Is your dog really a finicky eater, or could it be something else? There are many factors to consider when you notice that your dog doesn't seem to be eating as usual.
If you're suspicious, take a closer look at exactly what he's eating each day. Does he get the occasional dog treat, or is someone sneaking him extra table scraps?
When you feed your dog a balanced, highly nutritious diet, nothing else is needed. In fact, extra treats can drastically alter your dog's normal intake of dog food. It's similar to the feeling you get after eating too much candy or potato chips. Are you interested in a full meal? Neither is your dog.
Feeding for Lifestyle or Life Stage
IAMS™ dog foods are nutritionally balanced and specifically formulated to meet the needs of dogs in all life stages, and with different lifestyles. There are dry, canned, and pouch varieties, plus options for senior or overweight pets, puppies, and dogs with reduced activity levels. Talk to your veterinarian or an IAMS Pet Care and Nutrition Center professional for advice on what's best for your dog.
Product Feeding Guidelines
Recommended feeding amounts are shown on every package. The guidelines are general suggestions for the amount of food you should feed your dog. Every dog is different and does not need the same amount of food. Your dog's activity level and his metabolic makeup are the determining factors. Start with the amount given in the feeding guidelines. Then, add or subtract food as you observe your dog's eating habits and weight.
Portion-Controlled and Free-Choice Feeding Methods
Portion-Controlled Feeding: Divide the daily amount and feed at specific intervals. It is important to take away all leftover food after 15 to 20 minutes. This sets a pattern for your dog to follow. The portion-controlled feeding method is recommended for giant and large breeds as well as for overweight dogs. Portion control also works well for dogs with special needs.
Free-Choice Feeding: Feed the daily amount and let your dog eat at leisure. This method is recommended for use only with dry foods. Remember, dogs eat to meet their energy requirements. They quickly define their own daily portions when eating free-choice.
Good Dog Feeding Tips for All Dogs
Water: Regardless of which food you choose to feed, your dog must have plenty of fresh, clean water. A good dog feeding tip is to place the water 3 to 5 feet from the food. This will help prevent your dog from gulping water and air in addition to food.
Routine: Dogs need it. Feeding at the same time and place every day establishes a comfortable eating pattern.
The Veterinarian: Regular visits help keep your dog happy and healthy!
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For some dogs, a simple fence isn’t enough to keep them in the yard. Maybe you’ve got a little escape artist that’s too smart for their own good. Maybe you’re raising a brave explorer who loves to get lost. Or maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to have your dog stolen from their own backyard. Creating a safe and secure space to keep your pet can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Understanding the common reasons dogs get out and what you can do to prevent it from happening goes a long way toward keeping your furry friend safe.
Why Does Your Dog Want to Escape?
Securing your yard starts with understanding the impulses that drive your dog to see what’s beyond your property. Spaying or neutering is an important first step in curbing a dog’s desire to roam, but there may be other factors at play. Creating a safe yard for a lonely Labrador in search of a friend is an entirely different exercise than securing a burrow-happy beagle on the hunt for a squirrel. We’d recommend trying to learn as much as you can about your dog’s breed and underlying instincts. The most common reasons dogs try to escape are:
- Feeling socially isolated
- Lack of stimulation (think toys)
- Desire to escape something that scares them, like thunder
Countering these behaviors starts with understanding which one is at the heart of your dog’s desire to break free. Once you’ve got a theory of what’s motivating your pup, it’s time to give your safety measures a second look.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure in Your Yard
Microchip Your Dog and Scan Their Nose
If your dog is committed to getting out, your most useful tool will be the ability to track and locate them wherever they’re found. There are a huge variety of products and services designed to help you keep your dog safe, but the most important thing you can have is a plan. You’ve most likely heard of GPS tracking chips that can be implanted in your pet, but you may not know that you can also scan their nose. Through a new app called NOSEiD, you can capture your dog’s unique nose print, which will give whoever finds them a faster, simpler way of reuniting the two of you. It’s that easy! Just download the app, call your pup over and start scanning.
The Best Defense Is a Good … Fence
Even though they’re not technologically impressive, a sturdy wooden or metal fence still plays an important part in protecting your dog while they’re in your yard. Not only does it keep your dog from wandering, it also keeps unwanted animals and people away from your dog’s space. If your dog can leap over it, you’ll obviously need to raise the height, or you can add an overhang that makes it harder to clear. You might also consider planting some shrubs along the inside of the fence to discourage jumping. If your dog is burrowing beneath your fence, consider adding a barrier beneath it or putting a bumper collar on them, which makes it harder to squeeze into small spaces.
If you have a particularly territorial dog, you may want to cover any open spots in your fence that your dog might spy adversaries through. A solid fence may help them feel safe and diminish their need to patrol their surroundings.
When it comes to electric fences, using one successfully depends on your dog’s personality. If your dog has recently been ignoring the electric fence, you may want to consider retraining them or investing in a physical barrier.
Make “Yard” Mean “Yay!”
Making your yard a dog-friendly and entertaining space is a huge part of keeping your dog safe at home. With enough toys, space to burn energy and ideally a friend to play with, your dog won’t have any reason to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. A few popular dog-pleasers you may want to provide are:
- A bit of shelter or shade
- A source of water
- A rotating lineup of toys
- Their favorite playmate (you)
Use Your Yard Wisely
Last, but not least, if you leave your dog unattended for a long period of time in your yard, there’s a good chance they will get bored and look for a way to burn off some energy. To prevent them from getting mischievous, limit the amount of time they’re out on their own, and check in frequently. Also, for dogs with separation anxiety or that may be afraid of loud noises, your presence will help keep them calm and close to home.
With your dog chipped or their nose scanned, you’ll always have an option in the event that your dog strikes out on their own. Beyond that, understand what makes your dog unique and check your yard’s safety features regularly for holes or weak points. As usual, a little preparation now can save you a ton of time and energy in the long run.
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