There are so many things you as a dog owner can do to keep your fur baby happy and healthy. You can book them a nice little vacation at Prestonwood Kennels, located here in Houston, for some pampering, and you can treat them to a healthy and nutritious diet! What kinds of foods make dogs happy and healthy, you ask? Well, let’s talk about it! We will be going over a few different types of food categories, like raw foods, cooked food, and kibble.
First things first, what you should always do is meet with your vet to get their input on your dog’s diet. You need to be sure to select a range of food that is balanced and appropriate for their stage in life. You also need to know if they have allergies or specific food nutrient needs, just like humans. Dog’s palates will also be different from to pup. While one of your dogs may love a good apple slice, the other may not. Keep these in mind as we get into all of this!
Some dogs may do very well on a raw or mostly raw food diet. This means that the foods you serve your dog would consist of things like raw muscle meat, organs, raw eggs, broccoli, spinach, apples, yogurt, sweet potato, etc. Obviously, do your research to make sure the foods you want to feed your pet are allowed to be consumed by them, and be sure to use human-grade foods.
Raw food diets are geared to be high in protein, so they are great for dogs who require a lot of protein. Some of the benefits that you may see from a raw food diet are shinier coats and healthier skin, cleaner teefies (apples are great for this, by the way), and higher energy levels. There could be some risks to keep in mind, though, such as bacteria contamination of the raw meat, an unbalanced diet if it’s done wrong, and if you include whole bones they could splinter and hurt your pup.
If you like the idea of a raw food diet but are leery of giving your dog raw meats, you can opt for cooked meats. Just like with the above, you need to use human-grade meats. You will want to avoid most sauces, spices, etc. You will also want to make sure that you use boneless options because cooked bones are more likely to splinter. Things like chicken, lamb, canned tuna, and other such meats are tasty for your pup. You can also add in things like cooked pumpkin for some extra flavor and fun or do a small plate of scrambled eggs once or twice a week!
Some things to keep in mind with cooked foods are making sure there are no bones and keeping any foods that are toxic out of the mix. You need to know what ingredients are going into the food if you are not the one making it, to avoid allergies. Make sure that the diet is well-balanced, also.
As the (generally) least expensive option for feeding your pooch, this tends to be the go-to for many pet owners. While dry food, and even processed wet food, have often had a bad rap for not actually fulfilling the nutritional needs of dogs, there are some good ones out there! People and companies are realizing that our pets deserve the same healthy balance that humans do.
The big thing to be on the lookout for with these is checking the ingredients, which is easier with wet foods. Dry foods often end up with a lot of supplemental ingredients to keep them from spoiling and add nutrients. If your dog food isn’t specific with the ingredients, or they are things that you yourself wouldn’t eat, maybe find another one. You want to find processed foods with natural preservatives, a good balance of whole meats, whole grains, and fruits and veggies, with clearly labeled fats.
The biggest takeaway from this should be that you and your vet need to team up to create the best diet for your four-legged child so that your pup can be as healthy and happy as possible! You may even want to do a mix of all of these options for the best results. Come back to Prestonwood Kennels in Houston to see us anytime!