Few things bring as much joy to pet parents as their cute fur babies being bushy-tailed. Pet parents are solely responsible for their canine’s well-being. Feeding him a healthy and balanced diet is of utmost importance, but making sure he isn’t eating the wrong things is integral to his health. Do remember healthy human food need not translate into healthy treats for your furry baby. When it comes to our furry friends, there’s a list of harmful ‘human’ foods which should be avoided.
“A vet-approved fact is that the right nutrition is the most important factor for their well-being. Dogs have different nutritional requirements on the basis of their life stage, size, gender and biological constitution. So right nutrition looks different for all,” says Dr. Dilip Sonune, Veterinary Officer, Wiggles.
Based on your pet’s taste and preference, you can either opt for dry or wet food or a combination of both. Always consult your vet regarding their dietary needs to keep them in the pink of their health.
As per the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a gestating and lactating mother needs anywhere between 1.5 to 3 times the nutrition of an adult dog depending on her breed and the size of her litter. She needs to replenish a lot of energy postpartum. The process of pregnancy and birth takes a toll and her body. So, what they need is fat-filled food to replenish their energy and natural superfoods to boost immunity.
Puppies need omega 3 & 6, high-quality protein, and fish oil for brain, bone, and coat development. A growing pup needs between 22% and 32% of its daily food intake from protein, compared to adults, who need around 18%. Nutrition for a senior dog looks very different from that of an adult.
A majority of Indians feed their pets home meals which may not provide a dog with complete and balanced nutrition. There are certain common foods that need to be kept away.
While puppies can digest other animal milk products, adult dogs can’t (except for curd, yogurt, and cheese) as it causes stomach issues.
Dr. Shantanu Kalambi, Chief Veterinarian, Supertails, says, “Avoid food items like grapes, onion, dry fruits, tea, coffee and sweets as they can be toxic to them. Instead, opt for approved vet pet treats and food.”
Feeding them human biscuits is very harmful due to artificial sweeteners present, leading to diabetes.
“Keep wheat-based chapatis away from your pets as it contains gluten that may lead to persistent diarrhea, loss of coat health,” adds Dr Sonune.
Stop and retreat as soon as you see salt and chemical preservatives in any food.
Always keep in mind pets are biologically different from humans, they cannot eat everything we do. But whatever you do feed them should be human-grade which means made from ingredients that are edible for human consumption.