Certain factors such as illness, allergy or weight-control concerns may make it necessary to put your pet on a special diet. Dietary changes should only be made in consultation with your veterinarian. Determining the complex nutritional needs of your pet should be left to a professional. Your vet will give you specific instructions for your dog's new diet.
The "Never" Diets
There are certain foods you should either avoid or give only in small portions when feeding your dog. Keep the following in mind when choosing your dog's food plan:
- Never feed your dog cat food. Cats and dogs have completely different dietary needs. A dog will have difficulty digesting cat food and will not get the nutrients she needs.
- Never put your dog on an all-meat diet. Dogs require nutrients found in foods other than meat. A domesticated dog, while still classified as a carnivore, is essentially an omnivore. For proper nutrition, a dog needs vegetable matter to obtain vegetable protein, calcium, phosphorous and Vitamins A and D.
- Never allot more than 10% of your dog's diet to treats or "people food." Your dog can't receive proper nourishment on a diet of table scraps, bones, and/or dog biscuits. Too many snacks mean too many calories and too much fat.