Owner’s Guide to Optimum Dog Health
Have you ever fed your dog from the kitchen table without thinking twice about it? Do you give your dog “treats” for anything and everything that it does? You’re not the only one. Many people overlook the fact that just like humans, dogs need proper nutrition too. They can suffer diseases that come about solely from their diet—such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and even food allergies! In fact, some common foods that humans eat can be extremely dangerous for dogs to ingest and should be completely avoided in their diets.
Rule #1 - Exercise
The first rule for keeping your dog healthy is to exercise them. Make sure they have enough room to play—whether it is in the house or backyard. If your living arrangements do not accommodate your dog’s exercise needs, a suggestion is to go to the nearest dog park where they can run free and play with other dogs. If you have a dog that is likely to run away or fight with other dogs—just keep them on a leash or walk somewhere where this will not happen. Walking your dog will help to keep their weight in check, heart healthy and will even boost his/her mood. It will even provide benefit to your health!
Rule #2 – Healthy diet
The second rule to keeping your dog healthy is by providing them with a healthy diet. Yes, it sure is tempting to let them eat off of your dinner plate when they look at you with those cute eyes. But giving them food that will benefit them nutritionally is going to improve their lives in the long-run. He/she may be upset that you aren’t feeding them that yummy steak or chocolate cake, but take it from us… most people food is not good for them. If you want to reward you dog with a yummy treat, choose something that will excite them AND increase their overall health; Probios Soft Chews are a great option. A treat like this tastes good and promotes overall health.
Just like with human food, you should always check dog food labels. Make sure that you know what all of the ingredients listed are. If there’s something in the food that doesn’t sound familiar to you, then it’s probably not something your dog should ingest. Certain food additives in dog food can cause issues with digestion and a number of other unfortunate health issues. If you’re really unsure about an ingredient, it would be beneficial to talk to a veterinarian about it before giving it to your pet.
Protein, carbohydrates and fat are essential to every dog’s diet to provide them with energy, maintain their health and several other functions in the body. Depending on their breed, size and energy level, their needs for these macronutrients will be different. Your veterinarian can help determine how much your dog needs of each. They can also help you decide what to feed your dog. Several commercial dry foods contain substances that are hard for dogs to digest. Therefore, they do not get all of the nutrients that the package claims they will get. This is why some individuals choose to feed their dogs raw or organic diets. However, this choice is up to you and again, a veterinarian can help you to choose which diet would be best for your pet.
There are certain foods that should never be consumed by dogs because their bodies do not work the same ways ours do. Examples of foods that should never be ingested by dogs include:
• Bones from fish, poultry and other meat sources
• Cat food
• Caffeine containing foods, such as chocolate and coffee
• Fat trimmings
• Grapes or raisins
• Macadamia nuts
• Milk and other dairy products
• Onions or garlic
• Raw eggs or meat
• Sugary foods
• Xyilithol—artificial sweetener found in gum
All of these foods have their own reasons for being dangerous to canines. Other substances such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are harmful to dogs, which should be obvious to the typical dog owner.
Rule #3 – Love
To quote a famous musician “Love is all you need.” Well… love and exercise and a healthy diet!
To sum it up, you can keep your dog healthy by exercising them, providing them with a healthy diet and providing love and attention. Doing so may not prevent every health condition but it will definitely benefit their bodies and potentially prolong their life. If you have any questions about your dog’s nutrition, ask a veterinarian. They are the most reliable source for this kind of information whenever you are in doubt.
Helps Mainain a healthy digestive system and increase nutrient absorption.