microwave for up to 1 minute and allow to cool.

- If you have any concerns regarding your dogs eating habits, always talk to your vet as a loss of appetite could be a sign of illness

- Try disguising pills by wrapping in a favourite food, small pieces of meat or cheese can work well.

How can I deal with a greedy eater?
- Try positioning the dog bowl a little way off the ground. This will help prevent a greedy dog from gobbling food.

- If your greedy dog develops food aggression we advise talking to a local dog training school as they should be able to help you.

- Instead of using a regular feeding bowl, try a Fun Feeder. They can keep pups engaged for up to 10 times longer, which improves digestion.
What should I think about when it comes to senior dogs??

- To help prevent weight gain try feeding smaller portions 2 to 3 times a day. This helps to increase an older dog's metabolism and burn calories.

- Older dogs need mental stimulation just as much as a younger dogs, so you can still introduce new games, toys and maintain their training. Take a look at our interactive Nina Ottosson Toys.

- Swimming and walking can help reduce joint stiffness in an older dog, however be careful not to over-exercise and if you have any concerns talk to your vet. - Older dogs may need to have comfort breaks more often than a younger dog. - Older dogs can benefit from using joint supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

Feeding Cats
Small Animals
Grooming & Pet Care

 

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