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Dog Food: How to Feed your “Outdoor Dog”

Dog Food: The dog that is kept outdoors all of the time, or an exclusive diet of dry food, does not need to be restricted to portion control feeding.  These dogs will do quite well when self-fed.  One precaution should be pointed out about outdoor pets that are put on self-feeding programs.  If they have not been eating dry food, their water consumption will jump considerably when they begin to eat it.  A special effort should be made to keep plenty of cool, fresh water before these dogs at all times.

 

Outdoor dogs require even more water during the summer because a dog's body-cooling processes that depend on water.  When outdoor pets are individually fed they can be fed by either ad libitum or portion control.  The feeding location should be under some kind of shelter.  This will keep the direct sunlight, dust, and dirt to a minimum.

 

Outdoor feeding locations should also be located away from garbage cans. A  back porch, back steps, or corner of the garage may be convenient, but if there are garbage cans nearby such places are unsuitable as dog feeding locations.  First, such places allow flies of all descriptions to contaminate the food.  Flies are not particularly objectionable to a dog.  Most outdoor dogs go through life snapping up and swallowing a fly now and then.  Ordinarily this is no cause for alarm, but around garbage cans flies become so numerous in a dog's food that they constitute a disease danger. 

 

With dogs that are fed outdoors, it is of particular importance to pick up any food remaining uneaten after 20 or 30 minutes.  Food served at room temperature, then allowed to stand outdoors, quickly warms to temperatures at which contaminating bacteria rapidly multiply.  Most dogs do not find the odor of over-ripe dog food unpleasant.  Many, in fact, consider the smell quite desirable.  The toxins and other waste products produced by bacteria, at the same time they are creating that smell, may have a distinctly detrimental effect on the dog.

 

There is perhaps more important reason for feeding an outdoor house-pet at the same time and place every day and allowing the food to remain before the dog only 20 or 30 minutes.  It is to train your dog to eat only at that time and at that place.  lf the dog does not, it learns quickly that it must wait until the next feeding before it gets anything more to eat.  Your dog will soon become accustomed to eating at only a specified time, and will come to the specified place every day around that time anticipating its food.

 

Dog Food: Setting Good Eating Habits

 

Dog Food: A dog's eating habits are controlled by three things: its brain, its experiences, and its environment.  The very first experiment in behavioral psychology was done by a scientist named Pavlov who taught dogs to get ready to eat when they heard a certain sound.  Since that initial experiment, scientists have observed over and over how important the things happening around, and to, a dog are when it comes to affecting the dog's eating habits.

 

Once, when dogs were wild, most of their daily activity was devoted to obtaining a meal.  While the need for this activity has practically disappeared, mealtime still constitutes one of the most important events in a dog's life.  And, many of a dog's behavioral responses are still linked to its eating routine.

 

Today's dogs have become creatures of habit.  They thrive on monotony and are most comfortable when things remain the same.  Few dogs appreciate a sudden change in their sleeping quarters or the surprise of a new food in their bowl.  The more that can be done to prevent change in a dog's feeding program, the better it will be for both the dog and its owner.  Regularity in feeding promotes good appetite, good digestion and regular eliminations.  Therefore, the first general consideration to be made when feeding any dog should be the establishment of a regular feeding schedule and should stay that way without being altered.

 

Puppies have conventionally been fed small portions of their daily diet at frequent intervals during the day.  The rationalization behind this is sound, but the frequency of feedings often is too high.  Even newborn puppies do quite well when fed only four times daily.  Some breeders even reduce this to three times daily, but unless your schedule absolutely prohibits it, a minimum of four feedings should be the limit.  The feedings need not be separated exactly six hours apart, but it is desirable to space the feedings as evenly as possible throughout the 24-hour time period.  For example, my own schedule usually works out best when I feed around 7:00 A.M., 12:00 Noon, 6:00 P.M., and 1:00 P.M.  Yours may be different.

 

The frequency of feedings should not be reduced to three a day until the puppies are weaned.  Whether you are feeding newborn puppies four times daily, or older puppies three times, once the pattern of feedings has been set, it should not be changed, but should occur at the same time every day.

