Dietary tips for a healthy and disease-free pet

Just like humans, dogs too require a well-balanced diet in order to avoid health problems, old-age troubles and even look good physically. Experts say dogs need a proper mix of nutrients for avoiding skin, dental, digestive and even chronic health issues. Globally, pet population has reached 1 billion and studies show that over 50% of pets will experience at least one health issue during their lifetime. Signs of health issues can be first seen in physical appearance of a dog be it your paw-some buddy’s dull coat, discoloured tongue, mild signs of skin irritation to joint stiffness. (Also read: International Dog Day: Dog breeds that are best suited for the Indian climate)

Dr. Aradhana Pandey, BVSC & AH, MBA Hospital Administration, Director Doggy World Ventures Pvt Ltd. in an interview with HT Digital suggests dietary tips for your canine friends.

1. Hair and Coat

The first attraction at the sight of a dog is the fur coat surrounding its body. The healthier the dog, the shinier the coat. To nourish your dogs’ hair and coat, their diet must contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids as well as GLA along with key nutrients, such as B-vitamins, amino acids, zinc and copper. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid. It’s found in various plant seed oils such as borage oil. These nutrients are ample to ensure that the fur of your dog is not brittle or coarse, rather it is healthy.

2. Dental Care

Some dogs are more prone to the accumulation of dental tartar. After eating, food residue forms a thin layer of plaque covering the teeth. Over time, plaque calcifies into tartar which can accelerate the accumulation of bacteria. You may care for your dogs’ dental hygiene and consider brushing their teeth regularly using a toothpaste specifically made for dogs, and a suitably sized toothbrush.

But for healthy teeth, complete nutrition is must which features a kibble formulated with a specialised texture that gently rubs your dog’s teeth as he chews creating a brushing effect. The diet must contain calcium chelators which bind the calcium in dogs’ mouth and help reduce tartar accumulation and formation. Oral hygiene plays an important role in your dog’s overall health. If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health, please take your pet to the vet.

3. Tongue

Have you ever noticed, that if your dog has pale pink to white tongue? Then it may be a sign of internal bleeding or anaemia from medications. If it is anaemia, it could be due to insufficient iron intake in the dogs’ diet. Please consult your veterinarian, if the symptoms persist.

4. Joints and bones

Keep your dog active with regular exercise but avoid stressing their joints with high impact jumping or sudden stopping and starting. It’s also important to keep your dog’s weight down, as extra pounds put extra strain on their joints. To help maintain healthy bones and joints, the diet must provide advanced nutrients, including collagen and antioxidants, to help support cartilage during the ageing process, it should also limit to fewer calories to support a healthy weight and limit pressure on the joints.

5. Digestion

Digestive discomfort is no fun for anyone, including your dog. Avoid feeding your dog human food or fatty snacks. Follow the feeding recommendations provided, taking care to establish and follow a daily feeding routine. A diet containing high-quality nutrients such as highly digestible proteins (L.I.P.), a blend of prebiotics and mix of soluble and insoluble fibres to promote a balanced intestinal flora providing digestive comfort and help promote optimal stool quality.

6. Paws

A healthy pooch always amuses its pet parent by enjoying its playtime. But if the paws of your dog restrain it from having fun, then make sure that their diet consists of optimum amount of Zinc, Calcium, Manganese, Copper, and Selenium. The paws of your dog should be smooth, plump, and healthy, for them to freely run around.

7. Stress

Changes in your dog’s routine can impact his well-being. Situations such as a trip in the car, moving to a new home, or the arrival of a new baby can make a dog nervous. Nervousness can occur in unpredictable situations, so it’s a good idea to follow routine in everyday life. Try to give your dog enough time to adjust to possible changes. Adapting his nutrition can help him cope with change. Diet prepared with high quality, naturally sourced adaptogenic nutrients will help your dog feel relaxed in an intense and changing environment.

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