Sunday, 24 June 2012

Providing Nutrition for Your Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular family dogs all over the world. It's known for its gentleness, intelligence, friendliness, and versatility. It excels as a hunting companion, a guide dog for the blind, and as part of search-and-rescue teams and narcotics detection units. It comes in three colors, namely: yellow, black, and chocolate. This dog has a double coat that's naturally water-resistant and sheds regularly. If you've got a dog of this breed, you need to take care of it so it will always be in top shape for the activities it's born to do and to keep it looking good. One of the most important ways to care for your dog is to feed it properly.
Once your pet is 6 weeks old, you can already give it puppy food. Kibbles for puppies are much smaller than the ones for adult dogs. It's made for easier digestion and for mixing with hot water or milk. To wean a puppy from milk, put in some kibbles in the milk and reverse the proportion gradually until it's comfortable with eating kibbles alone. It's best to give it food three times a day.
Your puppy needs twice the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals needed by an adult dog. This is why you need to choose kibbles particularly made for puppies and not for adults. It's also ideal that a Labrador puppy takes in up to about 25 percent of its protein requirements from meat. Check the label of the pet food before you buy it.
As soon as your pet turns 3 months, it's ideal to switch him to a twice-a-day feeding than thrice-a-day. Be careful not to overfeed your dog, which is a common mistake of owners of large breeds. Underfeeding and overfeeding both cause serious illnesses in dogs.
You should also train your dog to have a specific spot for eating its meals. Giving your dog this privacy lets it take its meals in a relaxed and healthy way. It won't also feel defensive about having to guard its meals from other people.
Aside from giving it a specific place to eat, you should also keep its meal times consistent. Don't keep its dish full all the time and just let it gobble up kibbles whenever it wants to. Disciplining your dog about feeding schedules helps keep it from being overfed and from being a picky eater.
Finally, taking care of your pet's health and nutrition doesn't only involve food. Make sure you also provide your dog with fresh water to drink all the time and maintain its regular exercise schedule.

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