Feeding your Dog

Lucy and Mojo

Your puppy’s nutritional requirements will vary with his size. To make sure you are feeding your pet the right amount, follow the directions on your food packaging and weigh your puppy regularly. It’s important that they don’t gain too much weight, as this may lead them to be obese and develop health problems later on.

A balanced diet is a key factor in preventing illness. A single form of food e.g. chicken can never give all the vitamins, minerals, fibre and essential fatty acids.mOne of the main issues we see is people feeding their dog too many treats or leftover food from the table. This is a problem because dogs’ nutritional requirements are completely different to humans, and they need a food tailored to their needs. Dogs don’t need variety and will happily eat the same dogfood each day. This is also important as sudden changes in diet can cause digestive complications.

Young animals need much higher levels of protein and carbohydrates. Animals over seven years need less protein, phosphorus, copper and higher levels of fibre. Changing the diet according to the age of your pet can prevent serious problems later in life. Once animals reach maturity (usually at the time of neutering) they require lower levels of carbohydrates to prevent them becoming overweight. During times of illness or pregnancy, your pet may need higher levels of certain components.

For an adult dog, one meal a day is enough. For puppies, 4 meals a day are generally advised at first, the frequency to be gradually reduced. For all dogs and puppies, fresh water should be available at all times.

Unless you brush your pets teeth, it is important to feed a diet that will help keep the teeth clean. We can advise on which diets will help.

There are a wide variety of manufactured dogfoods available. At Tiptree and Willows Veterinary Centres we particularly recommend Vet Essentials, as it is designed to help prevent certain health problems. We also have Hills Prescription foods, which are designed to help manage specific conditions like urinary problems, dental problems and obesity.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

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