Importance of Good Nutrition
What you feed your dog affects not only his physical health, but can also affect his behavior. Check out dogfoodadvisor.com for unbiased reviews of hundreds of dog food brands. If you decide to change your dog’s food, do it gradually to avoid upsetting your dog’s digestive system:
- Day 1-2: mix 75 percent old food with 25 percent new food.
- Days 3-4: If your dog has diarrhea or loose stools, stay at 75/25 and add a tablespoon of canned pumpkin. If your dog seems fine, change to 50/50 mix.
- Days 5-6: change to 75 percent new food, 25 percent old food. If your dog shows signs of digestive issues, stay at 75/25 for a few more days, adding a tablespoon of pumpkin to his food.
- If he’s fine at 75/25 on Day 6, on day 7 you can feed your dog all new food.
High Value Treats
If you hit a plateau in your training, changing treats often helps. The best treats are small (about the size of a pea) and soft (so the dog can eat it quickly). Here are a few suggestions (use in moderation):
- Turkey Meatballs: Meatballs are cooked and frozen, so you can just take out one, heat it in the microwave (very aromatic!), and break off tiny pieces to use as treats.
- Turkey hotdogs: cut in tiny pieces and freeze in baggies
- Vienna sausages or sardines: canned and smelly; dogs love them
- Cheese: any kind of cheese, cut in tiny cubes
- Lunch meat: ham, roast beef, etc, torn into little pieces
- Baby food (feed to dog on a spoon)
- Zuke’s, Natural Balance, Merrick’s, and many other companies make great treats, too.
Fruits and Vegetables
You can also give your dog small pieces of the following fruits and vegetables (remove seeds, pits, and rinds first where present).
- Apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, oranges, peaches, pears, mango
- Carrots, green beans, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes,
Note: Following is a partial list of foods that should not be fed to dogs:
Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate, candy, onions, avocados, garlic, and tomatoes.