Keep your dog healthy

Healthy Diet

Our dogs are dependent on a balanced diet, which is appropriate for their breed to maintain a good state of health and life expectancy.

To determine what is appropriate for our dogs, we must look at their ancestors, the wolves. They are not purely carnivores as in addition to their prey such as rabbits, hares and deer, they eat fruit, berries, foliage, grass, insects and even the faeces of herbivores. As a result, they obtain all nutrients essential for life: proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and roughage.

As our dogs do not (cannot and may not) hunt for themselves anymore, we humans carry the responsibility for their diet. If you follow our tips, you will create the best conditions for your dog to live a long and healthy life.

Natural Food: Dog foods manufactured around the world have taken on the task of developing the best possible combination of food for our dogs.

If you choose a natural product without chemicals such as artificial preservatives, colouring or aromas, you cannot go wrong with your dog’s diet.

Should you decide to give your dog dry food? There must always be sufficient fresh water for him to drink to prevent kidney damage.

Correct and age-related diet: A puppy needs his food in a different combination of meat and vegetable matter to an adult or older dog. Dog food manufacturers supply the best food for every age of dogs. You will see how often your dog should be fed in the table below.

Above all, during the growing phases of a dog and when he is old, you should give him additional vitamins.

If your dog belongs to a larger breed, please take care to keep him slim during his youth! Overweight animals often have problems in their joints when they are aged between three to eight months.

Seven rules for feeding your dog

  1. An adult dog should be fed twice a day.
  2. Feed the dog only after his walk. Dogs like to rest after eating. If large dogs romp around after eating, there is a risk of bloating (gastric torsion)!
  3. If possible, always feed your dog at the same fixed time each day.
  4. His food should always be in the same place.
  5. Ensure that the dog’s food has not come straight out of the refrigerator. Food that is too cold can cause the dog to have stomach problems, such as vomiting.
  6. Wash up the dog’s bowl with hot water after each meal.
  7. Always make sure that your dog has some fresh water.

Along with food, it is also very essential to take care of a dog’s exercise needs. A dog needs his walks and chance to sniff. The big advantage of flexi is that the dog runs up to three times more than the human while using flexi.

(This article is contributed by Flexi-Bogdahn International GmbH & Co KG, Germany)

Correct diet according to the age groups of dogs

Age (in month) Per day Ratio meat: Ingredients
3-5 4 times 2/3: 1/3
5-12 3 times 2/3: 1/3
From the 12th 2 times 1/2: 1/2
Aged/when ill 3 times 1/3: 2/3

 

Obesity in the Dog

What is obesity?

Obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat at the adipose storage areas of the body leading to increased body weight above the optimal physiological weight. Dogs weighing 15-20% or more than his optimal physiological weight are overweight; over 30% they are obese. Unfortunately, one dog in four is overweight and obesity is a rapidly growing phenomenon.

We have to be particularly careful with neutered dogs whose energetic need reduce by 30% as soon as the day after the surgery. We also need to be careful with very sedentary dogs and with some breeds known for their tendency to put on weight, like the Labrador Retriever for instance.

Problems caused by obesity

Obesity has an adverse effect on the dog’s health: decreased vitality, breathlessness, heat intolerance, increased risk of arthritis, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of anaesthesia…

How to fight obesity?

The best treatment for obesity remains prevention as treating obesity itself is very complex. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what diet to put your pet on and how to manage your pet’s behaviour. The dog must get a balanced ration and get the feeling of being full, so that he does not beg for food.

Tips for the dog owner: 10 don’ts

  • Don’t introduce any changes to your puppy’s food the first day after taking him home.
  • Don’t stand over your puppy while he is eating.
  • Don’t feed your dog at the table.
  • Don’t force your dog to eat, and don’t feed him from your hand.
  • Don’t add anything to balanced dry food to encourage your dog to eat it.
  • Don’t take your puppy’s food bowl away while he is eating.
  • Don’t give titbits to your dog because you feel guilty or as a means of saying hello.
  • Don’t “treat” your dog with “Sunday lunch”.
  • Don’t use feeding as a way of making your dog happy.
  • Don’t worry if your dog does not eat exactly the amount that is indicated on the packaging.

Caution: keep out of your Dog’s Reach!

Sharing a snack seems the easiest option to score brownie points with your pooch and what could make your pet happier than a choco-chip cookie or a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. More out of love than ignorance, dog owners often forget that their best buddies belong to a completely different species and that their body mechanisms are poles apart from ours. What seems perfectly nutritious treat for humans may prove to be toxic or even fatal to canines.

