After revolutionizing the eating habits of humans, the idea of clean eating food for dogs is also becoming increasingly popular. More and more companies are investing to prepare natural pet food that is actually beneficial for our canine companions. Having said that, nothing could beat the efficiency of a homemade dog meal. This is because you are in control of all the ingredients and can devise a perfect combination for your pup.
A healthy diet is extremely important for the overall wellbeing of your dog. Not only does it keep your pet hale and hearty, but it also increases the chances of a longer life. The following are some suggestions that will help you to put together a clean eating diet for your dogs.
Use Whole Foods
Fresh whole foods (vegetables, fruits, etc.) are excellent for your canine because they are full of live enzymes and antioxidants. Similarly, they are rich sources of fiber that is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Another benefit of using whole foods is that they prevent inflammation, which is the leading cause of aging.
The cooking procedures of processed foods remove most of the vital nutrients from their ingredients. Consequently, synthetic nutrients are added to these products, but they don’t offer much value.
Replace Grains with Better Alternatives
Dogs don’t require grains in their diet because they hardly provide any nutritional value to canines. Alternatively, it’s much more useful to include protein-rich ingredients, such as lentils, in your dog’s meal.
In addition to protein, lentils are rich in fiber and minerals, particularly Iron and Magnesium. Likewise, they are filled with Lysine (an essential amino acid) that gives a boost to the immune system.
Feed Raw Meat
Although cooking allows us to add different flavors to our meals, it eliminates most of the beneficial nutrients. Dogs hardly care about the taste of the food and that’s the reason why their natural instinct is to eat raw food.
It’s true that some whole foods can release more nutrients when cooked. However, that’s NOT the case with meat and you should try your best to give your pup uncooked meat. Even if you prefer to cook, make sure that you just sear the meat (instead of cooking it through).
Use Raw Coconut Oil
Even though Coconut Oil is high in saturated fat, it’s healthy for canines because of its medium-chain fatty acids. The body of your dog doesn’t store this type of fat. In fact, it goes straight to the liver and is converted into energy. For this reason, coconut oil is an excellent alternative for those parents who want to manage their pet’s weight.
NOTE: For Omega-3 fatty acids, you can add flaxseeds or chia seeds in your pup’s meal.
Introduce Organic Vegetables and Fruits
If you really want to feed your dog the best possible diet, organic vegetables and fruits are your best bet. This is because the genetic modification of non-organic products can lead to several health issues.
The only drawback of organic food items is that they are quite expensive. As a result, most owners can’t afford organic fruits and vegetables all the time. Therefore, we have to make inorganic items as safe as possible. For instance, you should wash them with apple cider vinegar to scrub off the pesticides from their surface.
Examine the Labels of Dog Foods
It’s extremely important to read the ingredient list of dog foods before purchasing them. NEVER rely on the advertising of any commercial product as the goal of marketing is to boost sales. Perform a thorough research on the main ingredients of commercial products to ensure that they are actually safe.
Never Use Gluten
Gluten meal is a common ingredient of many dry dog foods. This dried residue is made from corn and is used to prevent unstable fats from becoming rancid. This substance is extremely harmful to the kidneys and liver of your canine and must be avoided, even in small quantities.
Avoid Shelf-Stable Foods as a Staple Diet
Have you ever wondered why the shelf life of processed foods goes up to 24 months? This is because they rely on synthetic supplementation to meet the standards of balanced nutrition.
The perception that shelf-stable products provide everything dogs need to live healthy lives is NOT true. They have no live enzymes in them that are vital for maintaining good health. Yes, you can use these dog foods occasionally, but they should NEVER be considered a staple diet.
Many dog parents tend to overfeed their pets out of love and affection. Although you are doing that with a positive intention, it is extremely harmful to the canine. The biggest problem of overindulging is that your dog will become overweight.
Obesity is a massive issue with dogs (just like humans) because it leads to several other diseases. For example, an overweight dog is quite likely to develop osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, and type 2 diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Do dogs need carbohydrates in their diet?
A. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for dietary carbohydrates. They can get everything they need from a diet that contains only protein and fat. Energy metabolism in the dog can be based on fat oxidation and the breakdown of protein to produce glucose.
Q. How often should I feed my dog?
A. Puppies less than 3 months of age should be given at least 4 times a day. Puppies between 3 and 5 months of age should be fed 3 meals a day. Adult dogs can have 1 or 2 meals a day. Dogs like routine, so establish a feeding schedule and stick to it.
Q. Can my dog be a vegetarian?
A. Yes, your dog can be a vegetarian, as long as the meals are well balanced with protein from other sources. It’s always advisable to discuss the diet of your canine with your veterinarian.
Q. Can my dog get bored with his/her diet?
A. Probably not. Dogs have fewer taste buds than humans and they don’t have the range of tastes that we do. However, a dog’s greatest sense of taste is sugar, which is why many canines have a “sweet tooth”.
Q. Is salt harmful to dogs?
A. In general, a limited amount of salt isn’t bad for dogs. The trick is to manage the amount of salt your dog’s diet because too much salt in dog food can be harmful.