The food you will feed your dog can significantly affect the quality of their life. Feeding your dog with high-quality food that’s apt for their nutritional requirements will make it very easy for them to stay active and ward off common illnesses and diseases. Good nutrition can also improve your dog’s coat and fur, resulting in a better and healthier appearance.
However, because of the spread of the coronavirus, keeping your pet healthy can become a struggle nowadays. You might have limited access to pet stores that sell your dog’s food, and might not have any idea how to prepare their meals from scratch. You might also have a lot of questions as to which ingredients are safe for your canine companion, such as, “Is turmeric good for dogs?” “What human foods can pet owners give to their dogs?” or “What are the dos and don’ts concerning pet nutrition?” The list goes on, particularly if you’re a first-time pet owner.
Save yourself from the stress of answering all of these questions by using this article as your guide, especially during these trying times. Here are ways you can keep your dogs healthy during this crisis:
1. Avoid Relying On The Marketing Hype And Take The Label Test Instead
Since people around the world are now staying at home because of the pandemic, businesses are now revamping their marketing schemes online in order to haul in customers. Businesses, especially those that are already considered as household names, will commission complex marketing ads just to entice people at home to buy from them. Businesses would even couple these marketing strategies with new services, such as online delivery and discounts, just to entice more pet owners to buy from them.
If you truly want the best for your dog’s nutrition, avoid giving them food based on how the product is being marketed. Sure, these marketing strategies can help you know more about a specific dog food and its existence, but this shouldn’t be your sole deciding factor when purchasing one. A well-planned marketing strategy doesn’t always equate to high-quality dog food.
If you see yourself attracted to a specific dog food because of how it’s marketed, do not buy the product immediately. Instead, spend some time to check its label first, so you’ll know what your dog is getting from their food. This is especially important if your dog has very specific nutritional requirements.
After you have determined the ingredients used to make the product, do a quick online search to know more. The Internet can provide unlimited information for you to know more about the dog foods available in the market today and if these are indeed healthy for your furbaby. You’ll be surprised at how some of these ingredients can cause health problems to your dog or worsen any current health condition.
2. Introduce Fresh Whole Foods
Providing good nutrition to your dog is actually a very achievable task because there are now countless dog foods available in the market today. Regardless of the age and breed of your dog, you can easily buy one that fits the bill. And, while these commercially-produced dog foods promise the healthiest diet to your dog, solely giving kibbles to them won’t do the trick as it should be balanced with some healthy and clean raw dog food.
Giving the same dog food to your dog can lead to familiarity and can become the reason why your dog will lose their appetite to eat. Giving the same dog food to your dog even as they continue to age can also result in deficiencies. Keep in mind that as your dog continues to develop and grow, their bodies will also require different vitamins and minerals.
If you don’t want any of these to happen, and want to ensure that your dog remains healthy, introduce fresh whole foods to their diet. Just like how these help improve your health, fruits and vegetables can also improve the bodily functions of your dog, help them become more active, and keep them safe from common illnesses and diseases.
But, just because all fruits and vegetables are healthy to humans, this doesn’t always remain true when it comes to your dog’s nutrition. Some fruits and vegetables can be very toxic to your dog, even when given in small quantities.
Listed below are the fruits and vegetables that are dangerous for your dog:
- Grapes and raisins: Ingesting small pieces of grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage and failure to your dog. If you suspect that your dog accidentally chewed on any of these fruits, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms can make your dishes more flavorful, but these can actually have adverse effects on your dog’s health. Mushrooms contain toxins that can cause acute kidney injury, liver failure, and even death to dogs.
- Nuts: Any type of nut is dangerous to your dog because its high-fat content can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. When not treated promptly, these health conditions can worsen and result in dehydration and death.
- Onions: Almost all meals require onions to be cooked. However, when it comes to dog nutrition, onions are a big no-no. This vegetable can be very toxic to your furry friend as this can cause lethargy, pale gums, and elevated heart rate.
- Cherries: Cherries are healthy and filling snacks, but any kind can be harmful to your dog. Because of their cyanide content, cherries can be very toxic to dogs and cause respiratory failure.
3. Wash Non-Organic Produce In Apple Cider Vinegar
Deciding which food to give to your dog is like looking after a kid–you need to pay attention to the small details as these can significantly affect your dog’s health. When giving non-organic produce to your dog, do not solely rely on washing them with water.
Plants naturally produce allelochemicals, a substance that can prevent pesticides from penetrating their surfaces. This substance can help improve and maintain the appearance of any product. However, allelochemicals can be toxic to your dog when eaten.
