We love our dogs, and like any good doggy parent, you want to treat your fur baby to the best things in life.
From expensive food they love and new toys on a rainy day to entertain them – there's no limit to your love.
But did you know you could be unwittingly poisoning them with every meal?
Dr Simone Maher, Chief Veterinarian at the Animal Welfare League of NSW, shares exclusively with Now To Love five very common mistakes dog owners are making when it comes to feeding our best friends.
Feeding your pooch cooked bones is a no-no
"I have many people come to me and say they've always done it, and have never have any issues with it, but I get to see the dogs that DO have a problem, and it's not pretty! Bones get ground down and set like cement in the intestinal system and shards of bone get lodged between teeth or in the upper arcade of the mouth," Dr Simone Maher tells us.
"Remember to be kind to your dog as well as your vet – the severe, often surgical constipation that come as a result of this, is not pleasant for anyone!"
Underestimating the kilojoule content in all of those treats and snacks
"It can definitely be difficult to resist those puppy-dog eyes, but it's essential if we're treating them that we take it out of their daily allocation (keep a little aside in a container for treats!) to avoid overfeeding."
"If you really can't resist sharing, make sure you take this into consideration and feed a little less at meal times."
Trying to meet nutrient needs through a home-cooked diet.
"If you have plenty of time on your side and and pay very careful attention to every essential nutrient your dog requires, this might be something you can achieve!"
"But for the rest of us, meeting the requirements for micronutrients, amino acids and fatty acids – and ensuring we get this consistently correct can be an exhausting and time-consuming process."
There’s a lot of information out there, and confusion about the best diet for your dog is common!
"In fact, research from Purina Beyond has found that although one in five Australians are investing more time in their dog's health than their own, however despite this two in three people are unsure of what they should be feeding their dog."
"I recommend taking a ground-up approach. Start with consideration of the nutrients required for optimal health and making sure they're provided in the right balance. Choosing a high-quality commercial food takes the hard work out of this with ingredients that are simple and recognisable to provide peace of mind."
Many people don’t realise that onions are highly toxic to dogs and cause destruction of red blood cells
"This is dependent on how much the dog consumes, people may not notice the effects if it is in a small amount for example in a Bolognaise – but a big amount of leftover onions can be deadly for a dog."
"My advice is to play it safe and avoid feeding your dog any onion at all and you won't have any issues!"