Every day our dogs remind us to appreciate life. From snuggling to playing to barking at unseen intruders, they approach each task with the same joy and enthusiasm as the time before, reminding us to forget that never-ending to-do list, and enjoy today! Vivacious and full of life, there’s nothing we want more as dog owners than to help them stay that way (although sometimes I wish they were just a little less enthusiastic about my shoes). One way to keep them healthy is through diet. It’s easier than you think to have them eating well, even if you’re short on time.
Examine your dog food. Veterinarians have been recommending the same dog foods for years. Some of these foods have been sneaky, changing their formula over time, making them almost unrecognizable from the food that originally received veterinary approval. Take matters into your own hands and investigate what your dog is ingesting each day. Is this something you would eat yourself? If not, consider making a switch. To get started in your investigation, here are a few tips for what to watch out for in your food.
Go organic. Dogs benefit from organic food just like we do, and there are more and more reasonably priced options on the market every day. But remember, dog foods aren’t regulated the same way that human foods are, so just because a food claims to be organic, don’t take their word for it. Look for the same USDA organic seal that you would find on human food. That’s how you’ll know it’s the real deal!
Mix it up with homemade meals. I wish I had the time to cook for my dogs every day, but on my schedule, it’s simply not possible. When I do have the time, I cook a big batch and freeze some for later. That way, my dogs can get the benefit of a homemade meal at least a few times every week.
Switch foods periodically. Instead of finding just one awesome organic food, find two or three, and slowly transition your dog to a different food every now and then. That way, fido's not getting the same combination of vitamins and nutrients with each meal, instead receiving the benefit of variety with very little effort on your part.
Share healthy snacks. Many dogs become overweight not because of the meals they are fed but because of the snacks they are fed in-between meals. Often, these are loaded with fats and sweeteners that are just not good for our dogs. But who wants to skip treats altogether? Not this girl! I love the way my pups’ eyes light up when they get an unexpected snack, so instead I feed my dogs carrots. They’re healthy and provide a good workout for your dog’s jaw. My last pup Tony even held them between his paws like a bunny, so bonus for the cute factor.
Photo Credit - Millicent Bystander