Perhaps Buster makes puppy dog eyes at you while you enjoy your dinner, or maybe he's wily at sniping snacks off the street during his daily walk. Dogs enjoy a snack, and keeping your pup's belly full can help minimize scavenging. Adding fiber to his diet can help him feel satisfied.
Importance of Meat
Dogs are omnivores, able to survive on a diet based on plants or animals. However, you probably want Buster to do more than survive; he's your best pal, so you're likely more interested in helping him thrive. Animal-based proteins provide your pup with the essential amino acids, such as lysine and tryptophan, that serve as the foundation for his cells, organs, tissues, hormones, antibodies and enzymes. They're also important for his development, maintenance and recovery. Plant-based proteins, such as soy, will work but, according to the ASPCA, they're considered incomplete proteins.
No Hunger Pangs
It's clear Buster benefits from meat in his diet, but if you're concerned about ensuring that his tummy never growls, providing a high-fiber diet will likely be more effective than a high-quality meat-based diet. If you're counting calories for your pup, a low-calorie food high in fiber is worth considering. High-fiber diets are typically lower in calories, helping to keep him trim and satisfied. Fiber helps keep constipation, diarrhea and anal gland problems at bay. You can still provide Buster the benefits of a high-quality meat-based food and make sure he gets a good dose of fiber. According to Organic Pet Digest, good sources of fiber found in dog food includes beet and citrus pulp, apple and tomato pomace, rice, wheat, oat bran, rice bran and soybean hulls.
You don't have to change Buster's diet if you're comfortable with the food you're feeding him. There's a variety of people food you can share with him as a treat or as part of his meal that will help fill him up without packing on extra pounds. A couple of spoonfuls of cooked green beans, apple slices, baby carrots cooked oatmeal and canned pumpkin -- but not pumpkin pie filling -- are nutritious or calorie-lacking extras to his meals that will keep him satisfied. As well, cutting up pieces of carrots, beans and apples into 1-inch slices for treats makes for great snack a couple of times a day.
Canned food may be a good compromise for Buster. Canned food is higher in protein than dry food and will keep him feeling full longer than dry food will. Having fresh, clean water available will give him the opportunity to fill his belly whenever he's feeling a bit empty. Breaking his meals into smaller portions to feed throughout the day will help to keep the pangs away. Some dogs eat simply because they're bored. If you sense Buster's begging for the sense of begging, try a nice walk or some playtime to distract his mind from his tummy.
- Modern Dog: Secrets to Good Canine Health
- Dogster: Wet or Dry Dog Food?
- Whole Dog Journal: How to Choose the Right Dog Food
- Cherry Hill Animal Clinic: Obesity in Dogs
- PetMD: Focusing on Protein in the Diet
- ASPCA: Nutrients Your Dog Needs
- Organic Pet Digest: High Fiber Dog Food: A Good Choice for Your Dog?
- Cesar's Way: Dog Approved People Food