Before the internet, purchasing dog food was somewhat simple. There was a small selection of brands that you could find at your local supermarket.
These days shopping for your dog has become a lot more convenient but also a lot more complicated.
Thanks to the media and advertising, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming, making us ask ourselves – Is my dog’s pet food healthy enough?
There is an absolute feast of natural ingredients you can use to complement your dog’s diet.
Your dog’s age, breed, activity level and health needs will contribute to the specific nutrients your dog needs so if you are unsure talk to your local vet.
1. Fresh Foods
Incorporating just a little bit of fresh food into your dog’s diet can reduce the risk of health problems, promote a shinier coat and healthy skin, and aid in digestion.
Put simply, dogs thrive on a meat-based diet. While it’s possible for dogs to get protein from plant-based sources, meat is the best and most bioavailable protein source for dogs.
Dogs can digest some plant proteins such as corn, oats, barley and wheat. However, these grains have limited amino acids and are rich in carbohydrates so excess can turn into sugar and then into fat.
Protein – add lightly cooked lean chicken breast, pork, fish, turkey or beef.
Eggs – boiled, fried or scrambled but with no added butter, oil or salt.
Lightly steamed vegetables – give an antioxidant boost especially if your dog is older or overweight. Raw veggies, such as sweet potato or frozen peas, should be finely grated or put in a food processor, so the cellulose is broken down.
Pumpkin – is a wonderful addition to a dog’s diet because it provides soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are needed to keep the microflora (good bacteria) in the gut healthy. Pumpkin is best served cooked or pureed.
Fruits – such as blueberries, a wedge of apple, a piece of kiwi fruit make for great dog snacks.
Grains like wheat, rice, barley and oats can be very healthy and a nice addition to your doggie’s food bowl.
You can add in other liquids in the form of broths to enhance the flavour and improve digestive health (add link to Tummy Time)
Whole wheat is an excellent source of digestible carbohydrates which is great for energy. Wheat does contain gluten and some dogs may be allergic but for most, it is a valuable part of a dog’s diet.
Rice is full of vitamins and minerals. In addition to fibre and carbohydrates, brown rice is rich in B vitamins which play a vital role in energy metabolism and enzyme production.
Barley has an exceptionally high energy content ideal for active dogs with higher carbohydrate needs. Like rice, it is also rich in Vitamin B.
Oats are high in protein and low in gluten. They are ideal for dogs with sensitivities to corn, wheat, or other grains.
3. Healthy Oils
Fish Oil is an excellent source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids improve your dog’s skin and coat health, boost your dog’s immune system, and reduce inflammation and pain.
Krill oil contains DHA and EPA, which keeps your pet’s joints and skin healthy. According to research, krill oil is the best source of omega-3 for dogs.
Coconut oil improves skin condition, helps fight off infection and aids digestion.
Flaxseed Oil with proper dosage should improve your pet’s coat and ward off diseases like arthritis.
Giving plain, unsweetened yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium and probiotics for dogs.
Plain yoghurt is a source of live active cultures that may offer digestive health benefits for your dog.
Yoghurt contains moderate levels of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar in milk. If your dog has difficulty digesting lactose or is lactose intolerant offer them alternate probiotic sources such as Ipromea pet probiotic products.
For more information about quality Australian made and manufactured probiotics for pets products, please view Ipromea’s range here