New Year’s Resolutions to Feed Your Dog Better

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JACKHAPPYNEWYEARNew Year’s is a time that most people review the past year and resolve to make improvements for the coming year.  With that in mind, I offer 5 resolutions that will help a dog parent ensure that their dog is fed the proper amount of food and fed healthier, more species appropriate food.

 

Resolve to know the caloric content of the foods and treats that my dog gets

For reference, the average dry dog food contains about 400 calories per cup, and the average canned dog food contains about 260 calories per cup.  However, any specific dog food can contain a lot more (or a lot less) calories than the average food so it is important to know the exact calorie amounts of your dog’s food so that you can gauge feeding amounts.

 

Resolve to measure your dog’s food portions.

Knowing the calorie amounts of your dog’s food is a great start, but it will do your dog no good if you don’t use the information to measure out their food portions.  Use a measuring cup or a SmartFeeder to ensure that your dog is getting the proper portions for their age and activity level.

 

Resolve to read the full ingredient list

It is easy to focus on the large print and the marketing language that is present on the dog food packaging and advertisements.  However, a diligent pet parent will read the food labels carefully and focus on the ingredient list to make sure that the food they are buying is high quality and contains no cheap fillers and is free of artificial ingredients.

 

Resolve to know the carbohydrate content of the dog’s food

Dogs require diets that are based on animal or fish meat and that are relatively high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates.  Unfortunately, most dog food labels only report “guaranteed analysis”, which makes it harder to determine the actual macronutrient profile of a food.  Use a “dry matter” calculation to figure out if your dog’s food contains enough protein and fat, and thus, an acceptable amount of carbohydrates.

 

Resolve to treat wisely

Most dog parents give their dogs treats throughout the day either as training rewards or as between meal snacks.  However, many treats contain subpar ingredients including added sugars and are not very nutritious.  Like with food, it is smart to read the ingredient list on the treat label to make sure that the treats are free of artificial ingredients and added sugars.  If you can’t find a treat Brand that makes healthy snacks (there are many!), then use kibble instead.

 

Happy New Year!

 

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18 Comments

  1. I’m happy to say this is something we do pretty well at…thanks mostly to all we have learned from you. Happy New Year!
    Jan K recently posted…Belated Christmas GiftMy Profile

  2. Solid recommendations, as always. Personally, I’d add “resolve to not leave a coffee cake and Eko alone in a room together.” I’ll have to chalk that one up as his Christmas gift.

  3. Wonderful recommendations I hope every doggie owner who reads them will take to heart & incorporate!!

    Happy New Year!
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Busted: 5 Myths About Raw Feeding | Part 3 “Your Dog Will Get Sick When Eating A Raw Diet”My Profile

  4. Had to learn to cut back on kibble to account for treats offered by his fans on his daily walks. Treats were approved before his “lady fans” started feeding him.

  5. I know how important good food is to all of us!! We can all be our best if we eat good food!!
    Julie recently posted…Christmas week!!My Profile

  6. We are staying on our road to health and fitness for 2016. I am the one that needs to move more this upcoming year. I am making some changes in my daily routine and it will benefit Bentley and Pierre too. Thanks for being such an inspiration. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…A Year in Review 2015My Profile

  7. Great resolutions to take a hold of! Have a wonderful 2016.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Super GmanMy Profile

  8. I have tons of stuff in my mind for my New Years resolutions!!!

    I hope you guys had a great Christmas!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Siberian Huskies FINALLY Got Their Snow – #DreamComeTrue #SnowDogsMy Profile

  9. Thanks to you guys I am MUCH more attentive to the ingredient lists, dry matter analyses, and calorie content information for all the food I provide for my girls. And thanks to Ducky’s IBD (presumptive) diagnosis this time last year, I am very careful about the treats they get as well.
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky\’s Mom recently posted…Ooooooh Ducky!  My Profile

  10. Eat healthy, work out more, eat more 🙂
    Emma recently posted…PeaceMy Profile

  11. Great suggestions! I love using actual dog food as my training treats. I think that my dogs mainly want their training treats to be different from their normal food so that the treats surprise them a bit. I use things like Orijen’s fish-based dog food. My dogs love it!

    I’ll never be good at calorie counting (too many training treats to keep track of!) so I just keep a close eye on weight and adjust portions depending on what the scale tells us.
    KB recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Fun and Games at SunriseMy Profile

  12. I’ve been treating more with fruits and veggies. The other day they even got a spoonful of yogurt in their dish. They thought they were in heaven. Store manufactured treats are almost extinct here in Doodleville. Very particular with what I buy.

  13. Given all the recalls and news headlines, it is a necessity to be a prudent consumer for our fur-kids. Here’s to a healthy and safe 2016!

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