Your dog needs exercise just as much as you do. You can both do it at the same time. First, you both need to eat properly in order to achieve the maximum effect from the exercise. Sorry, but I’m going to concentrate on your dog for now though.
He needs to have food that is high in protein and also have some carbs for energy. By now, he should be an adult. Depending on his breed, he will be around 12-18 months old. Smaller breed dogs will reach this point closer to one year of age. He will be at approximately 80% of his weight by this time.
He’s not going to require the same amount of calcium now, as he did when he was a puppy, although a balanced portion is still important. Too much calcium at this stage in his life could be detrimental.
As a puppy, he needed it to build strong bones, teeth and nails. Now that he is an adult, not so much. You want to keep his bones strong, but too much can build up and create problems with his joints. Conversely, too little can make for brittle bones. He will need a complete and balanced formula food specifically designed for his age group.
Many brands out there provide this balance. Make sure to look for the approval by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, AAFCO. They set the nutrient guidelines for all pet foods and the specific age groups. You should see this on the ingredient label to make sure.
Your larger breeds will still need to maintain a certain level of phosphorous and calcium to protect their bones to support the extra weight of their breed and skeletal health. His metabolism is lower than that of smaller breed dogs though so be careful.
Fish oils and vitamins-shiny and new inside too
There is some controversy on adding fish oil supplements to your dog’s food. There is no need to add supplements as long as you buy the right food for your dog’s age and breed. Fish oils in the ingredients are essential, not just for the smooth, shiny coat we want them to have, but also aids their overall health as well. These oils from fish contain the Omega-3 fatty acids they need to reduce joint pain as well as heart and kidney diseases as they get older.
Fiber-just as good for him too
Fiber is good for Fido as well as it is for us two-legged animals. As with us, it is good for his digestive system.
The first thing is that it will help to fill him up, which keeps him from overeating. As I mentioned above, his metabolism is slower than when he was a puppy. A couple of good fibers that are healthy for him are:
- Apples- high in fiber content
- Canned pumpkin
- Brown rice vs white rice-3X more fiber than white rice
- Vegetables such as carrots and green beans, fresh, not canned-too many preservatives. These will also help with colon health, weight management, diarrhea, constipation and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder from too much sugar, same as with humans.
- Oatmeal and bran are good sources too. Bran comes from the shell of many grains.
You don’t want artificial additives or preservatives for colors and flavors. If you want or need to add some flavor to his dry food, try a little chicken broth. He will love you for it!
Regular exercise will help as well to relieve gas for him. Sorry, but it’s a fact!
So, long and short, run with the big dogs. It will do you both some good.