Dr Ritesh Sood

Thinking of what is right for your pet’s diets? Here are a few things to consider. –by Dr Ritesh Sood

What is a balanced diet?

  •  Healthy dogs normally eat sufficient food to satisfy their nutrient requirements. As pet parents, you must ensure to feed your pets with balanced food that provides the required nutrients such as proteins, vitamins minerals etc. as per your pet’s needs.
  •  Type and quantity of food to be fed varies depending on the breed, age, physical activity and environment.
  •  You can seek your vet’s advice for fixing and ideal diet for your dog, vet may add supplements that are essential to the diet regime, if required.

What is right feeding schedule for dogs?
Feeding schedules vary as per the age of the pet and the three most common feeding practices followed are as below:

  •  Free choice i.e. surplus food is available all the time.
  •  Time restricted meal feeding: Food is offered at a specific time and dog is allowed to eat the same in particular time.
  •  Portion controlled feeding: Here specific amount of food is given twice a day.
    Please consult your vet on the right feeding schedule depending on your dog’s needs.

Is it recommended to feed treats to dogs?
Just like we do, dogs love treats, therefore,

  •  Offering a treat to your dog is an important part of the human-animal bond and helps build a bond with your dogs.
  •  Treats can be used to train new puppy at home as a reward.
  •  Treats can be used to refine your old dog’s behaviour as a reinforcement tool.
  •  Several age specific treats are available that can be used as per the dog’s age.

Are specific treats available in the market?
Various forms of treats are available in the market and one must choose them as per the requirement of your dog like age group, breed, etc. Ideally, treats should be soft, chewable and tasty.

Puppy treats

  •  To be fed to puppies from 2- 24 months depending on the breed of the age.
  •  Ideally puppy treats should be soft, small and easily chewable.
  •  Puppies usually have poor digestive ability and low immunity, so you can look for treats that can provide added health benefits such as supporting digestion and immunity among puppies.

Adult treats

  •  To be fed to adult dogs from 1 year and above depending on the breed of the dog.
  •  Ideally adult treats should be hard and slightly bigger in size.
  •  Adult dogs should have a healthy skin and lustorous coat along with being fit, so you can look for treats that can provide added health benefits such as supporting skin health and fitness among adult dogs.

Feeding you pet can vary as per the needs of your pet, you must look at the nutrient requirement as per the breed and age and can feed your beloved pet accordingly in consultation with your vet.
(Dr Ritesh Sood is Product Manager – Animal Health Division, The Himalaya Drug Company)