 

Dog Food: Determining the Amount of Dog Food Needed For Your Dog

 

Dog Food: The pet dog has the same nutritional needs as any other dog.  The only difference is the reduced number of calories it uses because of the type of life a dog leads as a household pet.  The house dog living exclusively indoors is probably one of the least active animals in the world.  More inactive, even, than its owner.

 

Most of a house dog's time is spent sleeping.  Its greatest effort, in many instances, consists of a 10-foot walk from the back door three times a day for eliminations, and a 10-foot walk from the family room couch to its food bowl in the kitchen.  As a consequence the house dog is the most overfed and suffers from the greatest overweight problems of all the house-pets.

 

The dog that spends most of its daylight activities outdoors, but comes in at night, has a higher energy need than the pet kept indoors constantly.  Not only does it get more exercise, but it requires extra energy to maintain its body temperature during cooler weather outdoors.  Even with such additional requirements it is not uncommon to find indoor/outdoor pets that are fed too much and are borderline overweight.

 

The dog that stays outdoors all of the time is the pet least likely to develop obesity.  As an outdoor dog it enjoys the same, or more exercise as the indoors/outdoors dog.  In addition, outdoor dogs have a considerably increased need for energy to maintain body heat.

 

This need for extra energy for body heat becomes especially high at night and in colder weather.  In fact, there are occasional instances where outdoor dogs, when improperly fed, begin to appear just like the undernourished farm hounds of a past era of dog feeding.

 

Dog Food: Calculation: The quantity of food a house dog needs is determined by the same things that determine the amount of food any other dog eat, which is its optimum body weight and the caloric density of the food it eats.  The amount is calculated in the same manner as for other dogs.  Determine the number of calories a dog needs daily to maintain its optimum weight.  Then divide that number by the number of calories in a pound of food you are feeding.  The results will be the quantity of dog food you should feed, measured in pounds.

 

Dog Food: 4 Important Tips When Feeding Your Dog

 

 

Rule 1: A dog should be fed by the same person at every feeding.  This rule is not nearly as important where a couple of house pets are being fed by several members of the same family, as it is where large numbers of dogs are being fed by numerous different kennel personnel.  It is particularly applicable where dogs are in strange environments such as boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals, or show arenas. Dogs that have become accustomed to one feeder may exhibit all sorts of erratic eating behavior if that person is changed.

 

Rule 2: Every dog should have its own food and water container.  This precaution is not only sound behavioral psychology, it also is just plain good hygiene.  It is especially wise to assign food bowls on an individual basis when your feeding containers are noticeably different from one another.  Besides improved feeding technique, certain practical benefits are to be gained from following this rule.  In racing stables, for example, where maintenance of body weight is so important, feeding instructions can be written on the bottom or the side of each dog's feeding container, right next to its name or number.

 

 

Rule 3: A dog should be fed in the same place every time it is fed.  Whether it be the corner of the kitchen, beside the back-door steps, at the rear of a kennel run, or along the left-side wall of a cage, the site where the food container is placed should remain the same every day.  In fact, everything that's done with the food container should be identical at each feeding.  lf you use a push cart or wagon to carry the tub of food to the dogs, always use the same cart and tub. lf you pre-fill food bowls in the diet kitchen and carry them on the cart, don't decide one day to carry the tub of food on the cart and fill each bowl as you reach the dog.  It may have become boring to you, but to your dog it has become the way of life.  A change only serves to disrupt his way of life and to create cause for insecurity.

 

Rule 4: No dog should ever have its food changed without a good reason.  Contrary to popular opinion, dogs do not need a change in food from time to time to keep them from growing tired of the same food all the time.  Many dogs have lived normal, healthy lives by eating the same food throughout their entire lifetimes.  In many instances where a dog owner thinks a dog has gotten sick and tired of a food, the dog has just gotten sick from the food.  Not so sick, perhaps, that it really showed, but sick enough to stop eating.  When a dog food is deficient, it is not uncommon for a dog eating that food to lose its appetite.  Of course, nutritional deficiencies are not the only thing that will cause a dog to lose its appetite.

