Labrador Retriever Feeding Guidelines
Preparing for the arrival of the puppy, think in advance what dishes your retriever will eat from. The most convenient dishes are made of stainless steel. Plastic bowls are much less durable and very short-lived. It is better for the dog from childhood to reach up to the bowl placed on the stand (you can do it yourself, but, in principle, now such supports on brackets are sold in many “dog shops, and buying them is not a problem), which it is fixed on a tripod depending on the growth of the animal at the level of the elbows or slightly higher.Thanks to this, your pet will develop the correct posture.
Be sure to ask the breeders what feed the puppy is accustomed to at the time of sale. Weaning from the mother, the disappearance of brothers and sisters, an unfamiliar environment – all this creates serious stress for the puppy, so the first days in your house he may have a poor appetite. Do not worry! To change the conditions of detention was painless, try to maintain his usual diet. In the future, you can gradually accustom your dog to the feeding scheme that you consider the most optimal.
In general, feeding schemes can be divided into three groups:
Traditional, in which the dog is fed only with natural products: chowder based on meat, cereals and vegetables, cottage cheese, raw meat, fish. If the diet is chosen correctly, then the dog will be in great shape, and the quality of its nutrition can only be envied. But this scheme at the same time has serious drawbacks: this is a rather time-consuming option for the owner, requiring a lot of time, not always the cheapest. If the diet is not selected correctly, then as a result of an imbalance, various diseases can occur: vitamin deficiency and hypervitaminosis, rickets, etc. Unfortunately, it often happens that owners who feed on natural fodder save on meat in every way, the dog gets almost naked porridge, which, of course, is worthless.
Dry feed. Now in Russia you can buy feeds of various companies, but it’s better not to use little-known products, poor-quality dry food, of course, will not bring any benefit to the dog. Enumerating fairly reliable feeds, I would like to highlight the following: Purina Pro Plan, Diamond, Solid Gold, Royal Canine, Hills, Eukanuba. These manufacturing companies produce a wide range of feeds designed for dogs of different age groups and leading a different lifestyle. Provided that the food is correctly selected, this option is good from all sides: it saves the owner’s time and energy, while at the same time the dog receives a balanced diet with the right proportions of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins.
Balanced food provides a harmonious growth and development of the skeleton of the dog, its teeth, muscles, excellent condition of the coat. In addition to dry food, many companies produce canned food that can be added to food – dogs usually like them very much.
Mixed feeding. Use of high-quality dry food plus meat, cottage cheese, kefir, crackers. With this feeding scheme, one rule must be strictly observed. Do not mix dry food with chowder in one bowl – in one feeding you give the dog only dry food, and in another feeding – for example, meat-based chowder. In addition to dry food, you can give your puppy cottage cheese, preferably home-made (milk: 1: 1 ratio of milk and kefir) or calcined (milk + calcium chloride), meat (preferably pre-frozen lean beef), fish (only sea: cod, hake, ice fish; in no case give your retriever fatty fish and pollock), crackers from black bread. Of the cereals – buckwheat and rice. Herculean porridge often leads to intestinal upset, so it can be given only if the dog normally assimilates it.
What conclusion can be drawn from the foregoing? There are adherents of various feed schemes. You can choose any scheme. If your dog is in good shape – does not lose weight and does not get fat, it has no signs of allergies, the coat is in good condition, shiny, so your feeding option is suitable for your retriever. If not, it means that your feeding scheme has serious shortcomings, and it makes sense for you to review and correct it.
The following ratios should be observed in the diet of an adult dog: meat food – 10-20 g / kg body weight, fat – 1-2 g / kg body weight, carbohydrates – 5-6 g / kg body weight. For puppies, these figures are 2-3 times higher. The number of feeds depends primarily on age. A puppy of one to two months should be fed 5-6 times a day, three to four – 4 times, five months and older 3 times. Adult retriever is usually fed twice a day: morning and evening.
If you decide to feed your retriever dry food, it is very important to choose it correctly. So, the feeds of all worthy companies are divided into various groups according to energy value, the content of vitamins and minerals and take into account the needs of the dog from the moment of birth to the end of life.