Dog owners want only the best for their beloved furry buddies and will do everything they can to keep their pets healthy and happy. There is so much you can do, from taking your four-legged pals for regular walks, preparing their favorite treats, to turning your home into a specially adapted dog-friendly space. Just don’t forget about providing your pup with a healthy dog diet.
Wondering how to create a nutrition plan that will boost your dog’s health and agility?
Consider including these foods in a healthy dog diet.
There is a great debate concerning feeding dogs fruits and vegetables. Although some dog owners tend to avoid them, explaining that dogs are carnivores, and, therefore, have no physiological need for fruits and veggies, it seems that adding fruit and vegetable matter benefits dogs in the long run.
Keep in mind, however, that cooking and boiling destroy most of the useful polyphenols these foods provide. Avoid heating and processing fruits and veggies before feeding them to your pet.
So, which foods from this group should you consider? Here are a few healthy dog diet choices:
- Apples are a natural source of vitamins A and C, also helping clean other food residues from your pet’s teeth. However, avoid feeding your dog apple seeds (potential arsenic poisoning) or the core (choking risk).
- Carrots provide vitamins A, C, and K, which are good for your dog’s eyes and skin. Carrots also help clean teeth and gums.
- Celery contains vitamins A, C, and K, which improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
- Watermelon is filled with fiber, potassium, and magnesium, which boosts hydration and helps your dog’s skin. Just be sure to remove the seeds and don’t let your pup chew on the rind.
Some fruits and veggies in addition to being a source of useful vitamins and fiber, also help prevent and combat inflammation. As chronic inflammation in dogs can lead to more severe conditions such as arthritis, heart diseases, obesity, and even cancer, fighting it can be crucial for your dog’s overall health. Consider adding these anti-inflammatory foods to a healthy dog diet.
- Spices such as cloves, ginger, paprika, turmeric, and rosemary.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, kale, and cauliflower.
- Omega 3 fatty acids (present in animal-based foods like fatty fish), papaya, and berries (especially blueberries).
Meat is a crucial protein source for a healthy dog diet, but not every beef is the same or equally suitable for your pet. Consider including these meats:
- Beef is a common dog food choice. It’s rich with vitamin B and iron and contains high levels of protein and fat. Because it is expensive, beef-based industrial dog food is usually made of heavily-processed beef byproducts. Consider buying whole meat cuts that you prepare yourself.
- Chicken, like beef, represents a rich source of protein, but only if it’s organically produced.
- Turkey is an excellent choice for your dog. It’s rich in protein, zinc, iron, and potassium. Just like chicken, it’s best when organically produced.
How much food?
Feeding your dog too little can lead to nutritional deficiencies, but overfeeding your dog also is dangerous.
Overeating can lead to obesity, skin disorders, heart failure, and more. Nearly half the dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
Conclusions about a healthy dog diet
Understanding your dog’s specific dietary needs requires research, monitoring, and adapting. It’s worth the effort.
Creating a healthy dog diet will keep your four-legged friend healthy and active. Include a variety of foods to ensure you’re providing your dog with the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, and good fats.
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