July 28, 2014

HEALTHY FOOD FOR DOGS

Healthy food for dogs

Laverne, Chai, and Ryder. We eat healthy and we feel great!

A few months ago, I became more conscious of the way I was eating.  I want to live a long, healthy life so I began researching ‘clean eating’ and looking at healthy alternatives for meals.  Then I thought, what about healthy food for dogs? I want my dogs to live a long and healthy life too.  I want to keep them with me as long as possible.  Were there any options for them as well?  Researchers have been demonstrating that eating better provides so many health benefits.  For example, cutting out processed foods can make such a difference in one’s health.  Not only do you feel and look better, you are decreasing your chances of future health problems such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, etc.  So how can we apply this knowledge to our furry friends? We want our pets to feel well and live long!

So I began looking into healthy recipes for my dogs.  Have you ever thought about making your own dog food?  Or how about dog treats?  Just a simple Google search and you can find hundreds of recipes on the web.

Here are few things I learned and some important tips to keep in mind when making your home cooked dog food alternatives:

  • Dogs are carnivores, so at least 50 percent of a dog’s diet should be composed of protein.  Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and fish (no seasoning when cooking) are all acceptable sources of protein for a dog. The fat content should be no greater than 15-20%.  Dogs can also be fed eggs and vegetables that contain protein.
  • Add greens.  Dogs need variety.  Vegetables make up about 1/4 of the meal and provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Try pureeing veggies or fruit like spinach, carrots, collards, carrots, peas, beets, yams, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, pears etc.
  • Add a small amount of organ meat such as liver to a recipe every other week, to ensure your dog gets the vitamins he needs.
  • Avoid Feeding Carbohydrates (corn, wheat, rice, brown rice & potatoes). Dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize carbohydrates. They contain no nutritional value for dogs and basically just go right through the digestive tract. Carbohydrates are the main cause of many canine diseases.
  • Avoid grains, grain byproducts such as wheat, rice, soybean, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, poultry meal, fish meal, poultry byproducts meal etc  cause obesity, diabetes, allergies, and other diseases. They decrease the quality of life of your pets.
  • Calcium is the single most important supplement for dogs.  If you are making more and more home cooked meals, make sure you are supplementing the diet with calcium.  Mixing commercial and home cooked foods, doesn’t require heavy supplementing because most commercial foods have enough (or more than enough) calcium. Talk to your vet if you are unsure.

And finally, remember there are some human foods that dogs should never be given, including macadamia nuts, chocolate, tea, coffee, raisins, grapes, onions or excessive amounts of garlic onion, potato, tomato, bell peppers, spinach, raw beans, leek, chard and beet greens.

Happy and healthy cooking!

 

LOVE AND RESPECT ANIMALS!

 

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