We are what we eat, we hear that every day. But that also goes for your dog, and pretty much every living organism. Diet plays a huge part in our pets’ lives. It is the foundation of their physical health.
However, how does diet impact your dog? It affects them in the following way:
- Brain function
- Nervous system
- Energy level
- Skin health
- Coat health
- Digestive system
- Skeletal system
- Functioning of organs
- Joint health
Why diet is important
Basically, the diet has an impact on everything. When a dog eats food, its body breaks down the food and basically, pulls nutrients out of the food for the body to make use of. Sugar is converted into energy, and the nutrients are used to repair and build cells.
The food that is not passed through the digestive system and this is turned into waste. The quality of the food your dog eats is fundamental for their health. The quantity of the food that your dog eats matters big time, but so does what they eat. Hence, you need to give your dog food that is full of nutrients that are essential for them to grow. High quality foods are properly balanced. If you are confused about what food to give to your pet, you can always ask your vet for help.
Dog foods are made necessarily for the purpose of giving the owners a break from what they do and don’t need to feed. In these dog foods, the necessary nutrients are already present, so, you can give it to your dog and be done with it.
However, the number of times you feed your dog is just as important. Dogs have a simple stomach structure, when it is filled with food, it will empty in a matter of hours. Hence, two meals are more than enough for your pup. Regular feeding times allow your dog to be ready for the food that they will receive. Experts strictly disallow filling the bowl with food and allowing your dog to graze.
Remember that eating habits say a lot about the dog’s health. If your dog eats on a regular schedule, then, their habit becomes really rigid. If your dog does not empty the food bowl, or isn’t eating at all, it could indicate towards a serious medical complication. Hence, it is best that you take your dog to the vet and rule out any medical reason behind the issue.
There are some dogs that are good at regulating their food intake. While it is good to set times for meals, some dogs just don’t finish all their food at once and like to graze. For that, measure the entire day’s portion of food in the morning and offer it multiple times throughout the day.
A dog’s circadian rhythm is a big deal. It indicates when the food is beneficial or ‘stressful’, and intermittent eating can actually help add years to your dog’s life.
As mentioned above, when you feed your pet is essential, this prevents obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
How Intermittent Fasting (IF) is beneficial
Feeding your dog all their calories once a day can do wonders for their physiology. It helps to maintain cellular youth, and even slows aging! It increases energy production and allows them to burn fat more than normal.
According to experts, by changing the time animals eat, we can add to their life span. If you are able to accurately make your dog fast, it will improve their biological health in multiple ways. It will reduce blood pressure, improve immune system, boosts kidney function, and enhance cognitive function too!
Fasting increases macrophage activity. This shields against harmful viruses, bacteria and other substances. It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, hence, helping in improving the overall gut health.
If your canine is overweight, this is a good way to make them lose pounds. Intermittent fasting will boost metabolism by cleaning the body from toxins. This reduces levels of insulin, and decreases inflammation, this causes weight loss. In this, the body will make use of sugar for energy, this will burn and also cause a difference in weight.
It will also reduce the risk of cancer. Fasting improves the activity of killer cells, and this in turn kilsl tumors and other cells that are infected with a virus.
How to make your dog fast
There are different ways to fast your dog. In case of intermittent fasting, it means that you feed your dog once during a period of six to eight hours, and then fasting for 16 to 18 hours. This means, fasting for 16 hours and then an eating window for 8 hours, then you fast for 24 hours until it is time for the next breakfast meal.
Make sure that in the feeding window, you are giving your dog foods that are rich in nutrients, and perfect for their health. This way, they won’t develop any deficiencies in their body.
You can also discuss IF over with the vet and get their opinion on it. Remember, that while we love our dogs and would hate to keep them hungry, obesity can have a negative impact on their health.
Below are a few tips for intermittent fasting:
- Do not give treats when fasting
- Give plenty of water
- On days with high activity, do not make them fast
Intermittent fasting is highly beneficial, and the internet is filled with research to show you why. But, it is always important that you get an expert’s opinion on the matter.
What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.