5 Healthy Foods for Dogs
Discover with us 5 healthy foods for dogs that you can offer your furry friend, as well as some toxic ones that you should avoid.
As pet owners, it’s normal to have questions about the foods that are really healthy for our dogs. We would like to offer them a good variety, but we don’t know for sure what’s good and what isn’t. Therefore, in this article, we’d like to talk about ingredients that we eat on a daily basis, and that are also healthy foods for dogs.
The dog food industry has been working to offer products that contain more healthy ingredients in their composition. In this way, not only do they keep owners happy, who always want to offer their dogs the best, but the dogs’ nutritional requirements are also covered.
Of course, it’s important to clarify that, before making any change to the dog’s diet, you need to seek advice from a trusted veterinarian. If you’d like to know more about this topic, keep reading.
Dogs aren’t omnivores, but they aren’t strict carnivores (like cats). Due to their ability to metabolize many foods, their diet is varied and can include different types of ingredients without affecting their digestive and overall health. Dogs are at a mid-point between several feeding strategies, and are part of the group known as facultative carnivores.
At birth, dogs are fed only by the milk that comes from the mother, but once weaning occurs, the dog’s diet must have animal protein as its basic diet.
To find out the protein concentration in the feed you give your pet, read the label. The more lean meat, chicken, and rabbit content you have, the better. The goal is to provide your dog with a high protein content without consuming a lot of fat at the same time.
5 healthy foods for dogs
In addition to protein of animal origin, there are a number of other healthy foods that you can consider to meet the nutritional demands your dog needs. Below, we’ll mention five of them.
We start this list of healthy dog foods with carrots. Studies indicate that the white carrot (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) is a good source of carbohydrates. In addition, it helps the animal to digest well and stay hydrated, as 88% is made up of water.
Among other benefits, carrots have particularly good detoxifying and cleansing effects. They also help to eliminate or compensate for residual acids in the blood (such as uric acid), as they’re alkalizing. In general, you’ll notice that your dog adapts well to this food and that it’s even part of the ingredient list of many dry dog foods and diets such as BARF, which we’ll talk about later.
This food has active bacterial cultures that help maintain the health of the pet’s intestinal flora. In addition, it has a high level of protein that can complement the meat intake, and has healthy nutrients and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Although yogurt has excellent benefits for the dog, not all dairy products are healthy. The best are those such as plain Greek yogurt, which doesn’t contain added sugars or artificial flavorings and is low in fat.
The introduction of yogurt to the dog’s diet should be gradual. Offer this food infrequently or as a reward, as many dogs don’t metabolize dairy products well.
Most dogs love fruit. As they’re a natural food, apples are very beneficial to them. Their properties include vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. The latter helps them with intestinal transit.
Research on the possible development of compotes for dogs indicates that the properties of this fruit would create a product that helps improve the immune system and metabolism. Apples are never going to be a substitute for medication, but they can help the dog not to get sick.
In addition, this fruit helps clean the food residues and tartar that accumulate on the teeth, resulting in fresh breath. Before offering this healthy food, remove the core and seeds, as their size can cause suffocation in dogs.
It’s common to think that fish is only for cats and not for dogs, but this isn’t true. Salmon is rich in animal protein, and that’s why we’ve included it on this list of healthy dog foods. It’s a remarkable source of omega 3 fatty acids, which keep the coat healthy and shiny. It also strengthens the dog’s immune system.
This is one of the most suitable complementary foods for dogs. This means that it shouldn’t be the mainstay of the pet’s diet, but it is very beneficial. Introduce it gradually and evaluate how your pet processes it before establishing its consumption.
Eggs are a source of protein that are often neglected. The truth is that we can use it to complement the dog’s diet, as they’re very healthy for them. They’re a source of fats, amino acids, nutrients, and minerals that strengthen the musculoskeletal system, brain, and heart.
The correct way to offer eggs is always cooked and without salt. Only when you’re certain that the egg’s origin is safe can you give it raw. Otherwise, cook it to avoid the spread of viruses and bacteria, such as microorganisms of the genus Salmonella (which cause salmonellosis).
Other types of healthy dog food
The list of healthy dog foods is a really long one. It includes vegetables such as pumpkin and broccoli, fruits such as melon and blueberries, proteins such as chicken, sardines, and red meat, and grains such as oats and quinoa.
If you want to vary your dog’s diet, giving these foods individually isn’t the only option. Among the list of different types of healthy food and diets for dogs, we have the BARF diet. According to research, this diet is made up of composed of raw foods and vegetables that seek to meet the nutritional needs of pets.
This is a diet that only includes foods that dogs can process and from which they can obtain everything their body needs to be healthy.
This type of diet should be designed by an expert in veterinary nutrition. Management at home without supervision isn’t recommended.
Toxic food for dogs
Just as there are healthy foods for dogs, other foods are toxic if eaten in certain amounts. In principle, you may think that a small portion of the items on this list won’t hurt them if you do it from time to time, but keep in mind that you’re harming your dog when you give it to them. Among these banned foods are the following:
- Macadamia nuts
Variety is the key
Our list of healthy dog foods is extensive, and so there are no excuses for not providing your dog with a balanced diet suitable for its body. A good option is to combine their normal dog food with any of these foods, to vary their diet a little and give them more natural nutrients.
The important thing is to talk to the vet about wanting to vary their diet and do it right. In this way, you’ll prevent health problems or imbalances in your pet’s metabolism in the long term.