Here are some killer facts on dog foods that every dog owner should be aware of. What not to feed dogs if you want them healthy? A dog is a man’s best friend. In order to reciprocate the friendship, you need to ensure that your beloved pet is fed highly nutritious food that is in sync with his digestive system.
What Does a Healthy Dog’s Diet Comprise Of?
To ensure that your dog is disease free and healthy, he needs to be fed with adequate quantities of protein, fats, water and vitamins. Let me throw some light on each one of them:
1) The Water Content – Water is vita for aiding your dog’s digestion. Most vet’s recommend giving your dog a quart of water for a single pound of dry food that your pet consumes. It is important to make note of the fact that your dog consumes more water if he is physically active or when he is made to consume excessive dry food.
2) The Protein Intake – As you all know, protein helps build muscles and repair tissues of your cherished pet. Nonetheless, while feeding your dog proteins, try and include animal protein, as digesting vegetarian protein may be difficult for your dog. An adult dog requires eighteen percent protein to develop their body and twenty two percent for developing their reproductive system. Try and maintain apt protein levels in your dog’s food and avoid either under-feeding or over-feeding proteins to your pet.
3) The Vitamin Intake – While vitamins are essential for the overall development of your dog, never indulge in an overdose. For example, an overdose of Vitamin A can adversely affect your pet’s blood vessels. Excess intake of Vitamin D can kill your dog’s appetite and cause bone damage. So, it is best to consult a veterinarian before including vitamins in your pet’s diet.
4) Fat Intake – Fats are needed to maintain the texture and the overall heath of your dog’s coat. It is therefore recommended that you purchase dog food items that have a minimum of 5% fat content in them.
What is the Best Dog Food?
Freshly cooked meat is undoubtedly the best food for your dog. This also includes bones and organ meat. Fresh meat of lamb, chicken, bison and venison, is best suited for your pet. You can also include fresh vegetables, eggs, fruits and yogurt to the diet. Try and avoid canned foods that do not disclose their ingredient list. Adulterated dog food may cause your cherished pet to suffer from a myriad of digestive, joint and coat related issues.
Dog Food and Human Food – Can Dogs Eat Everything that Humans Can?
Ironically, several food items that may be good for humans may prove poisonous for dogs. It does not necessarily imply that foods that are considered good for human can also prove to be good for dogs. The main reason behind this is the difference in the metabolic process of humans and animals. Under this sub-category, we shall discuss only those food items that can be safely consumed by your dog.
Human Food for Dogs – A List of Human Foods that are Good for Dogs
1) White Rice – Rice that is boiled is considered good for a dog suffering from an upset stomach. In case you do not have white rice handy, you can feed your beloved pet with pasta as well. Rice has the ability to provide bulk to your dog’s stool.
2) Fresh Meat – Feeding fresh meat to dogs is considered a healthy habit. Make sure that the skin and bones of the chosen meat have been removed and so is the excess fat content. Chicken and Turkey meat is considered apt for dogs and you can feed them both raw as well as cooked forms of this meat.
These categories of meat may be contaminated with parasitic roundworms that can cause trichinosis. Although cases of trichinosis dropped significantly in the United States, a possibility of getting it still exists. The possibility of your dog getting a trichinosis infection is higher in wild game such as bear meat. I recommend cooking pork meat thoroughly before feeding it to your dogs. Some dogs can get diarreah from eating raw pork meat, some dogs just don’t agree with it. This is also why cooking the meat is a good idea before feeding. The meat should be heated up to at least 140 degrees in the center to kill all parasites. If you don’t have a food thermometer, cook it until no pink remains inside the meat.
3) Potatoes and Fresh Vegetables – Fresh vegetables such as green beans, carrots and cumber, can be fed to your beloved pet in the form of healthy snacks. Avoid fruits that have high sodium content in them. This is one of the main reasons why you need to avoid feeding your dog canned veggies. Serving baked potatoes is also considered a good idea. Nonetheless, it is good to serve baked potatoes in limited quantities.
4) Fruits and Eggs – Fresh fruits with their seeds and skin removed are ideal for keeping your pet cool during the hot summer season. Bananas, apples, watermelon and strawberries are best suited for your beloved pet. Also, feeding whole eggs to your dog is a good way to keep him fortified with vital vitamins and minerals besides proteins (of course). Feed your dogs with salmonella free eggs and always ensure to feed them whole eggs as only then, would they get adequate amounts of biotin content in their diet.
While these are a few food items that are consumed by humans and are healthy for your pet as well, in case of any doubt, always contact your vet for clarification.
What Not to Feed Dogs? – List of Poisonous Foods for Dogs
CornCob – Do not feed your dog corncob, as the cob can get stuck in the intestinal track of your cherished pet. This may prove to be fatal. In case your dog has consumed ample quantities of cob, take him to a vet effective immediately. A surgical procedure may be required to remove cob from the intestinal tracts of the animal. The corn, on the other hand, can be easily digested by your pet.
