Healthy Food for Dogs
Deciding what to feed your dog isn’t something you should take lightly. Apart from exercise and mental health, diet is the biggest contributor to well being. Feeding a healthy dog food is really important.
If you’re a dog owner, you want nothing more than for your dog or dogs to be in tip-top shape and perfect health. Some people like making their own dog food, but for many dog owners, that’s just not possible with all the time and work that has to go into it. Besides, plenty of dog foods out there are specially formulated to give dogs the right balance of nutrients they need.
Dogs need meat, as it provides them with the bulk of their energy through its protein. Lean meats like chicken, pork, and beef are also great sources of B vitamins and amino acids, which also boost energy and metabolism. Look for cuts of meat with no visible fat when buying meat for your dog, and avoid ground meat, which usually has a higher fat content. Cooked, unseasoned chicken is an easy addition to his regular food, also raw chicken bones are fine for your dog.
Fatty fish like tuna and salmon are great because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content, which is great for dogs both inside and out. It helps maintain a shiny, healthy coat, and it’s also great for brain function and for your dog’s immune system.
Liver is a fantastic source of vitamins and iron. In fact, it can contain much more of the essential nutrients your dog needs than muscle meat, and you can get it fresh from the grocery store or buy it freeze-dried or dehydrated at the pet store as dog treats. While dogs love liver, be sure not to give them too much of it, as a lot of vitamin A is hazardous for them. Servings should not exceed an ounce for medium and large dogs or half an ounce for small dogs.
Fresh whole foods such as vegetables and fruit are full of live enzymes and will add a new dimension to your dog’s health. Whole foods are also full of fiber, which aids digestion, encourages pooping and improves stools. Broccoli, a vitamin-rich vegetable which can be a great occasional nutrition boost for dogs. However, it shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a dog’s diet as it could cause gastrointestinal irritation. If your dog has stinky breath, chop up a few tablespoons of fresh parsley (either flat or curly, it doesn’t matter) and add it to your dog’s food to neutralize the odor. Carrots are great treats for dogs not only because of all their vitamins, but also because their hard, crunchy nature is great for scraping plaque and other gunk off your dog’s teeth. If left there, the plaque can lead to decay and infections. Baby carrots are perfect, especially for smaller dogs, because they’re a manageable size and come already peeled.
Dogs don’t need grains at all to be healthy. They don’t eat them in the wild, and most are allergic to wheat. A great protein-rich substitute is green lentils. Just like rice, green lentils require boiling, so your preparation time is similar. It’s best to soak them first and rinse before cooking, then rinse again after cooking.
Unlike animal fats and other vegetable fats, raw coconut oil (virgin cold-pressed) is truly unique. Coconut oil can help you manage your dog’s weight. The oil is great for nourishing your dog’s skin and fur, and it also contains monoglyceride monolaurin, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Additionally, it’s a high source of protein.
There are also a handful of people foods that you should never give to your dog. Grapes, seem to be innocuous, but are highly dangerous for dogs. They contain compounds that can cause kidney failure for pooches, and also represent a choking hazard. Onions can make your dog very sick by causing damage to his red blood cells. You’re never supposed to feed a dog chocolate, because that delicious candy contains caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines. If ingested in large amounts, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, seizures and even death.
Last but not least, consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything new to make sure that it’s safe.