Awareness about foods can threaten the health and well-being of your beloved pet can help you chart out a safe and healthy diet plan for your pooch. Keep your dogs from digging their paws into these potentially dangerous treats.
Chocolates: None of us can resist digging our teeth into dark chocolate and neither can our pooches. There are few things more toxic and harmful for a dog, rather than larger amount of cocoa containing in the products. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyper-activity even in minute quantities. When ingested in larger amounts, it can lead to severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiac seizure, coma and even death. Dark chocolate, which ironically has a protective effect on the human heart, is the most potent canine killer.
Bones: It is difficult to keep a dog away from a bone and most pet dogs receive left-over bones as ‘special treats’ after parties. It is important to bear in mind that our pampered pooches have long parted with their wild wolf-ish instincts and that their digestive systems could be a bit more fragile than we think. Splinters and sharp pieces can pose a choking hazard and lead to abrasions and injuries in the digestive tract. Large bones like beef and lamb shinbones boiled in water are the safest bet if you must treat your dog with bones. Chicken, pork and fish bones however, are a complete no-no, especially for puppies.
Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic offer countless health benefits for humans but the thiosulphate content in them can lead to gastric irritation in dogs. Long-term consumption has also been known to increase the risk of hemolytic anemia and permanent liver damage. Scan the labels of all food items for onion and garlic content before you serve them in your doggie’s bowl.
Caffeine, alcohol and tea: Natural stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can cause restlessness, confusion, lack of muscular co-ordination and disorientation. An overdose can lead to potentially lethal conditions like respiratory distress and coma. You may raise a toast to your best bud but don’t share your drinks with him.
Raw eggs and uncooked meat: Raw and frozen animal products may harbor disease causing organisms such as E.coli and Salmonella infections. Raw fish and eggs can lead to Vitamin B deficiency if included in the pet’s daily diet plan. Too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. All meats and animal products should be sufficiently boiled or cooked to counter any risk of infections.
Salt: It is difficult to imagine human food without salt but a canine’s metabolism is simply not cut out to process this natural tastemaker. Foods with high sodium content like canned meats, table scraps, soups, gravies, sauces and preserved foods can lead to bloating, electrolyte imbalance and kidney malfunction.
Rich, spicy food: Akin to some humans, fatty and spicy goodies can cause vomiting, flatulence, bowel irritation and pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs may be prone to obesity and indigestion, especially if they have not been doing adequate physical exercise.  Reserve these for your human guests.
Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless treats are known to contain certain compounds that are likely to cause kidney failure in canines. Moreover, smaller dogs may choke on them.
Nuts and mushrooms: Nuts like almonds, macadamia and walnuts can cause muscle weakness, cramps, nervous disorders and digestive problems.
Yeast products: Live yeast spores in partially cooked breads can prove to be fatal for dogs even in small quantities as it can rise within the digestive tract and cause bloating, gas build-up, immense discomfort and rupture of the intestines.
OTC medications and supplements: Always consult your vet before supplementing your pooch’s diet with vitamins or synthetic nutrients originally meant for humans. Common drugs like Asprin and Ibuprofen can cause mortality in canines.
Safety tips for your pooch’s diet:
•    A dog’s dietary requirements may vary according to breed, gender, age and size. A professional vet would be the best person to chart out a well-balanced and healthy diet plan for your canine. Keep the vet informed about any recent dietary changes or feeding habits.
•    Buy dog foods of reputed companies only and feed your dog in accordance with the amount mentioned on the pack, which is in relation to his age and breed.
•    Educate your children about the differences between a human and a canine diet and discourage them from sharing unhealthy treats like candies, chips and chocolates. Make them aware of the potential hazard that some treats pose for the pet.
•    Check the labels on all food stuffs in detail before including them in your dog’s food chart.
•    Feed your dog just the right quantity at fixed intervals and make sure that the diet is balanced in all essential nutrients.
•    Make sure that your dog’s food is prepared under hygienic conditions. Old, spoilt or moldy food can lead to infections, toxicity and sickness. Your dog needs clean, well-cooked food just as much as you do.
•    Keep toxic household products like cleaners, detergents, acids and aerosols well out of your pet’s reach.
•    Discourage your pets from entering ‘food-laden’ areas like the kitchen, always monitor your dog’s diet intake and feed them under supervision.
•    Don’t give in to your pooch’s fuss and tantrums regarding food – adopt training techniques to stop them from ‘begging’ and whining for food. Safety and health should always be at the top of priority list.

