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Monday, November 9, 2009

Healthy Foods.

Source: Dog World-Mary Straus-owner dogAware.com

Finding the right combination of foods for your dog can be essential in keeping them fit and trim. The value of adding protein to your pets diet is it will help build lean muscle and contributes to skin and coat health and supports the immune and central nervous system. Puppies and seniors especially benefit from protein in the diet.

Dogs also have no known nutritional value for carbs. But, most of the dry kibble (dog food) is full of carbs. It is used to hold the food together and is an inexpensive way to add calories. The best foods to add are things like eggs, which are high in animal protein, meat, fish and dairy. But, with the dairy, you have to be careful that your dog is not lactose intolerant. Eggs can be cooked (in nothing, no oil or butter) or fed raw. Give a whole egg every day to dogs that weigh more than 20 lbs. and 1/2 of one to dogs that weigh less or even less for super tiny dogs.

Now, meat is fabulous. But, only if cooked without any oils or fats. You find dry foods now with venison, wild turkey, and, of course, lamb. Pork is also good. Organ meats such as heart, are nutritious and inexpensive. But, certain organs, such as liver, should only be fed in very small amounts. Too much can give loose stools.

Now, on to the fish. Believe it or not, fish is great for dogs. It is a great source of protein, but also, a source for omega-3 fatty acids. I suggest to people with dogs that have skin issues, such as dry skin, to use fish oil capsules. Squeeze one onto the food each day. Canned fish with bones, such as jack mackerel, pink salmon and sardines, are better choices than tuna, which is known to have a much higher mercury content. Don't serve raw fish. If you cook fish for your buddy, remove the bones. The bones in pre-cooked fish are softened due to being pressured cooked. So, it is fine to feed it.

Dairy is good. Personally, plain yogurt is fabulous. It has probiotics in it and I call it natures Mallox. Kefir is another cultured milk product that provides probiotics. Cottage and Ricotta cheeses are another good source of dairy. Add a spoonful to your dogs food and see them light up with the new taste in their diet.

Of course, veggies and fruits are super. But, avoid at all costs, grapes, onions and raisins. They can cause kidney failure. Leftovers, not so much. Stay away from the fatty and sugary leftovers. Healthy leftovers are fine. Reduction in food is a must if your dog is overweight. Too much weight is horrid for the hips and elbows and heart.

Now, how much do I feed, you ask. To estimate 1/4 of your dogs diet, multiply its weight in pounds by 8, then divide by 100 to get the ounces of fresh food.
Here is an example: 50lb. dog. 50x8=400 divided by 100=4. So, for the average 50 lb. dog, 4 ounces of fresh food would be the right amount to feed daily.

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