The domestic dog evolved very closely with man and so it’s unsurprising that their nutritional needs resemble ours in many respects. Like us they are omnivores which means they can eat a broad spectrum of food including, meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, cereals, legumes and certain fruits. (some foods are not appropriate for dogs. Please see the foods to avoid section).
Dogs need plenty of exercise and love to walk and run, they should be given the opportunity to do both of these activities on a daily basis (unless your vet recommends otherwise).
Dogs can be quite happy on a vegetarian diet provided it’s correctly balanced and supplemented with the right vitamins and minerals. This is because certain essential fatty acids they would normally get from animal and fish products can’t be manufactured in their bodies from other nutrients. But generally a healthy diet should contain good quality meat or fish for protein, supplemented with vegetable proteins such as soya, grains or peas.
Dogs can tolerate both saturated and unsaturated fats and both should be present in your dog’s diet. Small quantities of fish oil high in unsaturates are beneficial for skin and coat condition. For healthy skin and a glossy coat for your dog try Burgess Sensitive.
Unlike their owners dogs can digest a reasonable amount of fat in the diet and do not seem to experience the health problems this would cause humans. Excessive amounts of fat can cause pancreatitis so care should be taken with the levels of fat in your dog’s food. Eating large quantities of high-energy foods, unless taking a lot of exercise, can cause obesity in dog and owner alike. It is important to keep your dog in a lean condition and light or lower energy diets, such as Burgess Sensitive Senior/Light, are available to help with this.
Dogs can become extremely ill after eating chocolate due to an ingredient called thembromine.
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, they can also hear sounds up to four times quieter than humans can hear.
Dogs need a careful balance of different vitamins and minerals and require food which includes zinc and copper supplements. A complete diet, such as Supadog or Burgess Sensitive, will include the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids in their correct ratio, either derived from the raw materials themselves or from an added supplement. Good products, like Supadog or Burgess Sensitive, use protected vitamins to prevent them being degraded by processing. Your dog should obtain all it needs from the food he eats, there should be no need to give your dog extra vitamins or minerals and over dosing vitamins can be harmful.
Your dog will also benefit from some fibre in his diet as well. Although the diseases which fibre apparently protects man from are not generally recognised as severe problems in dogs the inclusion of fibre in the diet helps the passage of food through the gut and has a positive impact on gut bacteria and wellbeing. Sugar beet, pea fibre, chicory and whole grain cereals are all included in dog foods to provide different types and blends of fibre. Many manufactures also include fructooligosaccharides (Prebiotic) to aid gut health and maintain a healthy balance of “good bacteria”.
Your dog also needs a supply of good clean water available to him throughout the day. Bowls should be kept clean, washed daily and regularly topped up so your dog can drink ad lib. This is particularly important when the weather is hot or when feeding dry food.
To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range. Alternatively you can call our free consumer care line on 0800 413 969 between 9am and 5pm, where our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.
If you have a question, please email us or call us on 0800 413 969. Our dedicated consumer care team are available to answer any questions you may have. If you are concerned about the immediate health of your pet, please seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible.Email us