As health science continues to improve, we learn more about what in our diets is healthy and what isn’t. This changes over time - remember when “fat free” was all the rage? The key is to stay aware of the way your body responds to different types of food and adjust your diet accordingly.
The same goes for your dog. There are tons of options out there for keeping your dog healthy, but not a lot of clear direction about what will work best. Here are a few small adjustments you can make to help ensure your dog is living their healthiest life.
Consult Your Vet
Before making any changes to your dog’s diet, you should consult your veterinarian. They will have insights about your dog’s breed, medical history, activity level, etc. and will have plenty of experience and education to draw from. Just like every person’s dietary options are unique, so are every dog’s. If you want to improve your dog’s health, your vet is always the place to start.
Include Some Fresh Produce
If you asked doctors something basic people can do to improve their health, many of them would probably suggest “More fruits and vegetables.” The same goes for your dog. Healthy snacks are great - carrots, green beans, melon, blueberries - plus your dog will probably view them as treats. They serve double duty!
Obviously, before you start giving your dog produce, you’ll want to do a quick check to make sure it’s safe. Avoid foods from the allium family (onion, shallot, garlic, etc.) and grapes/raisins especially. You’ll probably also want to avoid overly sweet fruits (citrus especially), as dogs can have a tough time processing too much sugar. Most produce will be a good fit, however.
Buy Better Treats
Unhealthy snacking can be a serious problem for anyone, including your dog. Take a look at the ingredient label of your dog treats (and your dog food, for that matter) and see how many of them you can recognize. It might cost you a little more to buy treats made from natural, unprocessed ingredients, but the health benefits (and associated cost of an unhealthy diet!) will make them more than worth it.
Look for Formulated Food
There are plenty of dog foods out there with a generic purpose - deliver sustenance and nutrients to your canine companion. However, there are also a huge amount of formulated foods to address all sorts of dietary or lifestyle concerns. Senior or puppy formulas are common, but there are several more niche foods as well. Active formula, joint health, allergy, healthy coat - there are a huge number out there. If you have a specific concern about your dog, speak with your vet to see if they have a recommendation about a food formula that could help.
Keep your dog healthy, happy, and hearty with these diet tips! With winter in full swing, there will probably be a lot less exercise in their near future. Check out more great dog advice at Bio-nihilator, and pick up an extra bottle to help take care of any little accidents around the house.