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As a pet owner, it always feels awful when your puppy won’t eat, or your older dog doesn’t seem as energetic as they once were. While this is usually a sign of a bug or illness, it could also be something to do with their diet. As it is accepted that most dogs will eat just about anything (for better or worse), you can improve their diet to ensure they are full of energy and get all the vitamins and nutrients they need to get over any issues.
Ignore the Marketing
If you only purchase the dog food that stands out above everything else, it’s because the marketing is working. However, while these products often claim to be the best source of protein and other essentials for your pet, this is not always true. Rather than focus on flashy commercials, you instead need to look closely at the labels. This will give you a thorough breakdown of all the ingredients in your dog’s food, and you may discover that what claims to be healthy is not that healthy at all.
Introduce Fresh Food
Food that has a long shelf life is often preferred amongst dog owners as it means you can save money (and time) buying new food packages every week. But, while this food can last as long as two years, it isn’t always the best approach when it comes to pet food. This is because there are no live enzymes, and so their nutritional value is often overstated. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great alternative that can prevent digestive problems, and you can still use long-lasting food when you’re strapped for time.
Keep Them Hydrated
Dogs are no different than humans in that they need to stay hydrated to ensure they remain fit, healthy, and energized all day long. No matter where you go, it’s important to bring enough water for them to drink, especially if they are running around the dog park on a scorching summer’s day. Some pet owners will opt for bottled water, but tap water is just as effective, and if you’re worried about fluoride, you can find solutions to remove it to reduce any hard water issues. To learn more about how reverse osmosis removes fluoride, click here, and consider the benefits for you and your dog.
Think About Antioxidants
Similarly, antioxidants are just as crucial for dogs as they are for humans. You could argue that they are even more important, as we can verbalize any health issues, whereas dogs cannot. Look for whole foods that are packed full of antioxidants to help your dog avoid infections or inflammation, as this can keep their organs, muscles, and joints healthy which will also reduce early aging and keep them capable of running around for as long as possible.
Stop Feeding Them Cooked Meat
Many dog owners consider a cooked steak dinner to be a treat, but you must remember that humans are the only species that naturally eat cooked meat. This is because animals are incapable of cooking, but if you’re looking to boost nutritional value, fresh and raw meat is the best thing for dogs. The cooking process removes some vital nutrients. If you still feel uncomfortable about giving them raw food, make sure to only sear the meat lightly rather than cooking it all the way through.
Remember Their Oral Health
As a pet owner, you are not just their best friend, but you also need to take on the role of a doggy dentist. If you thought getting your kids to look after their teeth was tricky, it becomes even harder for dogs. They can’t brush their teeth or rinse their mouth to remove food bits, so you must make sure you’re on top of their oral health. Brushing their teeth is the best way to do this, but it can be tricky with energetic dogs. Instead, look at food that promotes excellent oral health. You may not realize it, but carrots or even zucchini are great solutions. You can also give them raw bones to brighten up their teeth.
Go Gluten-Free (Seriously)
The gluten-free trend is not just a fad that humans have embraced. Gluten-free dog diets are becoming popular, as they can help with digestive issues and make your dog a little less stinky. Many dry dog food includes gluten meal which prevents proper digestion of waste products that can affect your dog’s digestion. Look for dog-safe gluten-free alternatives, and you’ll find that your dog is not as bloated or lethargic after a meal and they won’t clear the room while you’re trying to have a relaxing evening watching a movie.
But Don’t Push Your Dietary Choices Onto Your Dog
But, you mustn’t push other dietary choices you have made onto your dog. There have been many reports of vegan or vegetarian pet owners who have pushed a meat-free diet onto their pets. While it’s okay for them to avoid meat, your pet will miss out on vital nutrition. So, your moral or medical demands must stop at you, and let your dog enjoy whatever is best for them.
It’s easy to get carried away giving your dog treat after treat, and while it makes both of you feel good, it could also seriously harm their health. Just like humans, too many treats can wreak havoc on your dog’s health, even if the treats are supposedly healthy. Overfeeding is a significant problem that can impact your dog’s overall health, including the risk of obesity. So, while it’s perfectly fine to treat your dog now and again, especially during training, you mustn’t make a habit of giving them treats at every opportunity.
If your dog doesn’t seem as lively as they were, changing their diet could be the solution. This is especially true with puppies that have grown into adult dogs, as you may need to make adjustments to their diet to help them get everything they need. While you won’t need to consider all of these options, some of them can help your dog get back to their best and prevent any health issues later in their life.