Sunday, July 31, 2016

Choosing Healthier Food and Treats for Your Dog

Choosing Healthier Foods And Treats For Your Dog

In the shadow of recent reports of poisons and toxins found in locally manufactured dog foods and treats being shipped in from overseas, pet lovers are becoming more vigilant about what they’re feeding their four-legged friends. And for good reason, since thousands of deaths have been linked to toxins found in these pet products and blamed for other illnesses and diseases that have crippling our canines. 

Labels - Labels - Labels

When it comes to feeding our beloved animals, it can’t be overstated the necessity of reading labels when it comes to making these important pet purchases. For example, corn is commonly listed as the first ingredient in many different brands of dog food. This cheap and starchy filler is often used by manufacturers to meet Federal guidelines for caloric requirements.

 But corn and other types of grains can have a number of adverse effects on our pets, everything from digestive issues to skin allergies have been reported. When choosing healthy dog food for your canine, be sure the first, foremost and largest ingredient listed and used in production, is protein found from meat sources and not corn, which isn’t fully or easily digested by the majority of dogs.

More Natural Choices

While more natural and healthier options for treats are fairly easy to find these days, even hypoallergenic choices are available online, many people are looking at the many benefits and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables when it comes to feeding our pets. People may actually be surprised by some of the many healthy foods dogs find appealing.

For example, many canines enjoy eating raw carrots and believe they’re some kind of a chew toy and will gnaw them to ribbons and consume the leftovers as well. During summer months, some canines are treated with “pumpkin pops” easily made from freezing solid packed pumpkin in ice cube trays. Both of these orange additions to their diet are packed with vitamins and minerals and pumpkin also aids with doggie digestion.

Other Options & Those To Ignore

There’s plenty of vegetables to supplement your dog’s diet, greens like kale, spinach, beans and broccoli are all excellent choices. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and fish oil has a number of benefits. But there are also some dangerous “people” foods that need to be deleted from a canine’s menu. While we all know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs:

       The artificial sweetener xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum and some desserts, can cause toxic events in our pets.

       Grapes and raisins have adverse reactions in many dogs for some unknown reason and even though it only occurs in certain canines, they should still be omitted.

       Along with chocolate, caffeine should also be avoided in a canine’s diet.

       Nuts, especially macadamia, are also dangerous for dogs.

       Avocadoes cause all kinds of animals of different problems and perils, so don’t let your dog anywhere near the guacamole dip, not to mention the risk of the choking hazard presented by the pit.

Other foods and beverages that aren’t healthy for humans shouldn’t be consumed by dogs either. Things like alcohol, salty snack foods unrisen yeast doughs should also be avoided.

Other Meats To Consider

When it comes to getting more meat and less grains in our dog’s diet, sometimes we overlook other types of protein sources that aren’t as traditional. There’s more to meat than beef and poultry, fish, bison, rabbit, deer, even kangaroo should also be considered as healthier alternatives.

Some animals can develop allergies or other adverse reactions from being fed the same thing for extended periods of time, so think about mixing it up a little when it comes to your pet’s feeding time. Especially when it comes to foods that contain a great deal of grains, these can take a toll on a dog’s digestive system over time. Think about it this way, in the wild, would dogs be eating things like corn, barley, wheat or rice?

While you should always check with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet, they’ll agree with some healthier choices in most circumstances. Depending upon their current eating regimen, and other factors like age, size, breed, activity levels and so forth, healthier alternatives are always a good option when it comes to feeding our beloved four-legged friends. 

Contributing author is Amber Kingsley. Amber is a freelance writer who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters in Santa Monica, CA.  Her focus with writing is on pet related topics such as pet food, health and training. 
Courtesy of Mickey's Pet Supplies- a natural pet store specializing in high quality made in USA treats, toys, grooming products and pet health products.