Ways to Enhance Your Dog’s DietUpdated: May 06, 2022
Every dog owner loves their dog and wants to provide adequately for their needs. Many people consider their dogs to be people too. There is nothing that the average dog owner wants more for their canine companion than for their dog to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Perhaps the primary way to achieve this goal is to feed them an appropriate, healthful, and wholesome diet.
Canine dietary choices today are varied and plentiful. There isn't one right way of feeding all dogs. Instead, there is what is right for you and your dog. Whatever works for you is right for you. No matter what a dog owner chooses for their dog's diet, there are ways to naturally enhance the food your dog eats to benefit his health while adding to his overall life-quality.
The following are ten dietary additions to consider incorporating into your dog's diet to improve his overall health and well-being.
You're probably already aware that your dog considers himself to be a member of your family, and chances are, you think him to be a member, too! Dogs are companionable, and they want to be with their people and, many times, eat the same things their people eat. There is little harm in this practice provided that the owner is careful to screen out foods potentially harmful to dogs, such as dark chocolate, grapes, and raisins.
Owners should also be careful to avoid letting their dogs have too much fat. Save the ham bone for soup. Too much fat all at once will give your dog diarrhea. Give table scraps in moderation, and account for their caloric count within the calorie count of your dog's regular diet. For example, the inclusion of table scraps might mean you'll need to reduce the amount of kibble by an appropriate amount, calorie-wise.
Including the necessary supplements in homemade or raw canine diets is of the utmost importance if the dog is to get all of his nutritional requirements met. Dogs usually don't need all supplements all the time. Canine nutritional needs vary over time, and most dog owners tend to rotate supplements in and out according to the animal's needs at the time. Anxiety is a common disorder that is treated with calming supplements on an as-needed basis.
"Canine dietary choices today are varied and plentiful. There isn't one right way of feeding all dogs. Instead, there is what is right for you and your dog."
For example, a sporting dog about to perform in a field event needs extra energy and stamina and benefits from the extra protein he gets when protein powder is added to his food each day during that physically stressful period. The same is true of gestating or nursing females. Supplements work well to address many of the various conditions that afflict some dogs. Examples include allergies, phobias, coat conditions, and dietary issues.
Fish oil is rich in Omega 3s and 6s, both of which dogs require for their physical growth and maintenance. A higher ration of Omega 3s to 6s in the canine diet is preferable. The preference is because dogs that do not get heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other joint disorders eat food in which this higher ratio is present.
The more expensive and time-consuming alternative to fish oil supplementation is to feed your dog fish two to three times per week. Feeding fish works well, perhaps for those working in the seafood industry, but it isn't always easy for others to manage. Should this become inconvenient, sardines make a tasty treat and likewise include many of the fishy oils your dog's health craves. Commercial skin and coat supplements make it easy to improve a dog’s physical condition.
While some experts are quick to warn dog owners about allowing their furry friends to consume garlic, as it's on the list of "toxic" foods for dogs to avoid, dog owners, you need not be fearful. Dogs like the flavor of garlic. Since the amount that is toxic for them to consume is around two and a half pounds of raw garlic, dog owners need not worry.
Indeed, dehydrated garlic is arguably more concentrated than garlic in raw form, but a sprinkle or two on a dog's food from time to time will not harm them. Instead, it will enhance their appetite and repel fleas. A bit of garlic in training treats makes them irresistible to puppies and grown dogs alike.
Ginger and Turmeric
Ginger and turmeric are the unsung heroes of many dog owners' canine medicine chests. These two spices have many benefits to offer canines and their owners and have no side-effects. Together, they are more effective than NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen and have none of the side-effects.
Then, there is their effectiveness as cancer fighters. On Facebook, dog owners band together who have successfully used ginger and turmeric combined with coconut oil and black pepper to stave off canine cancer, sometimes appearing to effect a cure and at others, buying years of quality life. Bioperine is the active ingredient in black pepper. When ginger and turmeric combine with Bioperine and a short-chain fatty acid such as coconut oil, the pain relief is more significant than when ginger and turmeric are used alone.
Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a form of elemental sulfur and is necessary for human life. Sulfur once was prevalent in garden soil but has become depleted in the land of the commercial farming operations that produce the majority of the food we consume.
Sulfur is one of the essential ingredients required for the creation and maintenance of joint cartilage and collagen, along with Vitamin C and gelatin. In addition to joint support, MSM has significant pain-relieving properties, mainly when regularly consumed over time. It also performs well when used as a preventative for canine joint pain.
Many people feel eggs are underutilized in dog-feeding today as they provide a wealth of nutrition in one small and compact package. Eggs have few carbohydrates, just 0.6g per egg, and only 78 calories, but they pack an incredible 6g of protein, which makes them the perfect addition to any active dog's diet.
Dogs that eat eggs regularly tend to have healthy, shiny coats. Eggs are easy to digest and well-accepted by most dogs. What dog doesn't appreciate an egg scrambled in butter to mix into his kibble to start the day? Dogs readily eat raw eggs, but they should consume the whites cooked, as uncooked egg whites can interact negatively with biotin.
Yes, dogs like vegetables too, nearly as much as humans in some cases. It isn't true that dogs in the wild were strictly carnivorous as stomach contents were what wild dogs ate first when they killed a grazing animal. Large quantities of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and others may cause some dogs to experience temporary flatulence, but will not harm them.
To introduce plant-based food to your dog, consider allowing the dog to taste your table scraps, and to discover what they do and do not like. Dogs tend to think that if their people like something, that they will, too. Usually, this is the case, but not always. Sometimes, the voluntary choices that dogs make about what to eat are surprising to their people.
Wise dog owners make and feed bone broth to their dogs. Likewise, they save it to use in creative ways—as moisture in dog biscuit recipes, or to pour over kibble to tempt an ailing dog's appetite. Use a whole chicken, or just parts, or even leftovers. Add in any other bones you might have saved for the purpose. Cover them with water, toss in a stick of celery and carrot or two, and let it simmer for a couple of hours.
When done, strain broth from fat, skin, bones, vegetables, and meat. Defat the broth, if desired, by allowing it to sit overnight in the refrigerator, and then skimming off the hardened fat. Bone broth, when fed to dogs regularly, gives them the gelatin they need for proper joint maintenance. Chicken broth ice cubes, made from broth poured into plastic ice-cube trays, make a lovely summertime treat for most dogs when the weather turns warm.
CBD is all the range in the dog world at present, and for a good reason, as it is the hottest new effective product on the market. The years of hemp and marijuana suppression are thankfully, almost over across America, and now the multitude of medicinal and curative properties of this wonder plant may be adequately studied. There are over a hundred distinct cannabinoids known (so far), but relatively few studies have thus far are on record for most of them.
Nonetheless, dog owners everywhere report only beneficial effects from giving their canines CBD oil. Dogs (and owners) have found relief from diverse conditions such as epilepsy, previously unresponsive skin allergies, separation anxiety, and more.
Administer CBD directly into the dog's mouth with a premeasured eye-dropper, or incorporate measurable amounts in CBD treats. CBD and dogs is a brand new area of study, exploration, and experimentation. Presently, it is an area where anecdotal evidence is apt to be more reliable than scientific.
"Sulfur is one of the essential ingredients required for the creation and maintenance of joint cartilage and collagen, along with Vitamin C and gelatin."
There are other additions that owners might make as well, all of which should be determined by the dog's needs and the owner's goals. At times, consultation with a veterinarian may be appropriate. By feeding your dog the best food possible, you can ensure a long and healthy relationship with your fur-family member.
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