Feeding and treating tips

Often choosing the right food to feed your dog can be overwhelming as there’s so many types of food and different brands out there. Among the choices are whether to feed wet food, dry food, or a bit of both, then there’s also raw food.

There are benefits to all types of food for dogs and Butcher’s offers a range of wet dog food and treats to suit many dogs’ needs.

We hope our guide helps you to understand more about feeding wet food and treats. Also, what signs to look out for to make sure your four-legged friend stays fit and healthy.

WHERE TO START

There are a few basic things we recommend when feeding your dog – whether it’s dry, wet or raw food that you decide on:

  • Try to feed at a regular time each day so your dog gets used to their routine. Two smaller meals rather than one big meal is better for their digestion
  • Always have a bowl of fresh water out for them to lap up
  • Always feed them from a clean bowl
  • Follow manufacturer feeding guides and tweak according to amount of activity your dog’s getting
  • It’s always good to remember to be aware of the foods that will be dangerous and toxic for your dog to consume:
Alcohol
Coffee/caffeine
Green parts of tomato plants
Avocados
Cooked bones
Human vitamins & supplements
Mouldy food
Chocolate
Artificial sweetener
Grapes, raisins
Onions, chives & garlic
Corn on the cob
Liquorice

BENEFITS OF FEEDING WET DOG FOOD

A dog’s digestive system is built for meat – it’s what they naturally thrive on. Meat provides all the essential proteins, vitamins, minerals and fat a healthy dog needs, as well as water, which is good for hydration. It’s packed full of the goodness which keeps coats healthy, eyes bright and boundless energy.

All of Butcher’s nourishing food for dogs is 100% complete & balanced, which means meals contain all of the nutrients needed for a balanced diet.

A dog’s food requirements will depend on their age, state of their health and the level of exercise they get each day, so please bear this in mind when choosing their food and the amount to feed.

Benefits Of Feeding Wet Food

  • Taste

    Our wet dog food is gently steamed in trays and tins to seal in the delicious taste and smell, so there’s no need for artificial preservatives, colours or flavourings.

  • Natural

    Wet dog food is much closer to what your dog’s ancestors might have eaten in the wild. It’s easier to eat and provides natural nutrition and hydration – and you’ll be able to see how much your dog loves it.

  • Nutritious

    We make our recipes with top-quality natural ingredients and super foods that provide the healthiest possible combination of protein, vitamins and minerals – making them 100% complete and balanced.

  • Hydration

    As a rule of thumb, a dog should drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight. By feeding wet dog food, this can help contribute to their hydration.

HOW MUCH DO I FEED MY DOG?

The amount of food you feed your dog depends on a lot of factors: their age, breed, size and how much they exercise every day. You know your dog better than anyone else, so we suggest you read your food’s feeding guidelines and take into account their age, breed, size and level of activity and adjust the amount of food you give, until it feels right.
Each of our products have individual feeding guides, please either check out our product pages or the back of the pack for full information.

TREATING MY DOG

Everyone likes to give their dog a treat every now and then. We recommend giving treats as a reward or to help with training. A treat is a treat and not a meal replacement for your four-legged friend.

It is important that treats are given as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This will help to avoid over-feeding, so your dog doesn’t gain too much weight, which may lead to a potential increase in associated health risks.

With it being estimated that as many as 1 in 14 dogs in the UK are recorded as being overweight each year1. it’s vital that we ensure the health and wellness of our pets through a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Every dog is different, so when feeding treats we recommend you adjust the amount of your dog’s main food accordingly, suggesting around a 10% reduction throughout the day to keep a balanced diet.

1.Royal Veterinary College study reveals extent of dog obesity crisis in the UK. Published 23 March 2021

 

CHANGING THE FOOD YOU FEED YOUR DOG

At some point you may like to change your dog’s food, or are having to for health reasons. We would suggest when transitioning from an old recipe to a new recipe, if you have time, to gradually introduce the new food over a few days. Just so you can see how your four-legged friend is reacting to the new recipe and to avoid any upset stomachs.

Give this a try – mix a small portion of new food in with their old food and just keep increasing the proportion of the new food over a week to 10 days.

90/10% Day1
75/25% Day3
50/50% Day5
19/75% Day7
100% Day10

SIGNS OF A HEALTHY DOG

Your dog’s health and happiness are the most important factors. One of the keys to a fit, healthy and happy dog is a nutritionally balanced meal, this is providing the right level of vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, daily exercise and lots of cuddles!

You know your dog better than anyone else, and the more you get to know your four-legged friend the quicker you’ll be able to work out if something is different to normal. Below are a few top-tips you can look out for when spending time with your dog, to get to know them and assess whether their food is right for their needs.

If you’re not sure of anything when checking your four-legged friend, we advise you speak directly to your vet.

A great way to keep your dog’s skin and coat in tip-top condition is to book a session with a dog groomer. Dependent on your dog’s breed this can vary from every 6 weeks to a few times year. If unsure speak to your vet and/or groomer for guidance. Omega 3 and 6 are key ingredients for your dog to maintain a healthy skin and coat and avoid flaky dry skin, dullness and even hair loss. A great source of Omega 3 & 6 is salmon oil which our Joints & Coat food for dogs range contains.

More than 90% of dogs over 5 years of age can be affected by painful joints, this can be down to old age or other factors such as over-use or putting too much weight onto the joints. Ingredients such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine help to support joint health and mobility in dogs. Our Joints & Coat range of food and treats contain both of these ingredients

A dog’s immune system fights off all invading bacteria, and the digestion system consists of good and bad bacteria to break down the food your dog eats. This is hard to check-over yourself, but if you at all worried your dog isn’t feeling fit and healthy, please visit your vet. Our Simply Gentle range of food and treats contains Chicory, a natural prebiotic, which helps to supports gut health in dogs with sensitive stomachs

To keep that sparkle in your four-legged friend’s eyes, ensure there is a source of Vitamin A in your dogs diet. Keep a check on your dog’s ears to ensure they are squeaky clean, to avoid a build-up of wax.

Dental disease affects up to 80% of dogs over the age of three. Plaque and tartar build up can lead to partial or whole tooth decay and/or inflamed gums which causes dogs discomfort when easting and playing with toys. There are many products in the market to help with oral health and hygiene for dogs, however one of the most effective ways to reduce dental issues is to clean your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. We recommend asking your vet to show you how to do this, and if you start when your dog is young they get used to it quickly. You’ll need a special dog toothbrush which fits over your finger. We love this page on the RSPC website explaining more
https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/teeth

Dogs, in some rare circumstances, can suffer from allergies, but it’s really difficult to distinguish between those which are true food allergies and those which are food intolerances. Hence in dogs a more generic term of “adverse food reaction” is used.

If your dog is suffering from an adverse food reaction you may see symptoms such as itching (pruritis) and also stomach upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea, with both often occurring together. Chronic and recurrent ear infections can also be seen.

Be aware itching may also be an allergic reaction to a fleabite or an allergy to something present in the environment in which they live.

Again, if you think your dog has a food intolerance we recommend you speak to your vet.

This can be tricky to assess, we have a handy visual will help you to be aware of what to look for. Be sure to feed a nutritionally balanced meal, keep to the feeding guidelines and adjust accordingly depending on amount of exercise

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