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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Tips and Information About the Health and Nutrition of Your Dog

Responsible dog owners are often asking us for help and advice surrounding the health and nutrition of their dogs. Therefore, we've put together these frequently asked questions which have been answered by our veterinary and nutritional experts.

General Questions About Diet

If you have a specific question, and you can’t find it in our FAQs, please do get in touch with us at [email protected]

What Makes Happy Dog Dry Food Special?

An exclusive diet of high-quality dry food from Happy Dog offers an ideal variety of natural ingredients with the best, highly-digestible meat from various types of animal, highly pre-gelatinised grain varieties, effective herbs, valuable minerals, vitamins and trace elements.

With special, individual recipes, Happy Dog is able to meet the specific needs of most dogs. Our dry food can either be fed dry or soaked in water.

NB: a meal of high-quality dry food is also generally more cost-effective than canned food.

How Much Variety Does a Dog Need in His Food?

Actually, not even the most successful 'predator' in nature has that much variety. In fact, to ensure that his pack has an optimum food supply, he prefers to kill large prey animals of which there are not many to choose from. But, of course, a carnivore would not turn down a bit of variety in the form of a small prey animal, or even various plant-based foods. The Happy Dog recipes imitate the variety offered by nature as they contain an optimal combination of ingredients. Furthermore, our range of treats and chews give your dogs even more variety.

In certain circumstances, changing your dog’s food can be both sensible and indeed necessary, for example, during growth, pregnancy and lactation, or during winter when your dog may be less active than during summer.

Frequent changes of food just for the sake of variety is not needed and can often create a fussy eater’, or even cause health problems in a sensitive animal.

What is the Correct Amount of Food to Give my Dog?

The recommended amount to feed your dog depends largely on his current weight and activity level.

Happy Dog offers a feeding guide for every individual food however this is based on the current and the ideal weight of an average dog. This guide can only can be determined by calculations, hence can only be seen as rough guidelines.

If your dog is overweight, reduce the amount of food considerably, if possible, and/or switch to a food that is more suitable for the dog. Very slender and active animals may be given an increased amount of food or changed to a food with higher energy/fat levels.

It’s also important to note that inexplicable weight gain or loss can also be a symptom of illness and should always be examined by your vet.

How Often Should I Feed my Dog?

One or two meals per day are normally recommended for a healthy, adult dog; rather than simply cutting the meals in half, you can also divide them into portions of different sizes, such as 1/3 in the morning and 2/3 at night (or vice versa).

To help to prevent bloat in dogs, 2 or preferably 3 meals per day is recommendable, especially for at-risk breeds such as the Boxers, German Shepherds, Great Danes and Standard Poodles.

Puppies should be fed more often per day, depending on their age, up to 4-times a day.

Click here to read our article on feeding your puppy and junior dog.

What do I Need to be Aware of When Changing my Dog's Food?

Ideally, you should change the food over the course of several days (at least 3-4 days) so that your dog’s body can adapt to the new food and recipe, which may have an entirely different composition than the one he was used to. Simply mix in a little more of the new food with the one the dog was used to at every meal and reduce his former food by the equivalent amount over at least 5-days. For young or senior animals, sick dogs or those with sensitive digestions, it is better to change over very slowly over 7-14 days.

My Dog is a Fussy Eater. Can You Help?

Some dogs like variety in their food. But you should remain very strict with your dog’s feeding. If you are too indulgent and constantly offer new food, or even ‘refine’ the food, this will not only ‘train’ a fussy eater, but might even result in general in a difficult dog as feeding has a lot to do with general training.

Why is High-Digestibility so Important in my Dog's Food?

Highly digestible dog food guaranties that the nutrients in the food can be easily absorbed and used by the body without having to go through complicated digestive and metabolic processes. The higher the digestibility, the less metabolic ‘waste’ products will put the body under pressure.

A high digestibility is especially important to sensitive animals. The higher the quality of the used raw material, the higher the digestibility of the food and consequently the higher the overall quality. Moreover, the way of processing the food has a very important influence on the digestibility of food: Extruded products (croquettes, dry kibbles) have a much higher digestibility than crushed flakes (comparable to our breakfast cereals).

The following criteria are sins for high digestibility:

- small feeding amount

- small faecal volume

- good faecal consistency

Digestibility is not only due to the type and quality of food but also to the individual animal itself. In very nervous or older animals, the digestibility can reduced because of an excessively fast intestinal transit or a decrease in function of the digestive organs. Health problems like parasites can also have a negative influence on digestibility.

Happy Dog foods have a particularly high digestibility level (90%) and therefore are very wholesome. How well the body can digest dog food can be seen if you look at the waste - if a food is only 7.5% less digestible (for example 82.5% versus 90%) it leads to twice the amount of faeces!