Nutrition

Caution: Keep out of your Dog’s reach!

Sharing a snack seems the easiest option to score brownie points with your pooch and what could make your pet happier than a choco-chip cookie or a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. More out of love than ignorance, dog owners often forget that their best buddies belong to a completely different species and that their body mechanisms are poles apart from ours. What seems perfectly nutritious treat for humans may prove to be toxic or even fatal to canines.

Awareness about foods can threaten the health and well-being of your beloved pet can help you chart out a safe and healthy diet plan for your pooch. Keep your dogs from digging their paws into these potentially dangerous treats.

Chocolates: None of us can resist digging our teeth into dark chocolate and neither can our pooches. There are few things more toxic and harmful for a dog, rather than larger amount of cocoa containing in the products. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyper-activity even in minute quantities. When ingested in larger amounts, it can lead to severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiac seizure, coma and even death. Dark chocolate, which ironically has a protective effect on the human heart, is the most potent canine killer.

Bones: It is difficult to keep a dog away from a bone and most pet dogs receive left-over bones as ‘special treats’ after parties. It is important to bear in mind that our pampered pooches have long parted with their wild wolf-ish instincts and that their digestive systems could be a bit more fragile than we think. Splinters and sharp pieces can pose a choking hazard and lead to abrasions and injuries in the digestive tract. Large bones like beef and lamb shinbones boiled in water are the safest bet if you must treat your dog with bones. Chicken, pork and fish bones however, are a complete no-no, especially for puppies.

Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic offer countless health benefits for humans but the thiosulphate content in them can lead to gastric irritation in dogs. Long-term consumption has also been known to increase the risk of hemolytic anemia and permanent liver damage. Scan the labels of all food items for onion and garlic content before you serve them in your doggie’s bowl.

 

Caffeine, alcohol and tea: Natural stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can cause restlessness, confusion, lack of muscular co-ordination and disorientation. An overdose can lead to potentially lethal conditions like respiratory distress and coma. You may raise a toast to your best bud but don’t share your drinks with him.

Raw eggs and uncooked meat: Raw and frozen animal products may harbor disease causing organisms such as E.coli and Salmonella infections. Raw fish and eggs can lead to Vitamin B deficiency if included in the pet’s daily diet plan. Too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. All meats and animal products should be sufficiently boiled or cooked to counter any risk of infections.

Salt: It is difficult to imagine human food without salt but a canine’s metabolism is simply not cut out to process this natural tastemaker. Foods with high sodium content like canned meats, table scraps, soups, gravies, sauces and preserved foods can lead to bloating, electrolyte imbalance and kidney malfunction.

Rich, spicy food: Akin to some humans, fatty and spicy goodies can cause vomiting, flatulence, bowel irritation and pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs may be prone to obesity and indigestion, especially if they have not been doing adequate physical exercise. Reserve these for your human guests.

Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless treats are known to contain certain compounds that are likely to cause kidney failure in canines. Moreover, smaller dogs may choke on them.

Nuts and mushrooms: Nuts like almonds, macadamia and walnuts can cause muscle weakness, cramps, nervous disorders and digestive problems.

Yeast products: Live yeast spores in partially cooked breads can prove to be fatal for dogs even in small quantities as it can rise within the digestive tract and cause bloating, gas build-up, immense discomfort and rupture of the intestines.

OTC medications and supplements: Always consult your vet before supplementing your pooch’s diet with vitamins or synthetic nutrients originally meant for humans. Common drugs like Asprin and Ibuprofen can cause mortality in canines.

Safety tips for your pooch’s diet:

  • A dog’s dietary requirements may vary according to breed, gender, age and size. A professional vet would be the best person to chart out a well-balanced and healthy diet plan for your canine. Keep the vet informed about any recent dietary changes or feeding habits.
  • Buy dog foods of reputed companies only and feed your dog in accordance with the amount mentioned on the pack, which is in relation to his age and breed.
  • Educate your children about the differences between a human and a canine diet and discourage them from sharing unhealthy treats like candies, chips and chocolates. Make them aware of the potential hazard that some treats pose for the pet.
  • Check the labels on all food stuffs in detail before including them in your dog’s food chart.
  • Feed your dog just the right quantity at fixed intervals and make sure that the diet is balanced in all essential nutrients.
  • Make sure that your dog’s food is prepared under hygienic conditions. Old, spoilt or moldy food can lead to infections, toxicity and sickness. Your dog needs clean, well-cooked food just as much as you do.
  • Keep toxic household products like cleaners, detergents, acids and aerosols well out of your pet’s reach.
  • Discourage your pets from entering ‘food-laden’ areas like the kitchen, always monitor your dog’s diet intake and feed them under supervision.
  • Don’t give in to your pooch’s fuss and tantrums regarding food – adopt training techniques to stop them from ‘begging’ and whining for food. Safety and health should always be at the top of priority list.

