Getting your dogs diet right is essential for their behaviour as much as it is for your dogs health, with so many different brands on the market claiming to be healthy its easy to see why it’s so difficult to choose. Each dog is different and individual so one brand of food may work wonders for your friends dog but may not agree with your dogs digestive system. Firstly you need to look at the signs and symptoms showing that your dog may need a diet change:
- Itchy scurvy skin without any signs of fleas or mites.
- Inconsistent stools, some floppy, some firm.
- Defecating more than usual.
- Having a “mad 5 minutes” not long after feeding
- Lack of concentration
These are just the basic signs to look out for especially if they have been vet checked and not diagnosed with any health issues. In classes it’s easy to spot a dog that isn’t on the right diet, not just from visual signs but they tend to struggle with concentration the most, which makes it more difficult for the owners to train them. Once their diet has been changed and adjusted they soon turn into a different dog and week by week I see their concentration levels improve greatly. So what is the perfect diet? There are so many brands to choose from as well as different ways of feeding. Wet, dry, raw, and air dried. With any dog food read the ingredients as even the most fanciest looking bag in the store can still have bad ingredients within. Avoid Meat and animal derivatives – This term is used very loosely and although it could mean a good quality source of meat, in a lot of cases it means a poor quality source of meat with little or no nutritional benefit to your dog. Maize or corn – This is used as an alternative to grains such as oats, rice and barley. But has been linked to food intolerance and allergies. Cereals and grains – Used as a bulking agent and can be a very low quality cereal, canines do not require cereals in their diets and can lead to dietary intolerance. Food colouring’s – This is completely 100% designed for us, “look at those pretty nutritional looking colourful biscuits!” No! – Avoid this like the plague unless you want a dog to be bouncing off the walls, it’s the equivalent to feeding a child E numbers and wondering why they can’t sit still. Those green, red, or yellow biscuits haven’t had a single vegetable any where near them. See the picture in this blog as an example of what to visually avoid. Maize Gluten – Otherwise known as Maize gluten meal, Corn gluten, or prairie meal. This is another bulking agent known to cause dietary intolerance and hyperactivity. Wheat/Wheat feed – Dogs find wheat difficult to digest and provides little or no nutritional benefit and usually causes intolerance. Alfalfa/Lucerne – This can be beneficial for dogs in small amounts, so if this ingredient is far down the list of ingredients this isn’t anything to worry about, however avoid if this is on the top ingredients as it’s likely being used a cheap form of protein. Derivative of vegetable origin – Although this isn’t necessarily a bad ingredient, it’s a loosely used term that could mean anything inside, this could be very good or very bad and no one can tell, it’s best to avoid such loosely used terms. That is just to name a few, for the full list of ingredients and to see how your dogs food is rated on a non biased website please visit. https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/