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5 Ways To Provide The Best Nutrition For Your K9

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female officer with K9
female police officer with a shepherd service dog walks along the road. service and law enforcement

Creating a balanced meal for your dog, particularly your K9, is essential since they need complete nutrition to function properly at work. Providing them with healthy food won’t just help them perform well during work or training but will also help maintain their health throughout their lives. Keep in mind, though, that not all dogs have the same nutritional needs.

That’s why it may be challenging to choose what kind of nutritious meal is suitable for your K9. However, this article will give you some ideas on how you can provide the best nutrition for your police dog.

  1. Deeply Study And Know Your Dog’s Breed First

As the partner of your K9, you need to know and understand their type thoroughly because breeds have different energy levels and capabilities. Hence, you can’t just let them eat dog food just because they may need additional nutrition or vitamins. By being familiar with the breed, you can quickly determine what they need to live healthily. 

For example, you need to provide enough carbohydrates for working dogs that are Alaskan Malamutes. This breed also requires a well-balanced diet that includes healthy fats, vegetables, protein, and ground bone. 

Another police dog breed is the German Sheperd. Like Alaskan Malamutes, German Sheperds need protein and fat. To provide them with sufficient protein, feed them whole meat, such as fish, beef, organ meats, and poultry. As for healthy fat, you can serve them food that comes with fish oil, as well as vegetables. Carrots and sweet potatoes are other healthy ingredients for German Sheperds.

nutritional foods for a K9
  1. Get Them Checked By A Veterinarian For Body Weight And Overall Health

It’s wise to take your police dog to a veterinarian if you want to thoroughly check their health condition. Being aware of the state of their health will help you figure out how much food you have to feed them or what nutrients they need in the meantime. The amount of food your K9 needs will mostly depend on their age, size, and breed.

The objective is to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding them. For example, adult German Sheperds need to consume between 1,740 and 2,100 calories. They need to have 18% of protein and 5% of healthy fats too. 

Moreover, by having them examined by a veterinarian, you can check whether they maintain the right weight and whether they experience any complications. 

  1. Follow The Prescribed Diet Meal Or Make A Homemade Meal

As mentioned earlier, police dog breeds require a balanced meal filled with nutrients, like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. For instance, one of the best breeds that works well with law enforcement is the Labrador Retriever. To provide them with a balanced meal, you need to ensure that they get at least 18% of protein, such as fresh chicken with 70 to 75% water. Besides protein, they need fat to remain active. Sources of fat also help their muscles, body cells, tissues, and nerves function and develop well.  

Of course, you shouldn’t forget that your K9 needs to drink enough water every day, especially during the hot season.

On the other hand, you can prepare homemade meals for them. If your police dog is a Labrador Retriever, you can prepare a meal that consists of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Add 1 pound of lean meat, 9.5 ounces of carbohydrates, and 7.5 ounces of fruits and vegetables. Then you just have to mix them with enough water.

  1. Read The Food Label 

Familiarizing yourself with the content of your K9’s food is important as well. By reading the food label, you can see if they’re receiving enough vitamins or carbohydrates that they need every day as working dogs. 

Not all ingredients stated in the label can guarantee a quality, safe meal. There may be some vague labels that you may find, like meat. The label does not state the specific part of meat used. It may be beef or white meat with different nutritional content. So, if you realize that they’re not getting enough nutrition, you can make some changes in their diet.

  1. Avoid Certain Foods That Can Affect Their Health

It’s crucial to note common household foods that aren’t safe for dogs. Here’s a list of foods that you should avoid feeding your K9:

  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolates
  • Salty food (such as pretzels and chips)
  • Fatty food (such as meat drippings, oils, butter)
  • Caffeine
  • Milk or dairy products

Furthermore, make sure that you don’t feed them from the food table because their diet will be unbalanced. They may even experience health issues, including seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach problems.

Conclusion

To perform their duties well, police dog breeds need to have sufficient nutrients. You can always have them assessed by a vet to check their overall health and keep yourself from making assumptions about their condition. But it’s also important that they get the nutrients they require. With this helpful guide, you can ensure that your K9 enjoys well-balanced meals. 

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