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  • Moving more slowly
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  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘diets for dogs’

What Should a Dog Eat?

Monday, June 6th, 2016


What should a dog eat and how do you know if you’re giving your pet the best diet possible? There are so many different types of diets available for dogs today – dry food, canned food, raw meats, cooked meats, turkey, vegetables, and specialty blends.

The diet that you feed your dog will have an effect on its physical health, its weight, and the luster and health of its coat. If the diet you feed your dog lacks in needed vitamins and minerals, your dog can become restless, irritable, and tire easily. Certain foods can also cause dogs to become overly excited or nervous.

To be sure your dog is eating the healthiest diet possible, you need the right combination of vitamins and minerals as well as the right amounts of protein and carbohydrates.

Should a dog eat meat? Humans don’t need to eat meat to stay healthy but dogs do. A nutritious, well-balanced dog food should contain approximately 40% meat (to provide the protein), 50% vegetables, and 10% carbohydrates. If a dog’s diet is lacking in sufficient amounts of protein it can cause weight loss, muscle wasting and slow growth in younger dogs. A diet lacking in vegetables can lead to vitamin deficiencies, and carbohydrates are important to keep a dog’s thyroid functioning properly.

To maintain a healthy balance of the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids a dog needs for optimum health, select a dog food that contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as Vitamin B1, B6, and B12, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid and choline.

There are twelve minerals that are critical to a dog’s health. These minerals are calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, Iodine, sodium, potassium, copper, chlorine, iron, manganese and selenium.

In addition, there are ten important amino acids dogs obtain from the food they eat that are necessary for correct body functioning. These amino acids are arginine, histidine, threonine, tryptophan, lysine, methionine, leucine, phenyalanine, valine and isoleucine. A dog needs these essential amino acids to build strong muscles and to control nerve impulses in its body.

A dog that does not receive sufficient vitamins, minerals and amino acids in its diet is susceptible to weakness, joint pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, increased heart rate, and enlargement of the thyroid gland.

There are other side effects of poor nutrition due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A deficiency in vitamin A can cause central nervous system depression and a deficiency of vitamin D can cause fatigue or exhaustion. A sodium deficiency can cause restlessness and a magnesium deficiency can cause irritability.

The best type of dog food your dog should eat is a high-quality, all-natural dog food containing adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. A nutritious dog food should not contain by-products or synthetic additives. Buy the best food you can afford for your dog and you may enjoy many more years together.

Best Diet For an Overweight Dog

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


The best diet for an overweight dog is obviously one that causes it to lose unhealthy fat while retaining muscle.

An overweight dog needs a weight loss program just as much as an overweight human does. Besides being fed too much food, the major reason a dog becomes overweight is that it doesn’t get enough exercise for its age and breed. For example, 10 minutes of walking every day isn’t even close to the amount of exercise needed by an active working dog like a Border Collie whose tradition is herding sheep or cattle. In contrast, a smaller dog like a Yorkie or toy poodle requires a lot less exercise.

If your dog is really out of shape it will need to increase its energy level by running or playing games that provide aerobic exercise. Start slowly with any new exercise plan to give your dog time to build its muscles and get used to a more active lifestyle.

An overweight dog is usually the result of feeding it too much food. This is the number one reason why a dog gets fat. To start a program of weight loss for your dog, begin by cutting back at least 25% on the amount of food you feed it each day. Keep track of not only how much food your dog is consuming daily, but also how fast the food is disappearing from its bowl. You do need to be aware that cutting back on the amount of food means you’re also cutting back on nutrients. Supplementing the dog’s diet with a good quality vitamin like Winston’s Senior Complete Multi Vitamin will ensure that your dog is still getting the nutrients it needs.

The best diet plan for an overweight dog is to feed it fewer treats and table scraps. Too much of either of these can contribute to a dog’s weight gain, so stop giving your dog table scraps or extra treats. Reward it instead with healthy foods like green beans, a banana, carrots or specialty dog biscuits from a store that features wholesome snacks.

Substitute giving your overweight dog treats by spending time playing fetch or Frisbee which will engage your pet and offer less motivation to beg for treats. When your dog does play games with you, reward it with love and attention rather than treats. Helping your dog lose weight won’t instantly make your dog slim and fit, but continued adherence to a plan of daily exercise, cutting out extra treats, and feeding it a high-quality dog food in moderate amounts will help your dog live a healthier, longer life.

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