When talking about a dog’s proper diet, it obviously means two things – high quality and nutritious food – and providing that to your Labrador is every loving owner’s responsibility. For other dogs, hunting and scavenging in the wild are the means to feed themselves. For domesticated ones, they rely solely on what their respective owners would give them. Others believe in the effectiveness of the raw diet and some cook for their dogs. And while there are also a lot of commercially-packed foods available and ready to be fed to your dogs, it is still important for you to know and ensure that your dog is getting the required nutrition daily.
Overfeeding Results to Excessive Weight
Poorly nourished dogs are prone to various health issues. Often, neglected and abandoned dogs are the ones that do not get the right nutrition. However, in most cases, dogs suffer from being overfed. Owners may feel excited about the fact that their dogs would ask for more whether in the form of treats or regular meals. Each time you feed your dog, you typically expect and want him to wipe his bowl clean, and whenever there are leftovers, you only leave his bowl in the hopes of having him eat that portion whenever he gets hungry later on during the day. If this has been a constant practice at your home, then cut this bad habit now. You are not helping your dog at all. Instead, you are putting him at the risk of gaining more weight. Excessively eating is never advisable.
Overfed dogs become overweight. And note that even an extra pound could mean a lot already on your dogs’ body especially their health in particular. A bulging belly, as you might think, can be cute, but that can bring so many complications later on. So instead of leaving their bowls behind, owners should get them instead and save those leftovers for the next meal.
No Scraps, Please
While preparing your dog’s food is recommended, giving them human food is a no-no, and that includes scraps. Deeply-fried meat is too greasy for them. Remember, there is an extensive list of prohibited food for dogs as they are toxic to them. Other human food such as of these types accumulate quickly and can cause them liver complications.
Read the Labels; Calculate Feeding Portions
Commercially-produced dog food is very much available and is a better option especially for busy owners who are always on the go. If you are one of them, then take note that convenience aside, never compromise your dog’s nutrition. Different stages (puppy, mature, and senior dogs) have varying nutritional requirements. And their diet should match their level of activities. To be healthy, they typically need to have 60 calories per pound. And how do you know that you are choosing the right kind of food and the right amount of nutrients? Never miss reading the labels before buying. Make sure it guarantees your dog a complete and balanced nutrition so that your dog is certified to receive the required nutrients for it to sustain and prevent him from suffering from malnutrition.
Malnutrition on the Rise
Malnourished dogs are those that either have not eaten enough food or those that have not received enough nutrients out of the food they have consumed. From this, you can imagine them as either underweight or obese. Most malnourished domesticated dogs are overweight. Their owners simply feed them without minding whether the portions given to their pets contain all the nutrients required for their dogs. And while it may provide all the nutrients your dog needs, still, your dog can be prone to malnutrition should you over-nourish them. To illustrate over nourishment, excessive calcium for example among puppies can result in defects in their bone development.
Obesity is Obviously Malnutrition
Obesity is the number one manifestation of malnutrition, and this causes dogs too often feel lethargic. Making them more immobile can cause them more complications later on. What’s more is that these dogs are prone to experience depression. Should your dog show signs of depression, do not disregard that. Do something about it and seek professional help.
Other Health Issues Associated with Malnutrition
In most cases, obese dogs suffer from health problems like arthritis, diabetes, and complication of the kidneys, heart, and digestive system to name a few. Dogs having difficulty in digesting their food cannot absorb the nutrients needed for their bodies. Among the signs that your dogs have digestive problems are diarrhea, constipation, excessively smelly farts, and irregular bowel movements. Hence the need for adequate knowledge on canine nutrition otherwise you will be living with a couch potato and worse, a sick dog. Sick, obese dogs, when injured, may have difficulty in recovering as their bodies do not function well compared to healthy dogs.
Labradors Have Huge Appetite
Of all dog breeds, Labradors are among those that are prone to suffer from obesity as they are big eaters. They love to munch basically on anything that you feed them so be extra careful. Don’t give in easily to those beautiful and innocent-looking faces. Be mindful and strictly follow your dog’s feeding schedule. Feeding your dogs a one-time meal may result to overfeeding. That is true. That is why practice feeding them in balanced portions twice or thrice daily. Feeding them all at once especially at the end of the day will end up with having them suffer from obesity as energy will be unused when they are at rest.
Balanced Diet Equals Happy Life
Dogs should have a happy and energetic life. Especially Labradors who are full of energy, living a sedentary life is so unlikely of this hunting breed. They need to be move around and have a healthy lifestyle as much as possible else they will have the tendency to be distractive. Take steps as early as possible. Be mindful of your Labrador’s diet before your lack of knowledge can cause harm to your dogs and while everything can yet be cured. Remember, happy pets make happy and fulfilled pet owners.