Twenty One Nutritional Foods For Doggie
There are some vegetables, meats , fruits, cereals and grains that can be added to your dogs food and provide a great nutritional boost to their diet as well as add a bit of variety to their meal. The foods listed below can be fed as treats or as part of a good balanced meal for your dog .
Make sure that you try out new foods one at a time so that you are certain they don’t upset your dogs tummy. Also do introduce them gradually in the food. For example if you are giving them a vegetable that you have never given before or haven’t given for a long time then start off with a very small quantity and gradually increase the quantity over a period of ten days. Dogs don’t do very well with a sudden change of diet.
As precaution you can always, check with your vet before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Some foods may upset their vitamin and mineral balances that can have a negative effect on your dogs health if only because some medicines interact badly with certain kinds of foods.
1. Apples are not only a nutritional powerhouse for humans but also for your dog. They are wonderful crunchy treats. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer. They are a source of vitamins A, C, Omega 3 and 6, antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols. and fibre. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, but overtime they may have a negative effect so best to avoid the seeds.
2. Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B complex vitamins B1(Thiamin), B2(Riboflavin), B3(Niacin), B5(Pantothenic Acid), B6(Pyridoxine), B7(Biotin) and B9(Folic Acid) which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Its great for diabetic dogs because it helps maintain a proper sugar level, makes sure insulin is used effectively, stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin thereby reducing the external requirement of insulin. Constipation occurs when bad bacteria outnumber good bacteria and there is low fiber content in the body. Brewers Yeast by increasing good bacteria in the body can help get rid of constipation.
Brewers Yeast when combined with wheat germ can help prevent prostate cancer. It slows down the process of aging and also prevents age related diseases. It helps break down essential nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins in an efficient way thereby regulating the metabolic system. Glucan present in the yeast helps quicken wound healing processes and helps reduce symptoms of eczema in dogs by helping cells multiply and building capillaries. Some other diseases that’s symptoms can be reduced by using Brewers Yeast are diarrhea, anxiety, fatigue, anemia and stress. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast not baking yeast which will make your dog sick.
3. Broccoli is very good for dogs. It has more Vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk. One medium spear has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread. It is also a rich source of Vitamin A. Broccoli is also rich in a substance caused isothiocyanates chemicals which apparently increase the body’s own production of cancer fighting substances. These in turn neutralize potential cancer causing substances before they have a chance to damage the DNA of healthy cells. The daily intake of Broccoli should not exceed more than 10% of the dogs diet as excessive doses of isothiocyanate can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Since Broccoli is largely available in winter its best to give it to your dog when its in season.
4. Carrots are wonderful crunchy treats and also great to add to your dogs regular food. They are high in Vitamin A. Great for dogs’ eyesight. Good for dogs’ teeth. Prevent cell degeneration. Have anti carcinogen properties which helps prevent cancer. Carrots are rich in minerals and enhance your dogs overall immune system. Give them when they are in season, preferably raw though cooked will do too.
5. Cottage cheese (Paneer) is high in protein and rich in calcium. A great way to add some extra protein and natural calcium to your dogs’ diet. Cottage cheese is a dairy product and some dogs don’t do well with dairy, so make sure you start with just a small amount.
6. Drinks that are good for your doggie begin and end with WATER. Dogs should drink about 60 grams of water per kilo of body weight daily. Dogs regulate their own water intake; depending on weather, the amount of exercise they are given, etc. Always have fresh and clean water available for your dog. Please remember canines do not need any special drinks because they don’t sweat out electrolytes like humans do. If you notice changes in your dogs drinking pattern/habits it could be an indicator for health problems so do see a Vet.
7. Eggs are loaded with proteins, vitamins and minerals. For some dogs who may be prone to digestive upsets eggs can be a source of a little protein boost. Best way to serve an egg is hardboiled or scrambled with half a teaspoon of olive oil, cooking oil or just a little water. Try and avoid them when the weather is very hot though and don’t give more than one a day. Don’t give dogs eggs that are raw or undercooked. Raw whites can cause diarrhea and biotin deficiency and an uncooked egg can result in salmonella poisoning.
