Sunday, January 6, 2008

4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dog's Diet

Until the dog food recall last year, feeding your dogs table scraps had a really bad reputation and that is mostly because we, ourselves, do not eat a healthy diet. Historically, most of the diseases we see in dogs today were unheard of before the days of bagged dry food.

If you look at the ingredients of most dog foods, the first or second ingredient is corn. Think about this for a second, corn is the grain that is used to put a lot of weight on beef cattle before slaughter. It's a high fat starch. Bad news for our canine friends who are primarily meat eaters.

Some of the better prepared foods use brown rice instead of corn. It's a better choice because it is more digestible but it is still a starch and a grain. Doggone it, dogs aren't grain eaters. If they were we could save a bunch of money by getting sweet feed from the feed store for $8 for 50lbs.

Here are a few things that you can do to improve your dog's diet and health.

  1. Make healthy treats. I will be posting a series of healthy dog treat recipes. Some are aimed at a specific thing such as skin or coat or allergies. Some are just a better choice than what you can buy in the store.
  2. Read the labels on your dog or cat food. If one of the first two or three ingredients in the food are corn, rice or soy, look for another brand. Don't fall into the trap of thinking canned foods are mostly meat. They aren't. Check the label for sugar or sucrose. Dogs don't need it and it leads to the same health problems as it does in people. Oh, and by the way, your dogs don't care if their food is in bright colors or cute shapes. The colors are artificial and not good for them.
  3. Supplement your dogs diet with healthy table scraps, meat, cheese, yogurt, eggs, tuna fish, salmon, etc. Raw food is better for your pet than cooked but don't be afraid to mix left over vegetables or meat in with their normal food. Remember though that you can feed a little less of their prepared diet if you are adding goodies to it.
  4. No cereals, ice cream, chocolate, candy or other human indulgences. Your dog might love them but they are worse for your dog than they are for you. Dogs get diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity just like humans but because of their relatively short life spans, these diseases can have a much more devastating effect on your dogs health.
If you have any other suggestions or recipes, feel free to email them to me at or comment below.

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