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Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Dog Diet Dos and Donts

It seems so simple- Walk into a grocery store and buy your pup a bag of food. With a veritable plethora of food choices, certainly one of them has to be nutritionally balanced, ethically sourced, and the right price- right?

Finding the Right Dog Diet Food

Unfortunately, not every dog food option is the best option for your 4-legged friend. One way to assure that your pet is getting the best bang for your buck is to look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ nutritional adequacy statement. This lets consumers know that the particular brand has been trial-tested to assure that your pet will receive the adequate nutritional value from that food.

Healthy Snacks

Another way to assure that Fido stays fit and healthy is avoid store-bought treats, which are often full of empty calories and simple sugars. Instead, prepare homemade treats using ingredients such as sweet potatoes, sugar-free peanut butter, apples, chicken broth, eggs, and oats. If you train your pet from puppy-age to enjoy these healthy snacks, they won’t even miss the more-expensive store-bought treats.

Following Feeding Instructions

Just as overeating can lead to health problems in humans, pets can develop health issues associated with a high caloric intake. As much as we all love a roly-poly puppy, adult dogs have distinct caloric needs that should be met, but not overstepped. While calories can be added now and again with the healthy treats above, generally speaking, your pet should receive the amount of food as recommended on the bag. In most cases, these amounts vary with the weight of your pup, but are only accurate if your pet is at a healthy weight. If you are trying to help your dog lose weight, speak to your vet about appropriate and healthy caloric intake that will allow for safe weight lost while maintaining nutritional needs. Each dog diet is as unique as the animal themselves, so consulting with your vet is an important step in assuring that your Fluffy stays fit.