8. Fish an excellent source of protein and a lifesaver for dogs who are allergic to other meats. Salmon especially is a fatty fish which is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Research shows that these fats support and build a healthy immune system, are great for skin and coat health and benefit dogs with allergies. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also great for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis because it is a natural anti-inflammatory and so reduces pain and stiffness caused by these diseases. Never give fish raw as there are parasites in the meat that can be extremely harmful for your dog (salmon is notorious for this). Cook fish quickly and these parasites get destroyed instantly. And of course you will make sure there are no bones in the Fish that could get stuck in your dogs throat, right!
9. Flax seed (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also great for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis because it is a natural anti-inflammatory and so reduces pain and stiffness caused by these diseases. Ground Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fibre. Its good to grind the flax seeds right before you want to put them in your dogs meal because they go rancid very quickly. Always keep the seeds in the fridge in an air tight container.
10. Grains are an important part of a balanced diet for dogs. Here are some Recommended grains along with their nutrinet content based on 1 dry cup: Barley (Calories 696, protein 19 grams), Brown Rice (Calories 720, protein 15 grams), Wheat (Calories 570, protein 20 grams), Cornmeal (Calories 462, protein 12 grams), Millet (Calories 641, protein 19 grams), Oats (Calories 312, Protein 11 grams), Whole wheat Couscous (Calories 602, protein 19 grams). Rice especially can be excellent for pups or dogs with digestive problems who need a bland diet for a few days. Brown rice is a little higher in protein and lower in fat as compared to white rice. White rice is more easily digestible making it a good source of energy when your dog has an upset tummy or if you are feeding an older dog. Please note that Cornmeal and the gluten in Wheat can be a source of allergy for some dogs. Symptoms may include itchy skin, shaking their heads in discomfort because of ear inflammation/redness – so oats and barley may be better options for such dogs. If you suspect a food allergy see your vet.
11. Green beans (French Beans not Lobia Beans) are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. Some vegetables in your dogs food provides a healthy balanced meal. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight and you don’t really feel like reducing the amount of food why not replace some of his/her regular food with green beans? It’s a great low calorie way to fill up doggies tummy and help him/her maintain a healthy weight. Boil them or cook them in a wee bit of oil and mix up with your dogs food.
12. Lean meat (chicken, or pork) with no visible fat adds some extra good quality protein to your dogs diet. It is an excellent balanced source of amino acids which help build your dogs muscles. It is also a fantastic source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine). These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body. Don’t ever feed your dogs meat cooked with spices or covered with sauces. Get your meat from a good source and make sure its always fresh and washed very well.
13. Lentils are very good for dogs. They are alkaline, do not cause gas and are a good source of protein. Split Yellow Lentil (Dhulli Moong) and Split Red Lentil (Dhulli Masoor) are the best and most digestible lentils to give to your dogs. Boil them well with a little turmeric (haldi) powder and serve as a soup or mixed with rice, meat, vegetables etc.
14. Liver is an excellent source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, and Folic acid), Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is also a great source of iron and very useful to feed to dogs who are suffering from anemia. Too much liver may be toxic to dogs because of its high vitamin A content. Therefore, it is best to limit the amount of liver fed to your dog to not more than 1 gram of fresh liver/Kg body weight per day.
15. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs or puppies who may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs who are allergic to wheat. Oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavouring.
16. Popcorn without the salt and butter, just the one you get locally popped on food carts in india is a great low calorie treat for your dog. Popcorn contains potassium as well as the bone-building minerals phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium.
17. Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. Dogs need fibre in their diet. It’s good for both diarrhea and constipation. Since it bulks up the stool its especially good for dogs who may have anal gland problems. Boiled and pureed, a couple of teaspoons a day for little pups and a couple of tablespoons a day for the big guys should be fine. Don’t overdo it because Vitamin A in large doses can be highly toxic for dogs. All new foods need to be introduced gradually into a dogs meal. Small amounts initially ensure that your dogs digestive system slowly adjusts to the new food.
18. Parsley improves bad doggie breath and is also a good source of calcium, potassium and beta-carotene. Chop up and add a few tablespoons to doggies food.
19. Pineapple contains mostly sugar but it also contains calcium and potassium. In summer you can give your doggie some frozen pineapple as a treat to beat the heat. Not to be given too frequently because of high sugar content.
20. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. They are also a good source of dietary fibre. They’re best dry cooked for doggie. Slice them up and mix them in to the meal.
21. Yoghurt is a natural source of calcium and protein and often much more easily digested than milk. Frozen yoghurt is a great summer treat for your doggy. Don’t give yoghurts that have sugar or artificial flavors and sweeteners in them.