Resources First-Time Dog Owners Can Use to Learn About Feeding Their Dogs


More people are welcoming furry friends into their lives. A 2023 American Pet Products Association survey found that nearly 66% own a pet, comprising almost 87 million households. Of those homes, 65.1 million own a dog. It’s also heartwarming to note that recent data from the Pew Research Center indicates 51% of Americans say their dogs are as much a part of the family as human members are. Despite this, dogs aren’t people and require a specific diet for optimal health. This can be confusing for many dog owners, given that breed, age, and lifestyle are just some of the many factors that impact what a dog needs to eat.

For new pet owners, this can be a rather daunting experience. Fortunately, there are a number of resources you can consult to make understanding canine nutrition easier and more enjoyable.

Ebooks and audiobooks

Books have always been a great resource for expert insights on feeding dogs. However, since pet food research can change over time, physical copies face the disadvantage of not getting updated with the newest guidelines. In comparison, ebooks and audiobooks are based online, so updated copies are more accessible. Additionally, they provide valuable pointers on pet nutrition in a portable format, making them compatible with first-time owners who may need to keep returning to resources for guidance. To illustrate, the digital library subscription service Everand gives pet owners access to beginner-friendly titles. Ebooks like “Dog Food Cookbook: 41 Healthy and Easy Recipes for Your Best Friend” are helpful for those who want to make homemade pet food. Meanwhile, audiobooks like “Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days” help first-timers address common mealtime misbehavior, plus feeding tricks. Ebooks and audiobooks are also typically more affordable, with single subscriptions equivalent to a single physical book. This means dog owners can explore more titles without breaking the bank.

Video channels

 In line with human food trends, pet owners are increasingly prioritizing raw and natural food for their dogs, fueling demand for high-quality pet food options. Owners want to know what lifestyle choices they can establish for their new pet. In this case, many may turn to video content for easy consumption. For instance, many pet owners are subscribed to the YouTube channel Bark & Whiskers. Here, Dr. Karen Becker takes the stage, guiding pet owners toward a holistic approach that enhances pets’ nutrition. Topics can range from common food toxins to diet approaches and more. Her videos are focused on being proactive; addressing nutrition issues before they can appear is vital for first-time pet owners who want to ensure better health outcomes. Because these videos are publicly published on YouTube, they can be viewed for free. However, pet owners who want unfettered access can also sign up for a YouTube Premium streaming membership so they can enjoy pet-related content without any pesky interruptions. Videos provide pet owners with a more visually engaging way to seek expert opinions on nutrition, and the comments section facilitates interaction with other owners.

Social media forums

 Forums can offer a treasure trove of benefits for first-time dog owners seeking information about nutrition. Like video channels, they offer invaluable interactions. However, their advantage is that a team moderates the content, the information is organized for easier access, and finding nuanced conversations is easier. For example, Reddit has become a popular source of advice for pet owners. The /r/dogs subreddit is where dog owners of all skill and experience levels converge for tips on responsible dog ownership, which, of course, includes food and nutrition. Here, owners can turn to the Reddit forum’s 2.6 million members for anecdotal information on this or food recommendations. A report by Search Engine Land found that Reddit shows up in 97.5% of product review queries on Google Search, highlighting the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations from everyday people on social media as opposed to traditional pet industry influencers.

With the above resources, pet owners can facilitate balanced and nutritious food intake for their new dogs, keeping them healthier for longer.

For more insights, visit the dog nutrition platform Dog Food Care.

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Jonas Muthoni