Royal Canin’s pawfect diet for a truly noble-the German Shepherd

Powerful, liverly, intelligent, loyal..the German Shepherd has many impressive qualities. An excellent guard dog, he is also a perfect rescue dog due to his exceptionally refined sense of smell. He is appreciated not just for his physical aptitude and flexible character, but also for the beauty of his black and tan coat… a perfect blend of looks and character!

Caring for a dog who gives his all:
Blessed with outstanding physical abilities, He is a remarkably robust dog. Marrying power and watchfulness, he sets himself no limits, an element which needs to be considered to keep him in ideal shape throughout his life. The diet which he takes need to address the following:

Ensuring digestive safety:

The German Shepherd has a sensitive digestive system due to a proportionally smaller digestive tract, major intestinal permeability, and increased risk of gastric fermentation.

A sensitive immune system:

His natural immune defences are not always very effective in protecting the skin and mucosa, hence it is essential to reinforce his immune system to help him fi ght oxidative stress, which is responsible for ageing.

Watching over an alkaline skin:

Increased cutaneous pH levels predispose him to bacterial infections.

The joints of an athlete:

From growth onwards, his food needs to protect the cartilages to help fi ght against the development of arthritis.

Growth…a key phase in puppy’s life
Growth is a key phase for the puppy, because it sets the pattern for his future health. Over the period of a few months, the German Shepherd puppy goes through some major upheavals: weaning and transition to solid food, very rapid physical development, lifestyle changes, separation from his mother.

From weaning to 5 months – Intense and rapid development:

The skeleton requires considerable protein and mineral amounts, with exactly the right amount of calcium – neither too little nor too much. Also, the transition to solid food demands great care, because the puppy is incapable of assimilating large quantities of food or digesting starch. Weight gain needs to continue, but must be controlled so that the puppy does not gain too much too young, which will weaken a still fragile bone structure. During the fi rst weeks of life, the puppy benefi ts from maternally transmitted antibodies, but this protection is lost between the 4th and 12th weeks. With his own immune system still immature, he is then exposed to risk of infection, particularly as he has not yet been vaccinated. Only a specially developed food can help him through this immunity gap in total safety.

From 5 months to the end of growth – Consolidating his assets:

During this period, weight gain slows down while the bone structure achieves to consolidate itself. The food must be less rich, although the puppy still needs 50% as many calories as an adult dog. From 5 months onwards, the puppy can digest larger amounts of food, but it is important to watch his weight gain carefully as being overweight at this stage can lead to joint problems in later age. The milk teeth, which came through at around 3 weeks, are replaced by the adult dentition at around 7 months old. From now on, it is important to encourage the puppy to crunch his food before swallowing, not only to slow down his speed of ingestion but also to encourage good oral-hygiene.
A pawfect diet for juniors < 15 months… Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 30
The diet ensures maximum digestive security which meets the needs of the German Shepherd’s puppy’s sensitive digestion, thanks to a selection of highly digestible proteins (L.I.P.), an energy concentration and Acti-Flora complex (probiotics and Psyllium) adapted to avoid overloading the stomach. Besides, its osteoarticular reinforcement ensures harmonious growth of the skeleton and of its mineralization, which helps to support the joints. It also supports the skin’s “barrier” role (pH>7) and maintains the natural beauty of the puppy’s coat. The diet also helps support the young puppy’s natural defences.

A pawfect diet for adults > 15 months … Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 24

It ensures maximum digestive well-being, aimed at the German Shepherd’s digestive sensitivity, thanks to highly digestible L.I.P. proteins, with copra oil and rice as the sole source of carbohydrates. A selection of fi bres specifi cally limits intestinal fermentation while maintaining intestinal fl ora. Besides supporting the skin’s barrier role and his natural defences, it helps maintain vitality in the older dog. Not only this, they support joints of active dogs.

Caring for young dogs

Young dogs need a lot more calories than their older counterparts. But meeting this need is easy; just follow the guidelines in this article.

