Five Key Aspects to Consider When It Comes to Your Large Dog and Their Diet

In the US today, there are thought to be 76 million pet dogs, and that number continues to climb, which is a testament to how much loved they are across the country. 

On average, a dog owner takes their dog on a veterinary visit 2.4 times a year, which is perhaps lower than you might expect and less than might be suitable. While we obviously love our dogs, we can sometimes grow accustomed to their behaviors and charms, and that may lead us to ignore weight gain or issues related to their diet; after all, how can you ever say no to your dog?

Issues related to diet are the main reason we would visit a vet, and it’s seemingly more of a struggle for those with larger dogs, where health and dietary issues are certainly more pertinent.

The pet food industry has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Not that long ago, the choice and variety of options were few, but things have improved a great deal. The scope and scale of the options for your dog are increased by the influx of choices that come from your pet food delivery options, which is a path many of us are now taking. 

There are now foods to suit all dietary types and dog breeds and plenty of choices, but there are still issues and aspects to keep in the forefront of your mind in relation to keeping your beloved dog fit and well. Here are a few examples.

Individuality

Not all dogs are the same, which is part of the reason we, as a society, can’t get enough of them, and even dogs within the same breed may not have the same characteristics or food preferences.

The key aspect when it comes to large dogs is to note that not all large breeds are the same. You have big dogs that are built like tanks and are more robust, and have a powerful frame.

Then there are those that are large but are lean and athletic in stature and are more muscular, and the needs of both may be entirely different when it comes to their respective diets.

This individuality also stretches to your dog’s metabolism and energy levels, and therefore their diet should be altered accordingly. Some dogs, like German Shepherds, expend energy even if they are not overly energetic. At the same time, breeds like Rottweilers have a lot more body fat and therefore don’t need to move around as much to stay in relative shape.

Those more robust dogs can be more challenging when it comes to keeping them trim, and food that is too fatty is not good for them. Those who are leaner will benefit from more nutritious food, which helps support their development. 

As with any other aspect of your dog’s welfare, it’s best to discuss the matter with your vet, who will be more in tune with their specific requirements.

Portion Control

This is a common issue and one that will clearly impact your dog’s health. Always follow the relevant measurements on the specific brand of pet food you have purchased, and if in doubt, speak with your vet. 

Sometimes you may find your dog demands or needs more food than is specified, and this should then be something you discuss with your vet. 

Exercise

Just like humans, dogs need plenty of exercise; in fact, they need it far more than we do. 

We, as pet owners, owe it to our pets to keep them healthy and entertained, whatever the weather, and that is a crucial part of being a pet owner. Their welfare is entirely within your control.

Older dogs and puppies are, of course, less likely to enjoy, or be capable of experiencing, the benefits of long walks, and therefore you need to work out a way of keeping them moving as this not only helps them in terms of their weight and diet but also stimulates their minds.

As a bare minimum, you need to be walking your dog four times a day, or at least 10-20 minutes each time. This will, at times, be testing for you as you may have other things going on, and those with a hectic work/life balance will need to better plan out their days to make sure their dogs don’t miss out.

There are plenty of toys and gadgets you can purchase to help entertain your dog if you are away for long periods, so there really is no excuse for not providing your pet with enough stimulation.

Schedule

A dog should only really need to eat two meals a day, and while the snacks you might give them will cause their cute little eyes to light up, they may be doing more harm than good. If your dog does beg for additional food or has earned a treat, then, of course, you should feel free to provide them with treats, but the key is to consider these as exceptions and not the rule.

When it comes to those two meals a day, most vets frown upon free feeding, which is the act of leaving large amounts of food for your dog to munch on as they please. 

This makes it harder to judge how much your dog is eating and also affects any schedule you start to make a routine. 

Mix it Up

Dogs, like their owners, are fond of trying new things out, and variety is very much the spice of life. With that in mind, mix things up and try different foods every now and then. Clearly, these should all be foods that are amenable to their individual case, but that doesn’t mean Fido can’t try something new that might blow his tiny little mind!

A variety of foods high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are the way to go. Once again, liaise with your vet before you make any drastic changes to your dog’s diet.

Jason
Jason
At The Animascorp, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration to help you live better. From decorating and gardening advice, to entertaining and home repair how-tos.

Related Articles

Stay Connected

22,037FansLike
3,912FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles

Available for Amazon Prime