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Dog Diet and Nutrition Tips from a Vet Clinic in the East Singapore

There are many different brands available on the market to offer your dog, and it can be difficult to know which is the best or most appropriate to feed to your beloved family member. We at our vet clinic in the east Singapore often receive questions from pet owners asking which diet they should allow their dogs to eat.

Tip That Every Vet Clinic in the East Singapore Should Offer

All dog diets should meet the AAFCO food standards as a minimum standard. Look on the bag or tin of dog food to make sure that the composition of the food is clearly labelled e.g. protein content, fat content. To comply with AAFCO standards, the diet should also have a list of ingredients, which is important if your dog develops any allergies later in life.

The tin or bag should also have a feeding recommendation so you know how much to give to maintain your pet’s weight and general health. Any pet clinic in River Valley, Bukit Timah, Katong, or anywhere in Singapore should emphasize that pet owners avoid purchasing pet food that does not have the above information.

With this knowledge, you need to learn a few more things about dog diet and nutrition.

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Feed for Life Stage

Dogs have different energy and supplement requirements throughout their lives. A puppy is rapidly growing and their energy requirements will be much greater than an adult in the maintenance phase of life. Therefore, when choosing a dog food, look at the life stage it’s targeted at. There are usually three life stages: puppy, adult and senior diets. A senior diet is recommended for dogs who are eight years old and up. At our vet clinic in the east Singapore, we usually try to educate pet owners on the right food based on a dog’s life stage.

Supplements

If you are feeding a complete balanced dog food, you should not need to supplement extra minerals and vitamins, as their diet should contain everything that they need. Some older dogs will need extra supplements to support them with medical problems such as kidney or joint disease. Supplements are easy to give in the form of capsules or powders that are added daily to food. Some pet owners who visit our vet clinic in the east Singapore become concerned when the improvement is not visible soon enough. Supplements can take a long time to build up in your dog’s system, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t see an instant improvement.

Wet Food or Dry?

Some dogs will have a natural preference for wet or dry food, but if at all possible, dry food is slightly better for your dog’s overall health. The biscuits have an abrasive action on the teeth when chewing and can help reduce the overall bacterial and plaque load on the teeth. Your dog will still need oral care such as tooth brushing, but feeding a biscuit diet is a great low-effort way to help your dog’s teeth and digestion.

How to switch your dog’s diet?

Choosing to feed a different brand or type of dog food can happen by choice, or it can be for medical reasons, for example, if your veterinarian has prescribed a prescription dog food for their health. To avoid tummy upsets, or your dog refusing to eat the new food you have bought, it’s important to change the diet slowly. This means adding in a small percentage of the new diet, say 5-10% mixed in with your previous diet, and then over the course of a few days, gradually increasing the percentage of the new diet, and reducing the amount of the old. This method makes your dog much less likely to refuse the new diet, which can be frustrating if you have just bought a large bag!

Should I feed my dog raw food?

Raw feeding has become very popular with the trend towards natural feeding, and feeding in line with what a dog’s ancestors would have eaten many thousands of years ago. The dogs of today’s era, are made a little differently from their ancestors and are used to high-end commercial dog food. As such, veterinarians have found that some dogs who are fed raw food have become unwell with diseases such as campylobacter or salmonella. These bacteria can also affect people, so if choosing to raw feed in your home, handwashing is key to protecting your family from illness. Raw feeding often involves eating the bones of the animal for the added nutritional value. Eating bones can lead to blockages in the stomach or intestines needing surgery to be removed, or small bones can splinter when eaten and cause perforations of the stomach and intestines. Such perforations can make your dog very unwell and need emergency surgery to try to fix the problem. If you suspect your dog has eaten bones, head to your nearest emergency vet clinic in the east Singapore for help.

Should I Feed a grain-free diet?

Feeding a grain-free diet in dogs, especially large or giant breed dogs has been linked to a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. These diets have replaced the grain element of the diet with legumes or peas to make up the bulk of the diet, and this is where the issue is believed to lie. To read more detail, see here. We recommend that unless you have been specifically advised to feed a grain-free diet by a veterinarian for a known grain allergy, you should avoid feeding grain diets until more evidence about their safety arises.

Should I feed a home-cooked diet to my dog?

My people show love through home cooking, and our dogs are no exception to this form of love. Whilst it is possible to provide all the macro and micronutrients your dog needs through home cooking, it can be easy to get the balances wrong. If you would like to pursue home cooking for your dog, ask a veterinary nutritionist (many are available for an online consultation) to formulate a meal plan that is balanced and provides all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs to be healthy.

Summary

Nutrition is a huge topic in dogs, and there are many conflicting views on the internet which can leave you feeling confused and unsure of what is best for your dog. Calling on expert veterinary advice will help alleviate your concerns, so talk to a veterinarian at a vet clinic in the east Singapore about what you would like to feed, and then take their advice on board to find something that meets both your wishes and the needs of your dog to live a happy healthy life.