Caring for your breeding female dog

If your female dog is eating a good balanced diet, she will not need any extra food for the first five weeks after she’s mated. In the womb, most of the growth of developing puppies takes place during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. So you should start increasing her daily feed intake by about 15% each week from about the fifth week onwards. By the time she is due to give birth, she may be eating 50% more food than usual. It may be difficult for her to eat large meals because of the pressure the puppies put on her stomach.

The last couple of days before giving birth, many female dogs loose interest in food. The day before she has her babies, her rectal temperature may drop slightly, and she may start looking for a place to give birth. It’s a good idea to give her a large, comfortable box early in the pregnancy, so she’ll be used to it and will probably want to give birth in it. Once she starts feeding her puppies, her energy (calorie) need will rise quite a bit. By the third to fourth week of lactation, she may require up to four times her normal quantity of food. Give her food in several meals, and make sure food is easily accessible to her at all times; bring the food to her so she doesn’t have to leave her pups. Remember that it’s very important for her to eat enough high-quality food, designed for lactation, so she can feed her fast-growing puppies. It’s also important that she has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Raising motherless puppies

If you can’t find a suitable foster mother dog to feed orphaned puppies, you will need to feed them at less than six weeks of age on a suitable puppy-milk substitute. Or, if your female dog is not able to produce enough good milk, you will also need to use a milk substitute and give the puppies’ supplemental feedings. Puppies under one week old need to be fed 6 times a day, or every 4 hours, day and night. After they are two weeks old, you can reduce this feeding routine to 4 meals a day or every 6 hours. You will need to use either a syringe or a puppy feeding bottle.

Ask your vet to show you how to feed the puppies. By the time the puppies are about three weeks old, they can feed by lapping their milk substitute from a bowl, and will begin to nibble a little food, as well.

Puppies must be kept warm, but not too hot. You can use heat sources such as heating lamps, hot water bottles covered with towels or blankets, or heating pads covered with blankets. Just make sure it’s not too hot!

Puppies under 3 weeks of age need to be stimulated to pass urine and feces. Their mother would have licked them to clean them; you can simulate her behavior by stroking their rears with warm, damp cotton batting.

Weaning puppies

For the first few weeks of their lives, puppies feed on their mother’s milk, which is very rich in calories, protein, fat and calcium. At around 3-4 weeks of age, puppies can lap or nibble moist food from a bowl. Young puppies may need four or five meals a day. In the early stages of weaning, their mother’s milk is still an important part of the diet. But by 6 to 8 weeks, most puppies can be completely weaned, and are ready to leave their mother.

After weaning

  • Once weaned, your puppy will continue to grow very quickly, and will need about two to three times the energy intake (calories) of an adult dog of the same weight. The time for you to change the frequency and size of the feedings depends on the breed of your puppy. Small breeds reach their adult weight at six to nine months, whereas very large breeds such as Great Danes are not fully grown until they’re 18 to 24 months.
  • Larger breeds have two distinct phases of growth, and after they’ve turned 6 months, you should feed them an appropriate junior-dog diet. These diets have more calories than adult foods to meet your young dog’s needs for maturation, but fewer calories than puppy foods to reduce the risk of joint or hip problems later on.
  • If you’re feeding your puppies a special puppy diet, the label on the food package will tell you how much to feed puppies of various ages and sizes.
  • Do not overfeed your puppy as fat puppies are more likely to have weight problems and can develop joint and leg problems.
  • Your puppy’s feces should be well formed and firm. Feeding a highly digestible food will produce smaller amounts of wellformed feces.
  • Some puppies are particularly sensitive to changes in their diet, so make any such changes gradually, and resist the impulse to feed table scraps.
  • Puppies should be fed 4 times a day until they’re 4 months old, 3 times a day until they’re 6 months old, and then at least twice a day after that. This is especially important for very small and large breeds of dogs.
  • Puppies should have clean fresh water available to drink at all times. As the puppy gets older, you may find that giving him milk to drink causes diarrhea.

Labrador Retriever 30: A tailor-made nutrition for a versatile dog

One cannot help but fall in love with a Labrador for his natural affability, the gentle and loyal look in his eye, a solid physique, and a link nature…a Laabrador Retriever is truly versatile! And this pooch needs a perfect balanced food to keep him fit and fine…and Royal Canin’s Labrador Retriever 30 provides a balanced diet.