 

Dog Food: How to Change A Dog's Diet

 

There are five basic steps when it comes to changing your dog's diet.  They are as follows:

 

Step 1: lf a dog is in a new environment, has a new owner, or is being required to undergo some other emotional or physical strain, food changes should be postponed until the stress has been eliminated or the dog has adapted to it.  With changes in ownership, the diet fed by the previous owner should be obtained if at all possible and fed until the dog becomes accustomed to its new surroundings.

 

Step 2: Once the dog is in a proper emotional state to accept a dietary change it should be accomplished without delay.  Start by substituting 25 percent of the old food with new food.  Mix the two thoroughly making every attempt to conceal the new food within the old.  This mixture should be fed until the dog eats the mixture with the same relish that it ate its previous food.  For some dogs this may be the first time the mixture is fed; for others it may take several days or even weeks.  Don't hurry the procedure.  After all, the dog may have had 24 months to get accustomed to its old diet. Don't expect it to change all of that in just 24 hours.  Once the dog is eating the 25:75 mixture as well as it did its previous food, proceed to step three

 

Step 3: During the third step, 50 percent of the old food is replaced by new food and slightly less effort is made to conceal it within the old food.  Again, when the dog is eating the 50:50 mixture with the same gusto it did its previous food, proceed to step four.

 

Step 4: Now 75 percent of the new food is present in the mixture being fed, and little if any effort is made to conceal the new food except to mix it evenly with the ordinal food.  By now, most dogs will readily accept the increased mixture the first time it is fed. If the dog accepted the 50:50 mixture at the first feeding, step four can be eliminated and you can proceed directly to step five.

 

Step 5: This is the final step, the one in which all of the old food is eliminated from the dog's diet.  One hundred percent of the new food is fed from then on.  For some dogs this procedure may take only three days and require only steps two, three and five.  For others it may take longer and must progress through each step separately.  Do not become discouraged.  With dogs, food likes and dislikes are mostly learned from previous experiences.  Changing a food is a process of unlearning and relearning, and such things cannot be hurried.

The third general consideration that should be made by all dog feeders any time they feed a dog has more to do with human behavior than it does with a dog's.

 

Dog Food: Diarrhea Associated With Changing Your Dog's Diet

 

In some dogs it is not unusual to notice a mild diarrhea following a change in food.  This is particularly true in younger animals.  In most instances it persists only until the dog's intestinal tract adjusts to the new food.  In rare instances the diarrhea resulting from a change in diet lasts longer and may precipitate more serious forms of diarrhea.

 

To prevent diarrhea from developing during a dietary change, make the change gradually.  A gradual change allows the intestinal tract to make a slow transition from the ingredients and physical characteristics of one food to those of the other.

 

Should diarrhea develop despite the precautions taken, reduce the amount of food being fed by one-half for a day or two.  If this fails to correct the upset stomach then return to feeding the old food until the stool is normal again.  Should the addition of the new food a second time also precipitate diarrhea, it is probable that the new food does not agree with your dog.  If a third food is available it may be best to try an alternative  method rather than to continue to subject your dog to a food that fails to agree with it.

 

Dog Food: Too Much Dog Food Can Be a Bad Thing

 

A common cause of disease of excess food is the unwise use of vitamin and mineral supplements.  A dog's cells use most vitamins and minerals at only so fast a rate.  Once the cells are using them at the maximum rate, the cells cannot use these Vitamins or minerals any faster, regardless of how much of them is

present. 

 

Any excesses due to too much in the diet will either accumulate in the body or will be excreted by some organ.  If the excess nutrients build up so rapidly that the organ cannot keep up, the same substances that are vital in small amounts, may become deadly in excess amounts.

 

A dog does not eat to meet its need for vitamins, minerals, protein, or any other nutrient.  It eats to meet its need for calories.  If too much vitamins, minerals or protein are fed in relation to the number of calories in a diet, the dog will consume an excess of these nutrients.  If too little is fed, the dog inferior quality dog food will develop a deficiency, yet will not seek out more of the deficient nutrient as long as its energy requirements are being met.

 

To Your Success

 

Desmo Boss

 

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