Why are dogs called man's best friend? Is it because of their gregariousness that keeps both children and adults entertained? Or is it their dependability and adaptive skills that make them ideal companions at home and on the job? Whatever reason there may be, dogs and humans are now considered almost inseparable.

Dog lovers are not rare these days. If you would browse through the stats from the American Kennel Club, you will learn that millions upon millions of people in the country are simply hooked on dogs. They are already considered as part of the family, with proper care and maintenance observed as among the top priority of dog owners.
At the top of the list of important concerns for dog care is your dog's nutritional needs.

Though dogs have lived very close to humans in society for thousands of years, their dietary habits and nutritional needs are very much different. There are food items that may be good for human health, but are considered no-no's when it comes to feeding dogs. Just an overview, according to National Geographic, some of the foods you should not give to your dog include onions, garlic, chocolate, breads and baked goods with yeast, grapes, and alcohol. These foods contain certain compounds that can be toxic for your dog.

On the other hand, there are many healthy foods that are highly recommended for your dog. As recommended by many veterinarians, dogs generally require a third of their diets to be protein, and about two thirds of it to be derived from fruits, vegetables, and grains. These days, many manufactured dried and wet dog foods integrate all these nutritional needs in one convenient formula. However, there are a number of dog owners who prefer to prepare their dog's meals themselves.

Examples of good protein sources for your dog include lean meats like beef and pork, as well as turkey, fish like herring, and chicken. There are dog food varieties that include veal and lamb as protein rich selections. Note that dogs that are of larger breeds, and who require more physical activity need more protein in their diet. For the greens and grains part of the diet, many dog ​​owners cook sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, rice, potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and many others. Some veggies may be served raw, pureed in the food processor, boiled, or steamed.

In between meals it is certainly OK to give your dog treats. Your dog will appreciate a treat as a reward for accepted behavior, as a training reward, or just because he knows you love him. A great chew toy or bone is useful for keeping your dog quiet for a period of time if he is crated or to keep him from chewing on your shoes. Be sure to always carefully choose the best treats for your dog from reputable manufacturers. Also remember when giving a large chew bone like rawhide or nylon it is best to keep an eye on him in case a large piece becomes dislodged and stuck in his throat.

Remember that dog nutrition is a high priority in maintaining the overall well-being and happy disposition of your dog. Because dogs have different dietary needs, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to find out more on ideal diets to feed your dog.


by Russell Hancock