Common Concerns About Your Dog’s Health
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How Do I Encourage My Dog to Eat Dry Food After Eating Scraps from the Table?
Dogs are creatures of habit and can resist change when trying to switch their diets. It's important to completely stop feeding from the table. This is best accomplished by removing the pet from the kitchen during mealtimes. Be persistent when offering dry food. The pet may refuse to eat for several meals before deciding to give the food a try. Heating food in the microwave increases the aroma of the food and will often entice a pet to eat. Another alternative is to try mixing some wet food with the dry food, or topping it with a sauce or gravy specifically formulated for pets. Be assured that the pet eats to meet an energy need and will eventually begin to eat unless there is an underlying medical issue.
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Constipated or Has Loose Stools?
Keep in mind that the pet's stool should be small and firm. Most cases of constipation are temporary and due to dietary interruptions. Loose stools also are often temporary and can be due to dietary interruptions, as well as many other things, including an abrupt change in diet, overeating, parasites, medication, eating table scraps, viral or bacterial infections, and stress. If constipation or diarrhea persists, however, it is important to consult a veterinarian.
When My Dog Urinates on the Lawn, It Kills the Grass. Should I Switch Diets?
No. Dead grass is caused by a heavy concentration of urine—usually when a dog urinates in the same spot over and over. Try to train the dog to go to a designated, inconspicuous area of the yard. If this is impossible, try to hose the area as quickly as possible to dilute the urine. Sometimes the discoloration is due to acidic ground pH, which can usually be remedied with a lime treatment.
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- adp_description_block164Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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