How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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Chicken, beef, lamb, duck, and fish provide proteins to a dog`s diet which are made up of building blocks called amino acids. These amino acids aid a dog`s overall growth and development by providing them with the positive energy that dogs thrive off.
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Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.
When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.
While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.
If you do decide to switch foods to another product, there are many products similar to Nutro on the market. Blue Buffalo is the closest choice as far as ingredient content, however many foods are available on the market. Higher end foods often tend to avoid grains that can cause allergies such as wheat, corn and soy products, and may be grain free or mostly meat-based. Some companies, such as Royal Canin will also offer breed specific foods and may have one just for Yorkshire Terriers. If you do switch, be sure to do so gradually over a period of a week to 9 days, slowly adding in more new food and less of the old. This will help prevent any stomach upset from a new food.
It is important to remember that an ingredient’s weight includes any water that it may contain prior to a food’s processing. Therefore, a heavy ingredient (e.g., chicken) that contains a lot of water may appear high on the list but contribute relatively less to a food’s nutrient profile than does a lighter ingredient (e.g., chicken meal) that appears a few positions lower.
If you do decide to switch your dog’s food, it should be done so gradually to avoid digestive upset. A routine of 9 days is best for switching over. This involves 3 days of 25% new/75% old, 3 days of 50/50 and 3 days of 25%old/75% new before finally feeding only the new food. Also be advised that depending on the ingredient changes, foods that have different grains or fewer grains in them may slightly change the consistency and size of your dog’s stool.