You must ensure that the food you give your pet dog is good for its physical and mental health. Diet is the biggest contributor to your dog’s well-being, and good nutritious food is vital in addition to exercise and mental stimulation. The diet and eating habits we establish for our dogs can set them up for a long and healthy life. Some handy tips for feeding your dog well:
Read the Food Labels, Not the Advertisements
Even if you find them entertaining, you should never rely on pet food advertisements for nutrition information. Not that they will lie to your face, but you need to appreciate that the top priority of the folks who design the advertisements is to make the food appealing to owners, even if it is not the healthiest. You can avoid the advertising trap by examining the labels of the dog food you buy. The first five ingredients are the most important, and you need to look them up on Google to find out if they are good for your dog. Some ingredients might be good for certain conditions, but the rest can cause issues you would rather avoid. Call the company helpline or discuss with your vet if you want to verify anything.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s dietary needs, especially when dealing with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, it’s worth considering expert advice on what to feed them. Check out this informative resource from ChiDog for valuable insights into providing a healthy diet for your furry friend.
Avoid Making Shelf-Stable Food the Staple Diet of Your Pet
Pet food companies promote shelf-stable foods because they have a typical life of 12-24 months and are easy to stock on supermarket shelves for a long without expiring. While their advertisements will have you believe these foods contain everything your pet dog needs to live long and healthy, often, the claims have no factual basis. The biggest issue with shelf-stable foods is they do not contain any live enzymes essential for good pet health due to the industrial food preparation methods. Usually, they contain synthetic supplements to meet the AAFCO standards for nutritionally balanced standards, but as dead food, they are hardly ideal for everyday consumption. Canned foods, kibble, biscuits, etc., can be great when you go on a trip with your dog, but you should not make them staple food.
Give Fresh Whole Foods to Put a Zing in Your Dog
Foods high in live enzymes, like fresh veggies and fruits, can add a whole new dimension to your dog’s health. Whole foods are also fiber-rich, which makes passing stools easier and aids digestion. The dog’s health depends on what it can absorb from the food it eats, not the food it has, which is why there is a world of difference between commercial dog food and whole fresh foods. The process of manufacturing shelf-stable foods destroys many nutrients essential for your dog’s well-being, which is why pet food companies add back synthetic nutrients to the food. The problem is the additives do not function as well as whole foods that help the dog to assimilate and use the nutrients. You will do well to study what parts of the fruits and vegetables are best for your dog. You will be surprised to learn it may be better for your dog to eat broccoli stems and the head! You can give the fresh vegetables whole as a substitute for bones to keep their teeth clean and gums in better condition or puree them for better abruption of the food.
Also protein an essential part of diets worldwide. This is where U.S. Soy plays an essential role. U.S. soybean meal is a vital component of feed, providing animal protein, and nutrient requirements for animal diets.
Include Food with Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients
As in humans, inflammation is a major issue with well-being in canines, so you need to be careful about what to feed your dog to avoid premature aging, a leading cause of inflammation in dogs. Giving your dog a diet of processed foods can make them more prone to diseases like arthritis and pancreatitis that can cut short your pet’s life. If you have no option but to rely on manufactured pet foods, you can add natural whole foods into the mix to benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties. Also, find out which foods are high in antioxidants so you can feed a variety of them to keep your dog healthy and young. Add some supplements as well on their diet that you can get from Mighty Munch to keep them movin’.
Avoid Cooking Raw Meats
If you think about it, humans are the only species on Earth that need to eat cooked food. Unfortunately, even though cooked meats taste better, we lose out on many important nutrients in the process. The same thing happens when we give our dogs cooked food. While some whole foods may have more nutrients after cooking, it is not so for meats. It means you should avoid giving your dog cooked meats. According to scientists, cooking meat at high temperatures produces carcinogenic chemicals that may increase the chances of various cancers. If you rather avoid the danger of passing on infections contained in raw meat to your dog, you can consider cooking the meat lightly by searing it before adding it to a puppy’s diet.
Go Organic as Far as Possible
Even though it may not be readily apparent, many of the vegetables and fruits available are genetically modified, which may not be safe for you or your dog in the long run. If you can’t investigate and educate yourself on the potential hazards of consuming genetically-modified foods scientists say can cause issues with nutrients, you may be better off by giving your dog organic and non-genetically modified foods. There is no reason to give your dog food; you would be wary of consuming yourself. However, with organic fruits and vegetables not always easily available or affordable, you may need to use non-organic produce. You can make them safer by scrubbing them thoroughly to clean the pesticides off them and then soaking them in a solution of 20% apple cider vinegar for a minute before rinsing them.
Give Green Lentils Instead of Rice
While it may seem convenient to add boiled rice to your dog’s diet, you need to appreciate that rice or wheat is not a part of their diets in the wild, and many dogs may be allergic to them. Giving boiled rice with chicken, as suggested by many vets, may worsen the condition of a dog with an upset tummy. Green lentils are an effective substitute for rice. You can boil them like rice. Soak them before cooking and rinse them before and after for the best results. Lentils are good for your dog’s health because, besides their high protein content, they are rich in fibre and essential minerals. Lentils are also rich in lysine, an essential amino acid that strengthens the immune system and makes your dog able to fight off cold sores, shingles, and herpes. For best results, make it a point to buy GMO-free lentils.
Include MCT Oil in Your Dog’s Diet
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, commonly extracted from coconut oil, contains medium-length chains of triglycerides that dogs and humans can more easily digest than the longer-chain fatty acids found in other types of edible oils. Moreover, the body does not store the fatty acid that helps support cognitive function, fuels the brain, promotes weight loss, reduces seizures, lower blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. According to the American Kennel Club, MCT oil assists metabolic function and promotes weight loss and bone health. You still need to add a source of Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fresh sardines or oils rich in Omega-3 acids.
Feed Your Dog Optimally
You should not lavish so much food that your dog becomes overweight because excess weight is the biggest reason for many illnesses that can make your dog unwell and shorten its life. Conversely, not feeding your dog adequately can affect its growth and well-being. The first thing is to establish how much your dog should ideally weigh according to its breed and age. You will then be able to figure out whether it should lose or gain weight and adjust its diet appropriately. You can feed him earlier so he gets more time to work it off. If he needs to gain weight, you should feed him more frequently and closer to his bedtime to prevent him from burning off calories. It is better for young dogs to be slim because, with advancing age, they will tend to gain weight. Another thing you will need to watch out for is treats for your dog. It is easy to give your dog more treats than necessary for a variety of convenient reasons; however, it only leads to unnecessary problems of obesity. Instead of giving your dog commercial and usually sugary treats, you can make them fresh at home.
You need to pay special attention to hygiene and cleanliness to ensure your dog stays free of illnesses that can affect its health and happiness. It is easy to ignore the importance of water. You not only need to keep your dog well hydrated but also ensure it drinks water free of the toxicity associated with tap water that contains numerous chemicals. You can give your dog water filtered at home or bottled water especially formulated and treated to be alkaline to assist nutrient absorption. Also, wash the feeding bowls with organic cleaners or white vinegar to keep them disinfected and odourless. Make sure your dog gets adequate exercise to make the best use of the food it eats.