Any dog owner will be able to tell you: dogs are much more than pets. They might be pets at first, but they soon become our closest and dearest friends, our confidants, our fur children, and four-legged companions. They give us their unconditional love and devotion, and it’s natural that we want only what’s best for them. We take them out for walks and to the vet, and we pay special attention to their diet. If you’re worried that your dog’s diet isn’t balanced enough, here’s how you can change that:
Fresh Whole Foods
Just like fresh whole foods are good for you, they can be just as good for your dog too, but you need to be careful. Some fruit and vegetables are filled with enzymes that will do wonders for your dog’s health and fiber that will help their digestion. When you give them fresh, unprocessed food, you allow them to absorb more nutrients.
Peanut butter is considered a safe treat for them, and fresh apples, bananas, and carrots are also beneficial for their health. You can also puree vegetables to allow your dog to absorb more nutrients, or you can choose to feed those to them whole for teeth and gum maintenance.
Create A Meal
Just as you wouldn’t be able to eat the same kind of food all your life, your dog can easily become fed-up with the food you’re giving it. Balancing your pet’s meals is important because it introduces diversity and versatility into their diet. You should combine meats, greens, and grains with their wet or complete dry dog food; also, try feeding them dog food in the morning and grains and veggies in the evening (or vice versa).
When buying dog food, try to read the label carefully and avoid food with a long list of complicated and/or vague ingredients – “meat” isn’t specific enough, it’s better when the label says “beef”, “poultry” or “lamb”.
When they look at you sadly while you’re eating, it becomes difficult to resist and not share a bit of your meal with them. No matter how delicious the food you’re eating smells, you should remember that a dog’s digestive system is very different from yours, and if they start eating the food you’re eating, they probably won’t get all the minerals and nutrients they need.
Still, giving them a little something every now and then doesn’t have to be a bad idea: an occasional bit of boneless chicken breast is a good choice, and if they’re recovering from an upset stomach, you can also add some white rice.
The Issue of Overfeeding
A lot of owners overfeed their dogs because they fear that their pets will be hungry, and as a result, dogs become overweight and need to lose weight. Even dogs that need to go on a diet need to eat balanced meals, but the size of their meals should be changed drastically. Another good idea is to feed them earlier in the day so that they have time to work the meal off.
Giving your dog treats is a good thing, but if you do it too often, you can harm their health. Healthy treats aren’t always easy to find, but you can try introducing some natural ones such as coconut flakes, cabbage, or peanut butter. Fresh veggies combined with store-bought treats are always a good choice, or you can even try making some yourself.
Food To Steer Clear Of
Even though you may think that as long as the food is natural, it will be good for your dog, you’d be wrong. There are many natural whole foods your furry friend should avoid in order to stay healthy – for example, raisins, avocados, and onions. Seeds of apricots, cherries, apples, and peaches are bad for them, and caffeine from tea and coffee will harm them too. They should only drink water and avoid food that contains chocolate, as well as artificial sweeteners.
Read the labels carefully before you buy any dog food and don’t over-feed them with treats. If you take time and effort to monitor your dog’s diet and make it more natural and well-balanced, you will ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy for a long time. With plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, and oils, your dog will get everything it needs in order to be active and healthy.
Here is an article with more good information on nutrition.