Super Foods for Your Dog

Give Your Dog the Best Foods Mother Nature Has to Offer!

Article by Amber Kingsley

Dog lovers know that  “human food,” especially table scraps and things like chocolate, cause serious health problems for pets. Still, according to Pet Obesity Prevention, over half of canines in the US are overweight or obese. Like their human counterparts, dieting and losing weight through exercise and eating healthy will shed those extra pounds. These methods will help us all to live longer, healthier lives, humans and canines alike.

Today, concerns over poisonous pet treats produced overseas are prevalent. But even worse, right here at home, there are many domestic products and other pet food producers that contain unhealthy by-products that have many dog owners stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to feeding their precious pooches.

Here are some vital do’s and don’ts for Fido:

DO: Give them vegetables

You’d be surprised how many dogs actually LIKE vegetables, say carrots for example. I knew a dog who thought this orange veggie was a treat or even a chew toy and begged for them. After receiving this reward, they carried it to their favorite resting place and chewed it up,  devouring all the trimmings. Given this example, experiment with your pet to see what kinds of vegetarian, healthy snack alternatives they might enjoy.

DON’T: Give rawhide and jerky

Big name chains are pulling dog (and cat) treats from their shelves, as they are associated with illnesses and deaths from overseas products. Headlines across America are reporting news linking Chinese jerky and rawhide treats as the culprit. Sadly, many US manufacturers are still importing them from the orient and selling them under American labels. It’s better to be safe, steering clear of them completely, than sorry, with a sickened or deceased pet.

DO: Feed them greens

As the infographic shows, broccoli, spinach and kale have many health benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it showcases many creative ways to introduce these leafy green veggies into their diets.

DON’T: Feed them avocados

The SPCA warns avocados contain the toxin persin in its leaves, fruit, seeds and bark. Animals have problems consuming this fruit (it is a fruit – not a vegetable), including respiratory distress, fluids around the heart and even death. Although dogs haven’t shown a significant amount of illness or death, some have indigestion and been known to swallow the pit, which causes gastrointestinal blockage requiring urgent veterinary care.

DO: Prepare chicken and rice

Frustrated pet owners are boiling chicken and rice as an alternative to traditional, processed dog foods. Check with your veterinarian and ensure this diet is appropriate for your furry friend, especially portions. Rice is high in carbs and avoid processed chicken, which contains hidden fat, salt and calories. Speaking of salt, take it easy on the salt-and-pepper shaker, too much sodium is just as bad for them, as it is for us and pepper doesn’t digest well.  Plato organic chicken pet treats can provide all the nutrition with none of the risks.

DON’T: Onions and garlic

Another little known fact, these both contain compounds that damage dogs’ blood cells if ingested in sufficient quantities. As with the others, it is doubtful it will cause more than stomach problems and digestive issues, but high doses can be dangerous and sometimes lethal.

DO: Cartilage and fish oil supplements

For aging hounds, supplements like fish oils can offer the same health benefits as they do for humans. These oils give the added benefits of healthier skin and a shinier coat for canines, while glucosamine can offer relief to aching joints and cartilage.

DON’T: Give them grapes or these other things

Grapes, really? The infographic below shows the benefits of blueberries for our little pound pups, but grapes and their close cousin the raisin, not so much. Grapes have been associated with kidney failure in some dogs, but not others. The “better-safe-than-sorry” rule still applies — and:

  • Macadamia and some other nuts cause digestive problems that can last up to 48 hours
  • Raw dough will expand and yeasts will multiple in this warm stomach environment
  • Beer and alcohol is a no-brainer, but for some pet lovers it’s still worth mentioning

You and your dog can both become healthier together! The infographic below shares all the benefits that you and your pet can receive from superfoods:

Yorkie header image courtesy of shutterstock