Organic Dog Food

Dog Food
A new year is upon us and many of us are making resolutions for self-improvement and quality of life. Maybe this year you also include your dog. More and more dog owners are choosing to feed their canine friends organic or healthier dog food. Much like human food, dog food has to meet a strict set of standards in order to be labeled as organic, whereas normal pet food simply has to meet a minimum nutrition requirement. There are great benefits to the better quality of this food, here are a few of them:

Higher Priced, but Higher Nutrition and Less Consumption

Often times people who want to feed their dog organic food change their minds on the basis of sticker price.

While it’s true that organic food is usually pricier than what you’ll find at the grocery store, your dog will need to eat less of it to get the nutrients that he needs.

This is because organic food has fewer of the fillers and “empty calories” that other foods are prone to having.

Realistically, if you can’t afford it, maybe you simply buy organic for him every other month, or for one month, or 2-3 months out of the year, or some other simple commitment. Just ensure it’s a period of time to get the greatest effects.

Fewer Digestive Problems

Many standard dog foods today contain fillers such as corn which are difficult for dogs to digest. Organic dog food is closer to a dog’s natural diet, which his digestive system has evolved to eat over millions of years. Feeding your dog a diet closer to what he eats in nature will lead to much fewer digestive problems. Remember, going to the washroom is often a good thing as he’s adjusting to healthier food. But still be aware of your dry to wet food mixture.

Fewer Allergy Problems

Many common additives are known to cause allergies in dogs, because the diet is not a natural one for them. The fewer the number of additives and fillers in a diet, the less likely your dog is to develop a food allergy.

Immune System Boost

You may have heard your doctor tell you that you should get most of your vitamins and minerals from actual healthy foods, rather than from a multivitamin or supplement. The same goes for dogs. A dog on an organic diet will be healthier and better equipped to fend off infections.

Safe Foods: Foods labeled organic are strictly regulated, and cannot contain any pesticides, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms. When you feed organic food to your dog, you can be sure his food won’t be contaminated with anything that is questionable or potentially unsafe.

If you think it might be time for your own dog to make the switch, you can also talk to your veterinarian about what foods he or she recommends.

Thanks to all of these benefits and many more, dog owners are increasingly opting to feed their dogs organic food. Maybe this year you give it a try.

Feeding Your Dog

Black Puppy
Your dog’s eating habits are as important for his health as the foods you give him to eat.

There are simple but important rules for feeding your dog, some of which you may consider for yourself. Remember: being a good dog owner takes work, and his feeding may require more attention than you think. ‘Feeding’ is not always keeping his food bowl topped up – although this is a safe and necessary reality at times. It involves everything from cleanliness, water supply, to food selection. Get to know his eating habits including the amount he is normally eating so you can keep his food and bowl fresh and clean, respectively. This advice isn’t meant to institute regimented ownership, just try to get a bit more in tune with him. Once established, you won’t even notice.

Feed your dog at regular times.

It’s important that he knows when he will eat so that he isn’t anxious or hungry between meals. Regular meal times also help stop him begging for food outside those times.

Treat his dish like you treat yours – with the expectation of clean.

Your dog’s feeding bowls should always be thoroughly washed and disinfected after each use as dried or stale remains can carry infections or harbor bacteria. Once the bowls are washed it is a good idea to clear them away, too. Next time you need to buy a new feeding dish, buy 5, so you can set up some sort of washing routine so it always happens – like your own dishes. Here is a link to stackable dog dishes, as an example.

Give him access to a constant supply (always there) of clean water.

It is vital that your dog has free access to a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water at all times. His water bowl may need not only refilling but cleaning out several times during the day. Do not govern his water intake with your assumptions of health or his thirst, especially if you are not in perfect health. Always have his bowl full of clean water. If you return from a walk or exercise with him, keep filling his bowl if he keeps finishing the water, especially if in the heat of summer.

Never feed scraps to your dog – especially food you wouldn’t eat.

His dietary needs are not the same as yours. He should always be given a properly balanced diet suitable for dogs. Be sure his food has a moist component to it at times, and be in tune with him – when he needs to go for a walk be sure to take him. If you are feeding him from a can, it is important to read the nutritional information on the label and ensure that you supplement your dog’s diet as necessary.

Use an ‘anti-gorge bowl.’

Some dogs tend to eat too fast. This is an instinct of wild behavior. In a wild pack, each dog has to fight for his share and so he will eat as quickly as possible to stop his food being stolen. However, a domestic dog can suffer from indigestion, wind and vomiting if he eats too fast. An excellent and economical solution is to get an ‘anti-gorge bowl’. This type of bowl has an uneven inside surface. As your dog has to eat around the protrusions in the bowl it takes him longer to get to all his food. Most dogs seem to enjoy the little bit of extra work they need to do to obtain their food this way.

Get him his exercise.

There are dog breeds that are well known to be at risk of obesity. Basset Hounds, Labradors and King Charles Spaniels are common breeds that can have issues with weight. Whatever your dog’s breed, you should take care to make sure that his feeding regime is balanced with plenty of outside exercise.

Watch his weight.

A dog that is too thin will have a drawn in tummy, a thin face and ribs that can be seen or felt under the hand. An obese dog will have a distended tummy, folds of fat on the back of the neck, no tuck towards the back legs and ribs covered completely. A healthy dog will have shiny fur with a muscular body and show a slight tuck at the waist.

Get him checked out by a vet if you are unsure about his weight. This is especially important if you know that you are doing everything right but he is still either overweight or underweight.

Your extra work in this feeding area will result in a happy, healthy dog – and your ultimate reward, a better friend.