A Lab’s characteristics…

Labrador Retriever originally belongs to Nova Scotia and they still retain characteristics resulting from the region’s hard climate, an almost waterproof coat, and a natural love of water; a body composition which is very rich in fats (for protection against the cold); and incredible enthusiasm and energy.The Labrador’s performance as a hunting dog, and in particular its outstanding visual and cognitive (memory) capacity, is a result of these natural qualities, enhanced by careful selection by breeders over many years.A perfec diet… Royal Canin’s Labrador Retriever 30 is designed for adult dogs from the age of 15 months, it takes into account all the specific characteristics of a Lab to offer a tailor-made formulation. The nutritional needs of Labrador puppies aged between two and 15 months are met by Size Nutrition Maxi Junior food. You can choose Labrador Retriever 30 from various packs ranging from 3kg to 12kg.

Diet formulation for specific needs…

Nutritional complex for the skin and coat – The skin and coat form a barrier against outside attack and the nutritional complex of this food reinforces this effect. Labrador Retriever 30 provides 30 percent protein level, using high biological value proteins, to contribute to the building of keratin in the hair. Sulphur Amino Acids such as Methionine and Cystine are added. Zinc, combined with Linoleic Acid, aids healing and a shiny coat, while Vitamin A contributes to a balanced production of sebum, which allows the water to bead on the coat. Vitamin B and other nutrients (Niacin, Panthotenic Acid…) and Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids, reinforce the barrier function of the skin, maintaining the health and shine of the coat.

Weight management – The extreme climate of his birthplace has had an influence on the morphology of the Labrador, favouring the production of fatty mass over lean mass (muscle), this effective protection against the cold makes a rich diet appropriate.

However, in more clement regions, where the Labrador is at the heart of the family, the dog’s appetite has not evolved making the management of diet vital. Labrador Retriever 30 is formulated to control the energy contribution. A protein diet (30 percent of proteins for 13 percent of MG), which encourages lean mass – muscle – to the detriment of fatty mass. Barley starch, which is digested very slowly gives a feeling of fullness and regulates Glycemia, while L-Carnitine mobilises the fats for better use by the body. A large, low-density kibble obliges the dog to chew, he eats more slowly, making him feel full quicker, while brushing the teeth mechanically at the same time. Feed your dog in portions related to his activity and you have a perfectly shaped Lab.

Protecting the joints – The strong bone structure and relatively heavy stature of the Labrador combined with an almost constant physical expenditure can be tiring and puts regular stress on the joints. Labrador Retriever

30 aims to protect the joints by maintaining ideal weight. Chondroitine and Glucosamine help in cartilage renewal and combined with Manganese, fight against the risk of arthritis, while Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids (EPA-DHA) have an anti-inflammatory action.

When a dog expends a lot of energy over a long period, he depletes his energy reserves and the resulting imbalance releases free radicals. By helping the body rebuild its stocks of antioxidants, the oxidative effects of stress can be limited. Vitamins E and C, Luteine and Taurine improve the natural immune defences of the dog.

Preserving the cognitive functions of the Labrador? – The Labrador is endowed with unique faculties, exceptional endurance; enthusiasm for a difficult task; the ability to remember around 50 orders and gestures; and to memorise the landing places of 10 game birds at once and bring them back in the order they landed! Acute eyesight needs to be kept in perfect order – the contribution of Luteine and Zeaxanthine, present in the lens and retina, play a role against oxidative injury. The effects of ageing and behavioural problems are prevented via a complex of antioxidants (Vitamins E and C, Lutein, Taurine).

Hence, Labrador 30 takes care of all the needs of your Lab to keep him in perfect health.

Foods your dog shouldn’t eat

Dogs chew almost anything. Hey, if it’s on the floor, it’s fair game, right? Unfortunately, certain foods and everyday substances that are perfectly fine for people can be toxic for dogs. Even a small quantity of the following substances can put your dog’s health at risk.

Alcoholic beverages

Because alcohol can be fatal to dogs, no amount of alcoholic beverage is safe – yes; even beer should be off limits. Chocolate is toxic to canines

The darker the chocolate, the more harmful. The methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) in chocolate can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhoea, experience rapid, irregular heart beat, have increased urination, and experience muscle tremors and seizures. The effects can be serious. Even death from chocolate toxicity can occur within 24 hours.

Coffee, tea and cola are people-food

They contain caffeine, and methylxanthine is also found in chocolate. The signs of toxicity include rapid heart beat, hyperexcitability, tremors, and seizures.

