The Do’s and Don’ts of Clean Eating for Dogs
You must have frequently heard or read the term clean eating as this has become a significant movement. Although it sounds confusing, in its real sense eating clean refers to eating natural and whole foods rather than processed foods. The campaign has now extended from humans to our dogs too. After all, as responsible pet-parents, we want complete nutrition for our buddies.
Why the Emphasis on Healthy Eating?
The whole reason the movement began was that people realized that the processed foods they were buying had chemicals and preservatives that were causing health issues in the long run. With the passage of time as people begin to record details about pets, the fact came to light that a higher number of pets were dying due to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and other infections. Research conducted by the University Of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine indicates that the primary cause is the absence of required nutrition in our canines’ diet.
Is Commercially Available Food Harmful?
Not all food available in the market is unwholesome; various brands are have now also shifted to natural ingredients and are manufacturing good quality canned dog food. However, you shouldn’t risk it. If you are buying commercial food, make sure you read the label and understand all the constituents. Make sure there are no artificial dyes, unnecessary fillers or genetically modified organisms.
Although dogs can survive on kibble without having issues with fluid intake, it isn’t a healthy option as all nutritional goodness is stripped out of it. If you do want to feed kibble mix it with some boiled vegetables, dress it up with Greek yogurt and oils or add canned fish.
The healthiest option is cooking the dog’s meal yourself. This way you can make sure he eats a balanced diet, and all his nutritional requirements are met. Dogs require a meal that consists of proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Here is a list of some ingredients that you must add:
- Meat: Dog’s love meat and it is an excellent source of protein for them. You can add grass fed beef, organic chicken, turkey and certain types of short-lived fishes to your pooch’s meal.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are rich in nutrients; you can feed green veggies such as green beans, zucchini or celery that contain vitamins. You can also add canned pumpkin which contains beta-carotene and carrots that are also a source of fiber to his meal.
- Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are a source of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. They are mainly beneficial for the skin and coat health of your pooch.
- Whole Grains: Although dogs can survive without carbs being a part of their diet, adding them isn’t a bad idea. Make sure that you add these carbs in small amounts. You can add oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa to your pup’s meal.
Things to Avoid:
Do not feed Grapes, Chocolate, avocado, macadamia nuts, onions and garlic to his diet as they can be toxic and cause serious harm.
Do not buy commercial dry food that seems poor quality. Read all the ingredients and if it looks like it contains fillers and cheap quality ingredients, avoid it.
Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.