Once you have decided on the type of food you will be feeding, you then need to decide how you will feed.
While, as the human, you may have a preference the final decision is really up to the dog, many dogs require a scheduled feeding.
This simply means that the food is presented to the dog for up to twenty minutes and then is removed, whether eaten or not.
This is a good habit to get in with indoor dogs, as it helps plan for exercise breaks and trips outside.
Free feeding is used for many dogs. It is simply placing an automatic feeder or bowl of food out for the dog, so they may access exercise choice of when and how much to eat.
This is a good way to feed if the dog is not a glutton, or if there are dogs that get along well together.
If you have a dominant dog, it may prevent other dogs from accessing the feed, or may eat until it is stuffed to prevent others from getting any food! This is unhealthy for both the dominant and the submissive animals. Avoid feeding dogs together if they are in anyway aggressive towards each other.
HOME COOKING FOR YOUR LABRADOR
If you have the time, there are some great home recipes that you can make for your dog. This allows you to ensure that your Labrador is getting fresh, high quality foods that are prepared in a clean environment.
It is difficult to calculate the exact nutrient balance; however, so dry or wet premium quality foods should be used to supplement the home cooked items.
There are many different recipes for home cooked dog meals. Most include the following:
- Beans (any variety)
- Beef (lean)
Any combination of the above can be added to a crock-pot, covered with water and allowed to simmer. This mixture is cooked until soft and then allowed to cool. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and then discarded.
The meat is usually ground or cubed before cooking. Remember to avoid using onions, mushrooms or garlic in the food as this can cause a reaction with some dogs.
In addition, many home-made dog food recipes call for brown rice or oatmeal to be added. This may be done, but do remember these should constitute the smallest amount of the total ingredients, not the largest.
If you don’t have the time to make your own food, or are concerned about your dog eating a balanced diet, it is best to purchase premium brands of dog food. These brands are usually a little more expensive than the store “own-label” brands, but provide balanced nutrition for your pet.
In addition, they contain all the supplemental vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy dog. Some premium brands of dog foods include:
- Science Diet
- Breeder’s Choice
- Black Gold
All dogs will have a preference for the kind of food that they like. Most of the premium dog food manufactures offer different sizes of bags, and even samples.
Check with your local pet store, vet or breeder to see if any samples or coupons are available for a trial of a food before buying a large quantity of an expensive food only to find your dog hates it!