Macadamia nuts

They can temporarily cause muscle weakness, often in the hind legs. Other signs include vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. The mechanism of the toxicity is unknown. Affected dogs recover with no treatment and no long-term effects.

Onions and garlic

They have a chemical that damages red blood cells in dogs and can cause anaemia. Even one small whole onion can cause death. So be particularly careful when disposing off left-overs that contain a significant amount of onions, such as pizza or Chinese take-out. The small amounts of onion and garlic powder used in pet foods is safe and well below the toxic levels.

Raisins and grapes

They seem like fun toys to a dog, but they can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and kidney failure. The minimum safe amount is not known, so keep these foods well out of reach of curious muzzles

Sugarless gums and candies

They are certainly sweet, but the sugar substitute xylitol can cause a rapid drop in your dog’s blood sugar. Mouldy or spoiled food and garbage They should stay safely in the trash. They can contain multiple toxins, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, and damage to internal organs.

Yeast dough

Like the kind used in making bread or desserts, it is designed to expand. If swallowed by an unsuspecting canine, it can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possibly rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Medications

Medicines such as Paracetamol and Aspirin may give you some relief, but painkillers and other common medications can be deadly to your dog. Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs – including painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, cold medicines, diet pills, antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs, and vitamins – in closed cabinets out of your pets’ reach. Never give your dog medication unless directed by a vet.

Plants

They are pretty but possibly deadly for your dog. Many common yard and houseplants can be poisonous, including Lily, Daffodil, Oleander, Rhododendron, Azalea, Yew, Foxglove, Rhubarb leaves, and Cycads.

According to the ASPCA, thousands of dogs needlessly suffer (and many die) each year by ingesting these common household foods and substances. If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of them, seek emergency help right away.

Healthy Diet

Your puppy depends on a number of different nutrients for his health. This article discusses what they are and how they work

Your puppy depends on a number of different nutrients in order to be healthy. Each nutrient fulfils certain needs, so the body has to get them in a specific quantity and in the right ratio. The need for energy suppliers or minerals will differ enormously according to your dog’s age and activity level. This is why it’s nearly impossible to get the “right mixture” of nutrients with home-made food. So a commercially prepared puppy or dog food is best.

Here’s a list of the important nutrients your dog needs for a long and healthy life:

Water

Water is the most important nutrient for your dog. His body consists of 70% water, and each day he loses liquid, which must be replaced. Water is indispensable for many processes of metabolism. A dish of fresh water should always be available to your dog. Milk, on the other hand, may cause diarrhoea.

Proteins

Proteins are the basic components of cells. The body needs protein, especially to build muscles. Meat and fish contain a lot of protein; however, some plants such as soybeans are also rich in protein. By the way, a dog’s need for protein is only half as much as that of a cat. This is why cats and dogs should not eat each other’s commercially prepared foods.

Fat

Fat is an important supplier of energy. Certain vitamins are “fat-soluble”, which means the body can only absorb them in conjunction with fat. Special fatty acids are important for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. But be careful; too much fat means extra pounds for dogs as well as humans.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important fuels. They are found in such starchy foods as rice, grain and pasta, and in sugar. Carbohydrates supply the body with energy, which is then very quickly converted to output. Vegetable carbohydrates have to be cooked to enable your dog to digest them and thus to use them.

Minerals

Minerals are substances that are present in different body structures. Calcium, for instance, is an important component of bones and teeth, phosphorus can be found in muscles, iron in the red blood cells. Many deficiencies are caused by a lack of certain minerals. The right calcium-phosphorus ratio plays an important role in growing puppies.

Vitamins

Vitamins maintain the functions of metabolism. Vitamin A is important for sight, Vitamin B for nerves, Vitamin D for bones, Vitamin E protects the skin, and Vitamin K supports blood coagulation. Only Vitamin C doesn’t have to be supplied in food for dogs and cats, as they are able to synthesize it.

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is the term for those components of food that are excreted undigested. It supports a healthy digestion, and can be found mainly in vegetables. A lack of dietary fibre leads to constipation.

Count the calories

The key to your pooch’s perfect health is right nutritional balance. Here are various food options and their nutritional values.

Types of prepared dog food

Prepared food can be classified on the basis of its percent moisture as dry food (5-12%), semi-moist food (15-30%) and canned food (70-85%). Dry food?:?They are generally rich in carbohydrates with crude fat at 5-10%. Different types of dry foods for different physiological status are available. They have long shelf life, provided they are properly stored. The concentration of nutrients is high and feed intake is less.