Make sure that all of the non-organic produce you’ll give to your dog is free from allelochemicals by thoroughly washing them with apple cider vinegar. Simply soak all of these non-organic products with a mixture made from one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water for one minute. Rinse with running water before serving them to your dog.
4. Do Not Overfeed Your Dog
Regardless of how spoiled your dog is, you should never overfeed them as this can only result in several health problems. Overfeeding your dog can lead to excessive weight gain and cause obesity. Being overweight can make your dog susceptible to other health problems, such as kidney and liver failure and lethargy.
Even if you are only staying at home with your dog during this crisis, have the discipline to only feed your dog with the right amount of food. If your dog is overweight, feed them earlier in the day so they can still have time to sweat and lose weight. Conversely, if your dog needs to gain more weight, feed them more regularly, especially before bedtime. Feeding your dog late in the day will prevent them from burning off calories, making it easy for them to gain weight.
Moreover, do not worry when you notice your dog has become skinny. Younger dogs are usually active, which means that they can lose weight faster. In the same manner, do not worry when your dog starts to gain weight more easily when they start to age. This is a normal reaction of their body since they are getting less and less active with age.
5. Get Creative With Your Dog’s Teeth And Gum Health
The tooth and gums of your dog can affect their overall health. Regardless of how appetizing their meals are, if their teeth and gums hurt, they won’t be able to eat at all. Your dog’s inability to eat can make them lethargic and sickly.
Make sure that these do not happen by getting creative with your dog’s teeth and gum health. You can do this by spending time to regularly brush your dog’s teeth with products made especially for them, or let them gnaw on raw bones. The latter is a great option for pet owners who can’t keep their dogs still when brushing.
Aside from these options, you can also let your dog chew on whole foods, such as zucchini and carrots. These vegetables are naturally crunchy, and chomping these into smaller pieces can create a rubbing effect that can remove plaque off of your dog’s teeth. This is a healthy option that can also satisfy your dog’s need to chomp and grind.
However, if this is your first time to clean your dog’s teeth, be patient as they might reject your efforts. Dogs aren’t used to brushing their teeth, which is why, as a pet owner, you should try out different techniques to determine which will work. You can play games or give them treats when they agree to let you clean their teeth or play games and tire them out before the session.
6. Consider Giving Supplements
For humans who are usually on-the-go, taking supplements is a great way to ensure that they receive the right amount of nutrients that their bodies need. Humans have to stick to a well-balanced diet in order to achieve optimal health, but it’ll be challenging for them to achieve this goal if they are always busy.
For you to ensure that your dog also gets the proper nutrients their body needs, consider giving them supplements. These supplements can boost the nutritional content of the foods they eat and aid their nutrition in the long run. However, with the number of supplements available for dogs today, choosing one can be tough. This is especially true if you don’t have any experience when it comes to providing supplements to your pooch.
To help make this process easier, take note of the following tips when choosing supplements for your dog:
- Consider the age of your dog: As mentioned, dogs will require different vitamins and minerals as they age. When choosing a supplement for your dog, it’s best if you consider their age first. You need to make sure that the supplement you’ll give them suits their requirements; else, you’ll end up feeding them with supplements that can take a toll on their health.
- Research well on the firm you’re eyeing to buy the supplements from: If this is your first time to give supplements to your dog, spend some time to research on the credibility of the firm that produces it. The information you can gain from this process can help you set your expectations and determine if the supplement you’re eyeing to buy is suitable for the needs of your pet.
Moreover, this process can also give you access to the experience of other pet owners and help you avoid any scams during the process. You don’t want to do business with a firm that doesn’t stay true to their promises, right?
- Check the price: For your dog to experience the health benefits of supplements, they should be able to use the product every single day. Letting your dog use supplements for one week won’t have any effect on their health.
When choosing a supplement for your dog, do not forget to consider the price of the product as well, as advised by the guys at Pet Life. As mentioned, supplements should be given to your dog regularly, which means that you should choose a supplement that you can easily afford, one that fits in your budget and will not require you to sacrifice your bills or groceries.
Work With A Pro
If you plan to make drastic changes or incorporate new foods into your dog’s diet, it’s best if you consult a vet about it first. Regardless of how well you know your dog’s nutritional requirements, giving them the wrong food can lead to severe health risks and side effects. Giving your dog the wrong type of food can even increase their risk to diseases and, in worse cases, death.
By talking to your vet before giving anything to your dog, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that you’re actually doing what’s best for them and are keeping them safe from risks.