Are you interested in developing a custom meal plan for your four-legged friend? Such personalized plans are formulated based on multiple factors, including the health status, age, lifestyle, breed, activity level, and chronic conditions of your pet.
Age is a significant factor, as puppies differ in their nutritional needs from senior dogs. The breed should be considered as well, as giant breeds impose specific phosphorus and calcium requirements. Any chronic conditions also affect the choice of foods.
We hope the tips below assist you in preparing a healthy pet meal plan.
Avoid certain foods
The initial tip towards preparing a healthy meal plan for your canine is to avoid dangerous foods. While dogs are absolute food lovers, it does not mean they can consume all sorts of ingredients humans do. Some ingredients that are completely safe for humans might be toxic to your pet dog, and this might lead to health problems.
When planning your companion’s meals, you should not include any avocado, as it is rich in persin, a substance known for being poisonous to canines. You should also refrain from using onion and garlic in a baked, fried, dried, or raw form, given the destroying effect these have on dogs’ red blood cells. Grapes and raisins must be avoided as well because of their ability to cause kidney failure. See this website to learn about grape and raisin toxicity in canines.
Moreover, dairy products and milk are also not recommended to be part of dog meal plans due to the risk of causing diarrhea and other digestive problems. Although canines are fans of sweet things, you aren’t supposed to feed them any candy, gum, or chocolate. Candies and gums contain a sweetener named xylitol, which makes their blood sugar drop and eventually results in liver failure.
On the other hand, chocolate is abundant in theobromine and is known to be a toxic agent when fed to dogs. Even if your pet only tastes chocolate, he/she might undergo severe symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, unquenchable thirst, tremors, seizures, etc. Regarding fruits, canines are not supposed to consume plums and peaches because of their seeds. The substance found inside the seeds is likely to cause intestine inflammation.
In addition, raw eggs and salt should not be fed to canines as well. The former might lead to salmonella, whereas the latter if consumed in large amounts, triggers frequent urinating and abnormal thirst, which might end up in sodium ion poisoning. Most importantly, dog owners must never include macadamia nuts in the meal plans of their pets, as these nuts can be fatal.
Include the right types of foods
Even though there are numerous ingredients to stay away from when preparing a meal plan for your ball of fur, there is also a multitude of ingredients that are safe to add. For instance, you can include different meats like turkey, chicken, lamb, and salmon, provided they are cooked thoroughly and free of seasonings.
Furthermore, fresh fruits like oranges, bananas, watermelon, and apples are safe for canines to eat once seeds and stems are removed. When preparing a diet plan for dogs, make sure it includes amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. There are certain vegetables, which are considered safe for their health, such as green beans, cucumber, zucchini, and carrots. Even pasta and rice cooked with no condiments are acceptable as part of dog meal plans.
Include various nutrients
For your four-legged friend to be healthy in every life stage, you are expected to include various nutrients in its meal plans, such as minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Each of these nutrients plays a crucial role in the body and ensures optimal health. For instance, minerals are of great importance for the performance of cellular functions, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the transport of oxygen. They also assist hormone production, cell replication, and bone and teeth strength.
In contrast, amino acids are responsible for building body structure blocks. Conversely, vitamins perform multiple functions, such as metabolizing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, producing amino acids, promoting brain and nerve function, regulating immune function, creating DNA, white blood cells, etc. The meal plan for your pet should include an optimal amount of each of these nutrients.
Include protein and carbohydrates
Proteins and carbohydrates need to be incorporated in every pet meal plan, provided the right sources of these nutrients are used. For instance, the largest part of the meal should be comprised of meat. Nevertheless, meat should not account for more than half of the content, and it should be free of fats and bones. The rest of the meal should consist of rice and vegetables.
Moreover, the mix of carbohydrates and vegetables should be carefully chosen. Carbohydrates should come in the form of boiled potato, rice, or pasta, comprising a quarter of the meal. The other 25 % need to include vegetables in the form of spinach, Brussel sprouts, kale, choy, parsnip, turnip, okra, etc.
Consider adding fish
Another important consideration when preparing a meal plan for your four-legged friend is adding fish. By including fish in your pet’s meals, you will be providing enough protein and omega fatty acids. These acids are vital for a healthy and shiny coat. Also, fish contains an abundance of vitamin D, which aids the conversion of calcium into stronger bones.
Fish can be fed to canines either in small amounts daily or as full meals twice weekly. The best choices of fish for your ball of fur include tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. An ounce of fish is equal to a pound of meat when calculating the portions.
Be careful with the meal sizes
Calculating the right meal size is significant for keeping your canine fit and healthy. You should not be overfeeding or underfeeding your pet. Therefore, the size of the portions should be based on their weight and daily exercise amount.
The bottom line
Make sure to avoid the toxic ingredients and include the ones that benefit your canine.
A well-devised meal plan goes a long way!