Healthy Diet for Adult Dogs: A discussion with Dr. Akshay
R: Hi. Welcome to a new “Ask the Vet/Petzz Expert” episode in our video series. Our vet expert, Dr. Akshay, will talk to us today about the healthy diet of an adult dog.
R1: Hello, Dr. Akshay. When it comes to a dog’s diet there are a lot of opinions being passed around, basically every dog owner thinks that he knows best how to feed his dog. But is it really so? Tell us a few things about how important is a balanced diet for an adult dog.
V1: It’s true that every owner believes he knows best what his dog should eat, but more often than not dog owners do make mistakes when it comes to their dog’s’ diet, so when in doubt it’s better to ask the vet.
First and foremost, a healthy dog diet should not be composed of scraps and leftovers from their owners’ meals. Of course that almost every dog will be watching you while you eat and you just can’t handle the teary eyes and you end up giving him a piece of your food. However, you have to make sure that the food you are eating is completely safe for your dog, but bear in mind that this is not a behaviour that you should reinforce.
Just as a human’s diet, a dog diet should include protein, fats and carbs, but their percentages vary greatly from humans’ intake. A dog should have more protein and fat and little carbohydrates. Also, a healthy diet should include greens and vegetables besides meat and kibbles. A balanced diet makes the difference between a lean healthy dog and a dog whose immune system is weak.
R2: Doctor, you mentioned greens and veggies as part of a healthy diet. What greens and veggies we can feed our dogs? And what about fruits?
V2: Leafy greens like spinach are great for dogs, and also carrots, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and cooked peas or beans should be part of a dog’s diet. If your dog likes fruits, you can give him apples, pears, blueberries, watermelon or pumpkin. During hot summer days, you can even freeze these fruits and give them to your dog as an icicle which will help him stay hydrated, and entertain him as well.
R3: Are bones safe for dogs? What bones should we give a dog?
V3: Fish and chicken bones should never be given to dogs as they pose a great risk of piercing through their digestive tract. Safer options are turkey or mutton bones, but even these should be half cooked and not given raw.
R4: Is a diet based solely on kibbles – even from reputed brands – or processed dog food recommended for a dog?
V4: Kibbles are a form of highly concentrated dog food that should be given moderately, always use a measure and feed your dog according to his weight. There are good brands of kibbles of course, but a dog’s diet should include other foods besides this too. Canned food is also a good option as long as you choose a good brand, but again you should not feed your dog only canned meat and not all the time.
R5: How can we improve a dog’s diet?
V5: A balanced diet that includes raw foods, meat, greens, veggies and kibbles or canned dog food would be a very good balanced diet. Additionally, you can give your dog supplements (minerals, vitamins), 2-3 times a year for 1 month. For a nice shiny coat and healthy joints you can add a few drops of salmon oil to your dog’s food every day.
R6: What signs will a dog with a poor diet show? What health issues can be triggered by a poor or unbalanced diet?
V6:Diet is the most important part in a dog’s life. A poor or an unbalanced diet can lead to an array of diseases ranging over time from skin diseases to liver and kidney failure. A dog that is not fed good food can be skinny, lethargic, can exhibit hair loss, rashes, dandruff, dermatitis. Also, if a dog is too fat, he’ll have other health problems such as joint problems or diabetes.
R7: What foods we should never feed our dogs? Is milk a good food for a dog?
V7: Dogs should not be given sweets or any human food with a high sugar content, especially chocolate which is toxic for them, and even some fruits and nuts (grapes, strawberries, raisins, macadamia nuts, cashews, peanuts.
Regarding milk, dogs can be lactose intolerant just like humans and will suffer the same symptoms whenever they eat dairy products. Some dogs cannot digest the cow milk enzymes at all and will have gas, diarrhea or vomiting, others will not have any issues.
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