Semi-moist food?:?Semi-moist foods are most acceptable to dogs and moisture content is generally between 15 and 30%. They can be stored for several months with reduced water activity. (Water activity is a measure of the water that is available for bacterial or fungal growth in or on the surface of the food. It is measured as relative humidity at equilibrium and most bacteria will not grow at levels below 0.83 and yeast below 0.6. The low water activity is achieved by the inclusion in the recipes of humectants such as sugar, salt, propylene glycol or glucose which ‘tie-up’ the water).

Canned food : Most convenient to use, highly attractive to dogs, canned products are primarily meat or fish based product or meat, fish and cereal products. These foods are reliable, safe and convenient to serve. They are highly palatable, particularly when carbohydrate is less. Most canned foods are balanced foods with good digestibility. Nutrient density is low because of high moisture content.

Home-cooked food

In developing countries like ours, pets are fed with home made foods. It is therefore essential to ensure that the dietary nutrient requirements are met through such feeding practice. Judicious inclusion of appropriate food items to supplement deficit nutrients can overcome nutritional deficiency disorders and support healthier life. It is imperative to note that salt needs to be supplemented in dog food. However, there are certain skin conditions wherein your vet would have advised to avoid salt, as it would aggravate those conditions.

Common food stuff used for pets

Meat and meat by-products?: Raw lean meat contains 67-70% of water, 20-22% protein and 2-9% fat. Offal meat like liver, kidney, spleen, etc are low in calcium with adverse calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1:15 to 1:30, but are deficit in Vitamins A and D (liver and kidney are exception). Liver is a good source of B complex vitamin with good quality protein but has low iodine content. Fish contain 2% fat with composition similar to lean meat. However, fatty fish contain 5-18% fat. Fish has good quality protein but Vitamin A and D are absent. It has high iodine content with better calcium to phosphorus ratio.

Dairy products?:?Dairy products like cream, skimmed milk, whey, cheese, etc are generally palatable but the lactose (disaccharide) present in dairy product is not well digested as secretion of enzyme lactase is minimal. Also, dairy products are poor in iron and Vitamin D. Hence dairy products in dog food should not be included at high level.

Eggs?:?They are good source of iron, B2, folic acid, B12, Vitamin A and D but lack Vitamin C and carbohydrate: They are poor source of vitamin Niacin.

Cereals and cereal by-products?:?Cereals like barley, oats, rice, wheat, corn, are used as source of energy. They usually contain 12% moisture, 9-14% protein, 2-5% fat and about 70-80% carbohydrate as starch. Wheat, oats and barley have a higher protein content and less fat than rice and maize. In terms of quality of protein, there is little variation among cereals. Cereals are rich in Vitamin B1 and Niacin. The phosphorus is in the form of phytase, hence not available to the extent of 70% to pets.

Fat and oils?:?Butter, lard, tallow are examples of edible fats and oils. The essential fatty acids Archidonic acid is present in small amount. Fats and oil have high energy density. Oils do not have mineral/protein and are rich in vitamin E. Dogs like animal fats as they add flavour and palatability to other foods. Fat used for deep fat frying should not be used for feeding as it may contain peroxides and other toxic materials.

Other animal by-products?: Meat meal, meat and bone meal are examples in this group. Protein quality is variable depending upon the raw material and extent of heat treatment. Ash and mineral content are also variable. Sterilized bone meal is commonly used, which contains 32% calcium and 14% phosphorus.
Vegetables?:?Vegetables can be classified into three kinds, considering their use as foods: whole plant or leaves and stems (e.g. cabbage, cauliflower – not of much feeding value to dogs and cats, high in water, fibre and good source of B vitamins, but cooking destroys B vitamins), roots and tubers (e.g. potatoes, carrots, turnip, tapioca – are rich in starch but cannot be fed raw to dogs and cats) and peas and beans (e.g. green peas, broad beans, soybean – are rich in protein, good source of B complex vitamins. Anti-nutritional factors like Trypsin inhibitors, Heamagglutinin are present in soyabean but are destroyed by heat treatment and produces flatus or intestinal gas flatulence).

So, to keep your canine healthy, opt for a perfect nutritionally balanced diet.

(Prof Dr. V .Balakrishnan, M.V.Sc., Ph.D., is specialized in animal nutrition and heading the Department of Animal Nutrition, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai. He has established an ultra modern mineral laboratory and has devised indigenous RUSITEC (Rumen Simulation Technique instrument).)