June 25, 2021
With the growing all-natural and organic dog food market, making healthy choices these days can be time consuming unless you have an idea of what you are looking for in advance. Much like humans, the key to your dog’s health and happiness is a well-balanced diet and exercise. The following are a few tips on healthy options for your dog that won’t break the bank:
Dog foods rich in essential fatty acids provide the nutrients needed for a shiny coat for growing pups. If your dog has lost some of its coat due to aging and scratching, try foods rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. You can check the label for foods with vegetable oils such as corn and soybean oil. A tiny bit of coconut oil is another great additive to your dog’s food to improve skin and coat health, but too much can make your dog sick.
If you’ve ever found yourself wincing when your dog pants or yawns, even with maintaining routine dental check-ups, there are a few home remedies to help alleviate the problem. Treats containing chlorophyll, cinnamon and cloves help to wash away the bacteria that cause halitosis from eating meat-based and other foods including organic and foods high in protein. Another fix is to brush your dog’s teeth. If your dog is resistant to using a doggie toothbrush, wrap a clean piece of gauze around your finger and rub it over your dog’s teeth to remove any plaque or residue. Adding about half a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl is another remedy.
You can also try adding a pinch of curly leaf parsley (not spring parsley, which is toxic to dogs) to your dog’s food bowl. Not only does it freshen breath, but the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in parsley also bring many additional health benefits. Carrots and apple slices are yummy snacks that help prevent plaque buildup and freshen breath. Go easy on these because people food in large amounts can cause digestive issues. To help maintain your pup’s gut health, try Ready Pet Go! Probiotic Tummy Treats for digestive and immune support.
Many dog owners give their dogs treats as a way to show them affection. For your dog to maintain a healthy weight, this isn’t the best practice. If you want your dog to be well-disciplined and maintain a healthy weight, it’s a good practice to give treats in small pieces, as a reward for good behavior throughout the day. If you are using treats to train your dog, look for training treats that comes in small pieces, or break up larger treats or healthy snacks, so you can treat the positive behaviors throughout the day. Doing this will radically increase the speed and effectiveness of your training, and gradually ease off the treats when a “good boy" will do.
Remember that while you may love your dog like family, he or she does not have the same dietary needs as you. Check with your vet and do your research first. According to the ASPCA, these are just some of the foods to avoid sharing with your pet:
• Chocolate, Coffee, or Caffeine: methylxanthines (found in cacao seeds) can cause vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, tremors and even death.
• Grapes or Raisins: can lead to kidney failure
• Milk and Dairy: causes diarrhea or other digestive problems
• Yeast Dough: can cause the stomach to bloat and potentially twist, leading to a life-threatening emergency
• Nuts: can cause vomiting, diarrhea and possibly pancreatitis
Contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number at 888-426-4435 if you ever suspect your dog may have ingested a toxic food, and your family vet if you have any dietary questions. Read the labels for ingredients to look out for allergies. It doesn’t take much to use natural remedies and common sense in staying ahead of any potential issues.