There are certain healthy foods that will help your dog with their strength, immunity, and more. Let’s take a look at the healthiest foods you can feed to your dog:
Dogs are one of the most energetic and lovable pets to have around. Since they love playing and engaging so much, it’s crucial to give them the required nutrients so that their energy level stays high. This is why it’s so important to ensure that the food you’re giving your dog is actually healthy and beneficial for them. Different dogs react differently to various foods, which is a natural reaction since not every digestive system responds the same way. However, there are certain healthy foods that will help your dog with its strength, immunity, and more. Let’s take a look at the healthiest foods you can feed to your dog:
Yes, carrots aren’t just good for humans, but extremely good for dogs as well. One of the interesting things to note down is that carrots help with a dog’s dental health. Munching on carrots removes the plaque from your dog’s teeth. Since carrots are packed with a lot of fiber, they also aid in preventing runny stool. The beta-carotene present in carrots, which is basically a precursor to vitamin A, helps in improving your dog’s eyesight. Therefore, whenever you prepare your dog’s meal, make sure that you include carrots in it.
The vitamin A present in carrots boosts your dog’s immunity and also improves their coat and skin health. Dogs can’t digest carrots too easily, so, it’s best to give them to them in a boiled form. Also, it’s important to remember that too much vitamin A can also be toxic, therefore, consult your vet to determine the quantity in which you should be feeding it to your dog.
Much like many other human foods, your dog should be served chicken in a totally unseasoned form. Make sure that there’s no chicken fat or bones involved because cooked chicken bones can tear or even block their digestive tract or windpipe. Chicken provides your dog with all the required amount of protein, and the omega 6 fatty acids give them a healthy coat. The amino acids present in chickens supply the protein required for their body to function well. It also promotes bone health due to the presence of glucosamine.
Chicken also contains various kinds of vitamin B. Plenty of dog food available in the market today claims to have vitamin B, but the fragility of the source is hardly revealed. This is dangerous because if these dog foods get too hot or are left in the sun for too long, it causes the destruction of the beneficial vitamin B. Fortunately, that’s not the case with chicken, as the vitamins present in it boost metabolism and also aid in maintaining your dog’s nervous system. Chicken also contains antioxidants that help your dog in dealing with infections.
Pumpkin is a superfood that’s packed with plenty of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Pumpkin skin and pumpkin seeds contain oils that maintain the health of your dog’s urinary tract. Dogs suffering from urinary incontinence can benefit a lot from consuming pumpkins. Because of the generous amount of fiber present in pumpkins, they help in regulating digestion, thereby adding bulk to your dog’s stool and reducing the chances of diarrhea.
If you’re looking to help your dog with maintaining or shedding some weight, pumpkins can help with that as well, as they do not contain added calories. Popular for being a natural deworming agent, pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, which is an amino acid that is useful in getting rid of any parasites present in your dog’s digestive tract. A pumpkin is a food item that can be eaten by a dog in its entirety. You can cook and feed it to them, and also sprinkle some pumpkin seeds over their meal. While small dogs can be given one or two teaspoons of it a day, medium-sized dogs can have one or two tablespoons, and the bigger dogs can be given up to five tablespoons each day.
The lauric acid contained in coconuts is a fatty acid that can be easily digested, and one that provides ample amounts of energy to your dog. It can also help in fighting viruses and infections, such as ringworms, influenza, and so on. Lauric acid is also an anti-inflammatory agent, which therefore speeds up the healing process and also helps the dogs that suffer from arthritis. Antioxidants are present both in coconut oil and coconut meat, which improves a dog’s immunity, and therefore coconut oil can either be consumed directly or rubbed on your dog’s skin, which also improves the quality of their coat.
Peanut butter isn’t just a delicious spread to apply on your bread, but also healthy food that can be given to your dog, as it contains a variety of vitamins. It contains vitamin E that improves your dog’s immunity, and also vitamin B that boosts the health of their coat and skin. Niacin, which is a part of the vitamin B category, can improve circulation in your dog’s system. The fats and proteins present in peanut butter do not come with any unhealthy ingredients, thereby providing your dog with energy and enabling its growth.
Feeding salmon to your dog is recommended at a pace of twice a week. Remember to serve it unseasoned but never uncooked. In case you feel that salmon is too expensive to be included in your dog’s meals, you can also go for cold-water fish such as herring and tuna, and also fish oil in small amounts. Salmon contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that contain anti-inflammatory properties, boost your dog’s immune system, and also take care of the dog’s skin and coat.
Salmon also contains a lot of protein. Since this protein is low on fat, it’s proven to be a very beneficial protein source for dogs who need to go on a diet. It can also be used as a protein substitute for dogs who are allergic to chickens. While salmon has its advantages as dog food, it should also be given in controlled amounts, and you need to ensure the quality of the fish before feeding it to your dog. Canned salmon can be served to dogs as well, but be sure that it has no bones and that the salmon is canned in water.
The Reality Of The Dog Food Label
Sheila was excited about bringing home her new Labrador pup and quite confident that she could take care of him well. That is until she went shopping. Under a section for Labrador pups, she found dog foods of different brands. If a few were for improving her dog’s fur, others were for boosting his immunity. Some were for muscle gain and some for weight control. Making sense of these marketing gimmicks can be quite challenging. Here are a few points on dog food labels that would help us choose what is right for our pet.
As per Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dog food labels must list all the ingredients used in accordance with their weight. So, if high protein meat is given as the first in a small list of ingredients on a label, chances are that the product is good for our dog. For example, products like Wellness 95 Percent Salmon Canned Dog Food use a few ingredients to provide complete nutrition.
Based on Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, a dog food packet would contain a nutritional adequacy statement. It carries the following information:
- nutritional value of the product in terms of whether it contains all the nutrients that our dog needs or whether it is intended only as a supplement or treat
- how the nutritional value was determined; by meeting with the AAFCO minimum nutrient requirements or bypassing animal feeding trials
- for which stage of life is the food suitable; whether it is meant all life stages or anyone in particular
It is often a legal requirement for a ‘guarantee’ regarding the minimum or maximum percentages of nutrients to be printed on the label. Some manufacturers even provide exact values of the nutrients upon request. But, these values are on a moisture-included basis. So to compare dog foods having different moisture contents, we should convert the nutrient levels to a dry matter basis.
Calorie content and feeding directions
Calorie content (number of kilocalories per kilogram of dog food) can also help us compare different dog foods. But they should be converted to a dry matter basis first. The feeding directions specified in the label are just guidelines. We can adjust the portions according to the requirements of our pet.
Breed and size-specific
We often find a dog food with labels claiming that they cater specifically to a particular size or breed of dog. But as per the FDA, not much information is available regarding such specificity in a dog’s dietary requirements.
It is mandatory for all labels to contain the details of the manufacturer or distributor. We can always clarify any product-specific queries we have with them before finalizing our pet’s food.