We all love and adore our canine friends, right? Now, one way of keeping them safe and healthy is by feeding them with the best dog foods. Just like their wild canine families, dogs are carnivores and mainly consume meat to stay healthy. However, for most of our domesticated dogs, feeding them with small amounts of omnivorous foods will help keep them strong and generally healthy.
Why look for dog food alternatives?
There are many reasons as to why dog owners should look for dog food alternatives. Imagine getting home late at night only to remember that you were supposed to drop by the supermarket to buy some dog food! Luckily, you discover that you already have some ingredients that can make tasty homemade dog food. Will you really let your canine friend sleep hungry or will you hack some homemade dog food?
Apart from that last minute dog food hack, something else that has forced most dog owners to consider other feeding alternatives is the 2007 dog food recall that brought to light a majority of dog food manufacturing practices. According to reports, the majority of dog foods don’t really offer 100% nutritional value to your canine friends. Secondly, the majority of these dog foods contain chemical preservatives that cause cancer and other dangerous illnesses to your dogs. Finally, the majority of dog foods we buy in supermarkets are not fresh as they’ve already stayed in the warehouses for too long before hitting the supermarket shelves.
What’s safe for your dog?
In most cases, most healthy foods for humans are also safe for dogs. However, not all dogs are the same. Therefore, to ensure that your dog doesn’t develop any health problems, it’s wise that you first consult your vet to seek advice on which human foods will work best. Your vet will most likely weigh your dog to determine its weight, access the body, record its age, breed, and level of exercise before advising you on how to feed it.
Now, among the best homemade foods you can feed your dog with include:
These include chicken, beef, lamb, turkey etc. Although the majority of these proteins are found in dog foods, feeding your canine friend with lean proteins will help boost its energy levels as well as aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Here, you can opt to feed your dog with raw meat or meaty bones to help keep its teeth and gums healthy and strong.
Another alternative food you can give to your dog is peanut butter. This human food is a great source of protein and fiber when added to your dog’s favorite dry food. Always ensure that you choose all-natural peanut butter that doesn’t contain the dangerous xylitol ingredient.
If your dog enjoys drinking yogurt, then don’t hesitate to give it some the minute you see it staring at you. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt (with no preservatives or artificial sugars) is a great source of proteins for your canine friend.
Pumpkins and sweet potatoes
Other alternative human foods to consider are pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, these human foods will help keep your dog’s digestive system on track.
Peas and green beans
Do you have any peas and green beans leftovers in the fridge? Well, these too can act as perfect alternatives to dog foods. Peas and green beans are regarded as low-calorie nutrients that are rich in potassium and Vitamin C & K.
Fruits such as apples can also work well with dogs especially when added to other recipes. Apples are rich in Vitamins A and C and should be washed thoroughly before chopping to avoid exposing your dog to bacterial risks. Always make sure that you remove the seeds as they’re not safe for your dog’s consumption. Also, dogs can eat citrus fruits.
Toxic foods to avoid
Having highlighted some of the best dog food alternatives, this post will proceed to keep you informed by listing several human foods that are extremely toxic or unsafe for your dog. Some of these human foods that should be avoided at all cost include:
- Grapes: grapes are known to cause kidney failures to most dogs and cats.
- Avocado: this healthy fruit contains persin, an ingredient known to cause vomiting and diarrhea to dogs.
- Chocolate and cocoa: chocolate and cocoa are a must have to most humans but the theobromine ingredient found in the formula is very toxic to most dogs as it can cause seizure and death after consumption.
- Dairy products: milk, cheese and other dairy products can cause digestive disorders to your dogs when consumed excessively.
- Alcohol: you should never give beer, wine or other alcohol to your dog as it can cause kidney failure, dehydration, central nervous depression and even death.
- Onions and garlic: although these vegetables and herbs help to add flavor to our food, they can be extremely toxic when consumed by dogs for a long time. Consuming them in excess can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or anemia to your canine friend.
Whether or not your dog enjoys feeding on human food, it’s wise to first consult your vet to verify if your canine friend is in perfect health to feed on alternative foods. Always watch out for signs of vomiting, constipation, lethargy and diarrhea to avoid exposing your dog to severe health problems. In case you discover that your dog’s health is deteriorating, switch back to its normal dog food and consult your vet immediately.