Dogs are selective about what they are going to eat but not totally aware of what kind of food, are allowed or not allowed to eat.
START WITH YES FOOD
Fruit and vegetables – hmm… Lots of contentious opinions about including these in your dog’s daily diet, but if owning dogs for the last 40 years, and having lots of doggie colleagues who do the same as me – yes! Do put them in their diet. Raw vegetables are not something that your dog would be interested in, to be brutally honest, so steaming or cooking them in another fashion is much more recommended, making certainly sure they have been properly washed beforehand. The only way doggie’s brain would even contemplate raw vegetables would be to liquidize them to death, so they resemble baby food. Then, and only then as part of a meal, will your dog not turn his nose up.
A ‘rainbow’ of vegetables is recommended
Different color vegetables contain different beneficial nutrients for dogs. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, etc. are definitely beneficial but introduce these slowly to your dog. A sudden surge of odorous cabbage into their meals will not be met with anything other than disdain, and make sure it is well mixed in and not immediately obvious!
Carrots (containing beta-carotene and Vitamin A), promote healthy eyes and provide all sorts of other essential vitamins which aid digestion and prevent inflammation of the stomach lining, whilst pumpkins, for instance, are full of anti-oxidants and also contain beta-carotene, but best of all are low in calories and really helpful as a tummy filler for dogs on a diet.
Green Beans and Peas – full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they are also purported to be anti-carcinogenic – good source of protein and fiber.
Fruits – whilst good for dogs, they are somewhat acidic, so go easy on the portions. Water-based fruits such as melon tend to be a doggie favorite, along with papaya and a small amount of mango. Apples are wonderful for dogs, follow our recipes and you will see the most popular apple recipes that your dog will just gobble up! Some small mashed up banana also does not go amiss with your furry friend, but try all of these a little at a time. The slow introduction of any foods mentioned is essential. After all, we don’t all like the same foods, so why should they!
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY!
There is no substitute for water – just like us, dogs must have plenty of water to survive, particularly in extreme heat conditions. Water, as in humans, should be fresh at all times, even though when walking, Henry will try to find the dirtiest possible water available, normally puddles, water out of plant pots, or any other disgusting source he can find. Clean water, changed twice daily is the answer – his stomach can cope with small amounts of ‘dirty’ water when out walking, but do pull him or her away from it once they have had a few laps. Water keeps our doggy friends hydrated and flushes out the kidneys to aid functionality. Be wary of steams, ponds and rivers – pollution in these can harm your dog. On the other side of the coin, purified or bottled water is definitely not essential, old fashioned tap water is fine as it does contain nutrients for your dog. Stick to water – no other drinks please, even if he does like a good old cup of tea, he isn’t your grannie! Like any other time, if your dog is drinking excessively and showing an extreme thirst for a day or so, take them to the vet – could be, and only could be, a sign of something more sinister. Be sure to check it out, better to be safe than sorry.
Dogs can eat herbs, and some of the common ones are a good addition to their food mainly from a taste as much as a health point of view.
Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, Chamomile and Burdock root definitely bring out the flavor in stews and casseroles, whereas thyme, celery seeds, kelp, and nettles have healing properties for the digestive system and also for skin problems. Chickweed and Cleavers are also useful for skin and joint relief.
Most dogs can be seen munching through your herb garden (if you have one) and this is not such a bad thing. However, if you grow curry leaves and chilies in your garden, keep them out of your hounds’ reach! It goes without saying that these could have an adverse effect on their tummies.
Seeds can definitely be beneficial to your dog due to their oily content and useful fats. However, they should be fed in moderation to your pet, as not all dogs can digest them. For our recipes, we only use sunflower seeds, celery seeds or sesame seeds, as these appear to be of no problems for the digestion of your dog. Take care though in providing seeds to your dog, and only use a few at a time. Moderation is the key.