Determining the Dietary Needs of Your Dog
Keep in mind your pet’s age and activity level.
Your pet’s energy and nutrition needs are based on multiple factors including growth, activity, reproductive status and age. Pet food is geared for feeding during certain life stages of the animal. A young growing puppy will need more calories than an older pet
Determine the nutritional needs of your dog.
You should think about the caloric needs of your pet, but also remember that those calories should not all come from just one type of nutrient, for instance only protein or only carbohydrates. For instance, protein ranges of 20-25% of calories is sufficient for healthy dogs, growing and otherwise.
- If your pet is maintaining a healthy body condition where you can see a waist and easily feel the ribs with the flat of your hand, those are signs that your pet is in good shape. If your pet is heavier than they should be, cut back the calories by 10-25% for a month and then re-evaluate. If your pet seems too thin, then increase the calories by 10-25% and see what happens. Level off the amount fed once the desired body condition has been achieved.
- If you feed too many calories to your dog, it will store the excess calories on its body, whether it is calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrates.
- Dogs can develop pancreatitis with high levels of fat (and sometimes protein) in the diet. Fat is a form of concentrated energy. A lower fat dry TIKI dog food will have 6-8% fat, while a higher fat diet can be as high as 18% fat.
Decide between canned and dry dog food.
Giving your dog canned instead of dry dog food, or vice versa, is a matter of choice and budget. Most dogs will do fine on either one, but, on occasion, you may find a dog that is sensitive to the form of diet. They may develop symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, that show their system cannot process the food correctly.