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Buying the Right Dog Food

By John Samson TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

It is not enough for dogs to have a full stomach after every meal. Besides a non-sedentary lifestyle, pets need proper nutrition in order to be healthy, happy and their coats soft and glossy. The cost of dog food and its brand is only important if dogs can read or pay for his meal. The easiest and best way to find out which food is best for man's best friend is to observe how their response is to the chow they take in.

The following are tips that one should remember in feeding dog any kibbles, nibbles or whatever kinds of treats.

• Chocolate is lethal to dogs.

Specifically, the dark chocolate kind. The major components methylxanthine alkaloids and theobromine in regular chocolate is digested & excreted by humans in as little as 3 hours but the same compounds when ingested by dogs stays inside them for 18 hours. This has been proven to be fatal. Symptoms of chocolate dog poisoning include vomiting, excessive urination, hyperactivity, diarrhea, followed by seizure, coma, and death.

• Read the label.

Dogs should have a diet rich in meat protein. When purchasing canned foods, look for chicken, turkey meat, pork or other animal by products as these keep the dog's coat smooth and healthy. Dogs prefer foods which contain high vegetable protein levels because these are easily digestible and are a great source of energy.

• Don't give a dog a bone!

Contrary to the popular nursery song, feeding bones to dogs is not a good idea. Small soft bones gnawed and eaten by dogs feel like splinters inside their throat causing them to choke. Remember, dogs have short digestive tracts. They also have no saliva amylase, an enzyme that is used to pre-digest starch.

• Dog food supplements are unnecessary...

...only if one is sure that their dog receives a regular intake of complete and balanced food nutrients. Good sources of carbohydrates include rice, corn, oatmeal, wheat. However, a highly specialized nutrition is only necessary if dogs do not get enough physical activity or are currently undergoing a stressful routine change.

• Raw fish and eggs are a no-no.

Consistent consumption of raw eggs make a dog's skin breakout. In canine terms - since eggs diminish the biotin available in their body - dermatitis and hair loss are its usual effects. Raw fish meanwhile results in thiamine-deficiency in a dog. Its effects usually are loss of appetite, abnormal posture, weakness and in some cases death.

Feed your dog a healthy diet and he will return the favor with a beautiful coat and many years of companionship!

About the Author
For tips on beagle training and beagles puppies, visit the About Beagles website.

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