9 Tips to Improve Your Dog's Diet
We love our dogs, and we want them to be happy and healthy. That is why we spend a lot of time and money on taking care of them. However, it is essential to know the right way to do this. Here are some tips you can apply to help boost your dog’s diet.
Give your dog variety of food
As human beings, we cannot stand eating one type every single day. We like to mix it up so we can enjoy different flavors and get the various nutrients that our bodies need. We do not apply this line of thought when it comes to our dogs. You will find many dog owners giving their dogs a particular type of food daily. You can even feed your dog a variety of human foods. Putting your dog on dry food or canned food is good but mixing them with fresh fruits and vegetables and various cooked foods is even better. Don’t be afraid also to give your dog some of your food. The key is to introduce them slowly to see if they are okay with it. There’s no problem doing so provided they are not allergic to it. However, you should avoid some things like chocolate, grapes, and xylitol.
Know your dog’s dietary needs
Some things are common among all dogs. However, every dog is unique in its way. That is why you need to understand what your dog needs in his diet. The nutrients that every dog needs are proteins, carbohydrates, water, fats, minerals, and vitamins. These help to improve your dog’s health. You will notice their nails and fur looking great too. Beyond that, you need to talk to your veterinarian to know any dietary allergies your dog may be having. You can also ask your veterinarian about the food packages you may be planning to buy for your dog. Once you know what your dog needs in his food, you should give it to him.
Feed them foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Dogs are usually prone to more diseases especially as they age. The older dogs get, the more difficult it becomes to be active. They may be dealing with various health issues like diabetes and arthritis that may hinder them from being active. Inflammation usually causes diseases and premature aging in both humans and dogs. The key is to try to reduce the chances of having these issues. That is why your dog needs foods that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that antioxidants reverse the effects of the harmful free radicals that dogs have in their bodies due to illness, age or poor diet. Fresh foods contain plenty of antioxidants.
Meticulously clean your dog’s bowl
You would be surprised at the number of people who do not take their time to wash your dog’s bowl thoroughly. If food particles remain in your dog’s bowl, then they can attract bacteria which can make your dog sick. The best way to prevent this from happening is to wash the container thoroughly. You can go a step further and use vinegar while cleaning the bowl. This will make it extra clean and will not expose your dog to harmful toxins.
Don’t cook their meat
Dogs can have cooked food if it is well prepared and is a balanced diet. However, this does not apply to meat. They should eat their meat raw. Cooking the meat makes it lose a lot of vital nutrients. You probably know this, but it is only humans who cook their foods. The other species eat them raw so do not be worried.
Add vegetables and fruits to their diet
Vegetables and fruits are healthy for both humans and dogs. You should give your dog berries because they are full of antioxidants. This is mainly for blueberries. Apples, watermelon, and bananas are some of the fruits that are beneficial to your dog’s health. You might even be surprised to know your dog likes citrus. The fruits you should stay from include raisins and grapes because too much of them can lead to kidney failure. Carrots and zucchini are some of the raw vegetables you can feed your dog. They are great because they also have low calories and are tasty snacks. Vegetables that do not have starch can be added to your dog’s food. They will, therefore, have more food without increasing their calorie intake. Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables have plenty of nutrients. Be careful not to give your dog too much of them because they can cause gas.
Avoid overfeeding your dog
Watching your dog is something that you may enjoy especially if they have an appetite. You may find yourself continually giving them foods and treats. Be careful not to overfeed them because it will make them gain too much weight which will be accompanied by many health complications. This is particularly true for older dogs because they will not be very active as they age and therefore, they may not have the ability to work out the extra food they take in. the weight gain will give them muscle and joint issues such as arthritis.
Read the food label
If you are buying food for your dog, then you should know what is in it. That is why you need to read the label. Ingredients that are not listed as artificial are better for your dog. You can read the ingredients, google them to see whether they are good or bad for dogs. You can also ask your veterinarian to recommend the ingredients that you should go for. Some ingredients may be great for your dog especially if he is dealing with a particular condition while others may not be healthy for him. You will see on the label of our organic dog treats that the only ingredient is Grade A chicken.
Give your dog yogurt
Most people love yogurt because it is tasty. Yogurt with live cultures may not be that tasty, but it is very healthy. This is usually plain yogurt without sweeteners. Buy your dog some of it. It is low in fat and has no flavored sugar. If your dog is suffering from digestive problems, then the probiotics contained in the yogurt will help with that. If you have a small dog, then you can even give them a spoonful.
These are the different ways you can ensure that your dog has a better diet and hence, a better quality of life.