Different dog breeds come with different health conditions and precautions and it’s not unusual for dogs to end up on a specialized dog diet. How do you know what food is best for your dog, and when should you put them on a diet? Let’s break down what nutrient-rich food our dogs should be eating and how to help them lose those extra pounds.

What Are The Best Foods For My Dog?

Many pet owners are looking to put their dogs on the healthiest diet possible, ensuring that they are getting all the nutrients they need. It can be hard deciphering what pet store food is the best for your specific dog breed.

Large and small dogs usually require slightly different diets. Large breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal problems. So they require a balance of certain nutrients to promote musculoskeletal health, especially as puppies. Small breed dogs, on the other hand, can choke on large-sized kibbles and have nutritional requirements that can be accommodated with small-breed dog food.

Dogs, unlike cats, are not strict carnivores. So the fruits, grains, and vegetables found in dog food are not just fillers, but great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If your dog’s food contains a high-quality mixture of these ingredients it can aid in the dog’s digestion.

Dogs require a different amount of certain nutrients in different stages of their lives. This is why you see puppy, “all life stages”, and elderly pet food options. Many brands also make diet formulas for over or underweight dogs, dogs with stomach problems, and many other choices.

While the ingredient list might not tell you the quality of the ingredients, it does tell you what is in the food. This is especially important for dogs with special dietary needs or allergies and is also useful for owners who wish to feed their dogs specific sources of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.

If you’re unsure what brand or type of food you should feed your dog, give your vet a call. They would most definitely have some great information and recommendations for you.

How To Put My Dog On A Diet?

First things first, you need to determine whether or not your dog even needs to be put on a diet. Some of the signs your pet might be putting on too much weight include lower energy levels and desire to play, difficulty finding and feeling their ribs, and a low-hanging belly — particularly in smaller dogs. Here are some steps to take when placing your dog on a specific diet.

Check With Your Vet

It is always best to discuss changes in diet or exercise with your vet first. They might be able to solve why your dog is overweight, and offer tips. Your veterinarian can also offer a new brand of food for you to try, and suggest fruits and vegetables. For example, some dogs love steamed cucumbers as a snack!

Know What They Are Eating

A diet for your dog might be as simple as switching the brand or formula of food. They might be eating more calories than their breed needs, or too much for their age. Your vet, or pet store, can help you decide on a better formula.

It can also be beneficial to keep track of their meals. Make sure they aren’t getting too many meals or getting too many snacks from human plates.

Cut Back On Treats

Many of us use treats to train our dogs and to praise them. If your dog has a little extra junk in the trunk it might be worth cutting back on the treat love. Offer rewards in other ways, like more outside time, or find their new favorite fruit or vegetable to munch on.

Add-In More Fruit And Vegetables

To help your pup feel full longer, add some fresh fruit and vegetables to your pup’s meals. You may have to try a few to see what your pup likes, but you can try green beans, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, cucumbers, cantaloupe, berries, and apples.

Increase Exercise

Getting your dog out on more walks, or longer walks can help them shed the extra pounds. Talk to your veterinarian before adding more vigorous exercise. As your dog begins to get used to more exercise you can begin agility training as it is great for their mental and physical health!

Our dog wellness plans are active immediately, so you can book a vet appointment to discuss specialized dog diets. Wellness plans cover routine and preventative care which makes it a perfect option for your pet. Get signed up today!