Chocolate – Chocolates of any sort contain caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, which can adversely affect the nervous system and the heart of your beloved pet. In case your dog is panting or vomiting, it is possible that he may have consumed chocolate.
Australian Nut – Popularly known as the macadamia nut, this food item is considered highly toxic for dogs. If your dog consumes these nuts, it hampers his mobility. Common symptoms are excessive shivering, panting, weakness, inability to stand straight for prolonged time intervals and swelling in the limbs.
Coffee – This is a strict ‘no-no’ food items for dogs as it contains high amounts of caffeine. It can prove poisonous for your dogs as it disrupts the dog’s central nervous system as well as his natural heart functionality.
Yeast – This food product has the natural ability to expand, which in turn may rupture the intestines of the animal (if your dog consumes yeast in large quantities). If yeast is consumed by your pet in small quantities, it may lead to indigestion and gas.
Grapes – Do not feed your dog grapes as the active ingredients of this fruit can damage the kidney of your cherished pet. Even a bunch of grapes can kill a a dog. Same is the case with raisins.
Onions and Tobacco – Onions in all possible forms are harmful for your dog as they contain high amounts of sulfoxides that damage the red blood cells of your beloved pet. Even chives have a similar effect on your pet. At the same time, if tobacco (the nicotine content) is ingested into the digestive tract of a pup, it can lead to increased heart rate, impair the central nervous system and cause death of the animal.
Plums, Peaches and Xylitol – When peaches and plums are ingested into the dog’s digestive tract, they turn into hydrogen cyanide. The pits in a plum can also block the intestinal tract of the animal. Even pears are toxic for dogs as they contain certain amounts of arsenic elements. Xylitol is another food item that you need to avoid giving your dog. This food item disrupts the liver functionality of the dog and lowers his blood sugar levels causing seizures and an untimely death.
Foods Dog’s Can’t Eat – List of Foods Not to Feed Your Dog
Beer, Whiskey and other Intoxicants – Alcohol may cause breathing issues, acidity and even coma in dogs. Hence, alcohol needs to be kept away from your beloved pet.
Bones that have been Chewed – Chewed bones are not good as they can break into tiny pieces thereby hurting the animal. You can feed him raw bones instead.
Seeds of Apples and Avocado – Apple seeds contain amygdlin that converts into cyanide when digested by the animal. It is therefore highly recommended that you feed your beloved animal apples after removing its seeds. Avocado also upsets the stomach of the dog as it contains persin, thereby causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Fish and Garlic – Raw fish, especially salmon and trout, may contain certain harmful bacterium (neorickettsia helminthoeca) that can prove fatal for dogs. To avoid unnecessary infections, always cook the fish before feeding it to your dog. Garlic in large quantities is toxic for dogs. Nonetheless, small quantities of garlic may be beneficial for dogs (especially for flea treatment).
Cat Food and Gum – Although cat food is not fatal for a dog, it contains ingredients that are conducive for the digestive system of a cat. For example, the protein content in cat food is rather high and this aspect may not be best suited for your dog. Chewing gum is another health hazard for dogs as it contains Xylitol.
Human Baby Food and Vitamins for Human Beings – Vitamins that we consume on a regular basis may not suit the digestive tract of your beloved pet. Excessive intake of vitamins can severely damage the liver and digestive lining of your pet. So, always consult a vet before administering vitamins to your pet. Similarly, baby food may not be best suited for your dog as it missing out on some vital nutrients that are needed in a healthy dog’s diet. If your baby food contains onion powder, it can prove fatal for your pet.
Sugar, Spices and Salt – Sugar causes dental issues and obesity in pets. Excessive salt may lead to dehydration and impair the natural electrolyte balance of your dog. Even spices such as chili and pepper can irritate the stomach lining of your dog.
Dairy Products – It is not a good idea to feed your dog with milk and dairy products as dogs are lactose intolerant. If your dog consumes dairy products, he may get an upset stomach.
Tomatoes Leaves, Mushrooms and Marijuana – Mushrooms can prove fatal for dogs. Marijuana may increase the heart rate of your beloved pet and compel him to vomit. Tomato leaves contain oxalates that impair the urinary functions of your dog.
Foods Harmful to Dogs – More Things to Consider
Junk Food and Cookies – Never feed your dog chips, cookies and burgers. These food items contain onion powder, chocolate and sugar, which are considered toxic for dogs.
Stale Food Items – Stale food items contain bacteria and molds that can damage the overall health of your beloved pet. So, always feed your dog fresh food. Also avoid feeding them leftovers such as used bones. Feeding your dog table scrap minus the fat content is a good idea.
Check the Label – Always check the label of any food item before feeding it to your dog.
What to Do if Your Dog has Fallen Sick?
Immediately take your dog to a vet. If your dog is feeling weak, is vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, you need to contact a vet at the earliest given opportunity. To avoid running up hefty medical bills, opt for dog medical insurance. Pet insurance can surely avoid your wallet from getting mauled in the act. It is also advisable to keep the contact numbers of your vet handy to handle an emergency scenario in a suitable way.