Evidence shows that our food is crucial to our overall well-being. This also applies to our beloved canine friends. The right food can make your dog healthier, happier and probably live longer. Just as meals that are heavy on processed meats and simple sugars can make us gather unhealthy pounds, bad dog foods can negatively impact on our four-legged companions too. Vets have noticed an unpleasant rise in cases of irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity, skin disorders, and even heart disease in dogs over the years. The best dog diets are the ones that keep our dogs healthy, happy and lively.It’s not just about feeding our dogs. It’s about feeding them properly. Some dog owners unintentionally overfeed their dogs. Others fall for dog food ads and gimmicks and feed their pets heavily on commercial dry dog foods, or kibble. Some of the best dog diets are real homemade foods comprising mainly protein meat and vegetables. The best dog foods contain the right portions of the various food groups. It is essential that your dog’s food is balanced and meets its nutritional needs.
Meat and Organs
Dog diets should comprise at least 50% meat and other animal products. Lean meat with not greater than 10% fat is better. You can feed your dog raw meaty bones like chicken backs and necks. When serving poultry, remove the skin unless your dog is very active to use up the calories. Dark meat poultry and red meat are preferred. Never use cooked bones. Dog food should contain about 5% liver, most importantly liver from beef. The heart is another good organ choice, as it is lean and usually cost less than other muscle meats.
Very important vitamin D can be gotten from fish. Bones from fish you cook can come in handy here. You can use canned fish with bones packed in water, not oil. Avoid raw Pacific trout, salmon, or other related species. You can serve small portions of fish every day, or bigger portions once or twice a week.
Eggs and Dairy
As long as your dog weighs about 20 pounds, an egg a day is good. But reduce it for smaller dogs. Plain yogurt, cottage, and ricotta cheese are also good food options. Reduce other types of cheese because of their high-fat content.
Fruits and Starchy Vegetables
You can include deeply colored fruits and vegetables to provide fiber (that helps digestive health), antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. Cooked starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and legumes in moderate amounts can help to reduce the cost of dog diets while providing healthy calories. Cooked or raw pureed leafy veggies are some great diets for dogs as they are low in calories. Use any quantity you desire although too much can cause gas.
You may need to include supplements in natural dog foods. For instance, you can supplement your homemade dog diets with calcium if you don’t feed uncooked meaty bones. Fish oils especially cod liver oil, plant oils other supplements can provide essential nutrients like vitamins A and D, EPA and DHA, and linoleic acid when you skip fish some healthy food groups in your dog food.