Loving dogs is easy.
Belly rubs, back scratches, long walks — you name it — we have found a number of ways to tell our canine companions that we love them. From Fido the beagle to Bailey the golden retriever, dogs all across the world are being pampered and coddled by their adoring owners.
At the end of the day, we just want to give our dogs what they want! Those puppers and doggos want to spend their days brightening up ours, so if we can return the favor with some dinner leftovers or a few extra treats to chow down, why not?
This ‘why not’ attitude is such an easy trap to fall in to — we’re just loving our dogs in the ways we know they want us to! Seeing the excitement of our furry friends as they long for another biscuit is excruciating! What’s the harm of another treat? They’ll love it! Why not?
For this reason, dogs today are bigger than ever.
In fact, 45% of all US dogs are overweight or obese. That’s 35 million dogs.
We know what you’re thinking, “but Max (or Buddy or Daisy) is adorable with his little belly!” And we agree. There are few things more enjoyable than cuddling up with a big dog. But if we really want to love our dogs, then we need to love them for as long as we can. This begins with the diet. And thus, we dive into the first step of how to love your dog longer.
1. What to Feed your Doggo
Does How I Feed My Dog Matter?
What and when you feed your dog early in life will shape its preferences when it is older. It will also affect its general health. This applies to time of day, odor, texture, taste and meal temperature.
Types of Dog Food
Dog foods are traditionally found in three forms: canned, dry and semi-moist. Do not feed semi-moist dog food to your pet because of the large amounts of artificial chemical additives in them. More dry kibble is sold than any other type because of its convenience and economy. Dry foods contain about 90% dry matter and 10% water. They are a blended mixture of grains, meat and meat by-products, fats, mineral and vitamins. Canned dog food contains 68–78% water and 22–32% dry matter.
Given their choice, most dogs prefer canned or homemade diets. The aroma, flavor and palatability of dry diets do not match that of canned. Dogs fed dry diets have less tartar build up on their teeth and less gum disease surrounding those chompers of theirs. It takes much less dry food to satisfy your pet’s appetite and need because dry food has greater caloric density — that is, it is much richer in nutrients.
Remember that dogs eating dry kibble, like children consuming dry food, sometimes do not drink sufficient water to prevent later dehydration. It is always preferable to add warm water to it before feeding — even though you then need to pay more attention to dental issues.
2. How Much Food Does Fido Need
One of the best ways to keep dogs healthy is to feed them the right amount of food. Asking the question as to how much your pupper should consume is an important step to loving your dog for as long as possible. Too little and a dog can suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Too much eventually results in obesity, as we are all aware, and all of the health problems related to that condition like congestive heart failure, skin disorders, and some types of cancer.
Determining the correct size for meals depends on the type of food dogs are fed, how many times a day they eat, their size, their metabolic rate, the amount of exercise they get, and more.
Guides to feeding your dog the right amount are often presented as a table.
Unless stated otherwise, these amounts are the total that is recommended for your dog over a 24 hour period. Most adult dogs should eat two meals a day, so you’ll need to divide the amount in the table by the number of meals you are offering.
Combine this information with your knowledge of your dog’s lifestyle to come up with the initial amount of food you are going to offer your dog. If I had a relatively inactive 35 pound Corgi who had a tendency to gain weight, I might start with 2 cups of food per day. On the other hand, if my dog was a hyper 35 pound Border Collie, I would feed it a little more.
3. Make Feeding Your Pup Easy For You
The reason that 45% of dogs fall victims to obesity is that these steps are easier said than done. Aside from being dog owners, we’re dealing with a hundred different things a day, making overfeeding dogs incredibly easy. The last thing we want is our dogs to be going hungry, so some of us overcompensate by leaving food out for the day and overfeeding our dogs.
The trick to feeding your dog the healthiest food in the perfect portions is simple: Make it easy for you.
Our mission at BarkChef is to bring all these things together to help you love your dog longer. Our prepackaged meals are perfectly suited for your dog’s breed and size, so worrying about overfeeding is now a thing of the past! The food we package is made from healthy kibble, keeping your canine pal’s chompers healthy and happy as well as their digestive track. Lastly, it’s all delivered to your doorstep once a month—couldn’t be simpler!