Feeding dogs correctly

When it comes to feeding dogs, a number of questions frequently arise. We would like to provide answers to these.

Do dogs need variation in their diet?

Animals essentially enjoy diversity as much as we humans do. A diverse range of foods is important in the growth phase, otherwise some dogs can very quickly get used to specific food during this early stage of life. This means that, later on, they will no longer accept any other kind of food. Interesting and varied food when a dog is young also makes it easier to follow a diet prescribed by a vet, for example. Fundamentally, however, dogs should be fed balanced complete food.

Introducing a new food

Some illnesses require a dog to follow a special diet. Often it is also necessary, for a variety of reasons, to get a dog used to a new type of food, for example if the dog has a new owner. The best way to introduce a new food is to do it as carefully as possible, mixing a small portion of the new food with the current food. The proportion is gradually increased until only the new food is in the bowl. It is important that the new food (as the former food) is served at least at room temperature, and that it is fresh. In difficult cases the new food can also be given together with other flavour-enhancing ingredients e.g. warm chicken broth, which can gradually be reduced and then omitted completely.

Introducing a new food

A new food should be introduced carefully

My dog is hungry. Am I not feeding it enough?

Excessive ravenous hunger can indeed be due to feeding, perhaps giving lower quality food or food of incorrect composition. The dog will try to compensate any deficiency in the food by eating more. High-quality pet nutrition, in contrast, has a balanced nutritional content as well as easily digestible ingredients which ensure it is optimal for the specific animals in question. Excluding the issue of the type of food, however, there are also some illnesses which can lead to hunger. Problems in the pancreas, for example, can prevent the nutrients from being sufficiently available for digestion and the dog, consequently, has an insatiable appetite. When a high-quality complete food is provided - including all wet and dry food from animonda, for example, and the situation does not improve you should discuss the problem with your vet.

Worms from fresh meat?

Raw meat poses a few health risks for dogs, including the risk of intestinal parasites. Livestock such as pigs, cows and sheep are intermediate hosts for many types of tapeworms. They can contain fox tapeworms, for example, which are also dangerous for humans. In addition, single-cell parasites such as toxoplasmas or sarcocystis can be present. Dogs can get infected by eating parts of these slaughtered animals raw. You should therefore only feed your animal with cooked meat and offal.

This also excludes other risks such as Aujeszky disease, which is fatal in dogs, and is primarily transmitted via raw pork. In dogs and cats this virus triggers an illness similar to rabies which is always fatal. In order to protect your pet from the virus it is sufficient, however, to cook meat thoroughly as the heat kills the virus. Pet food in tins, dishes and fresh pouches as well as dry food are heated enough during production to ensure that there is never any risk of infection with the Aujeszky virus. The virus, incidentally, is not dangerous for humans.

Can I feed kitchen scraps to my dog?

Preferably not. Human food products are generally not suitable for dogs as they are too salty, have too much seasoning and are unbalanced. Anyone wishing to cook themselves for their animal is advised to follow recipes written by nutritional experts. These ensure that the nutritional content is suited to the needs of the animal. Owners who take a chance with home-made food and a pinch of mineral supplements in the attempt to meet their pet’s needs generally miss the mark and, on the long term, cause health problems. High-quality complete food from the animonda range offers optimal nutrition for dogs, as all products contain the essential nutrients in a balanced composition.

Is it unhealthy to gobble unchewed food?

Gobbling whole, unchewed food has its roots in pack behaviour: an animal which has eaten its prey quickly does not face the risk of being challenged by another animal. Wolves often gobble very large pieces of food without chewing them and, as soon as they have found a safe place to eat, will regurgitate the food. ‘Wolfing down’ food is only harmful if the dog eats so quickly that food gets stuck in its throat or even causes it to choke. This can lead to unconsciousness and must, of course, be treated urgently. With conventional food there is no fear of this happening, however, as it is generally either in small pieces (dry food) or easily malleable (wet food). One way to help is to provide your pet with a quiet, protected feeding area. As far as possible you should also leave your dog undisturbed when it is eating and, if you have several dogs to feed at the same time, provide them with separate feeding areas.

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