Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is sharing tips about how nutrition enhances and enriches our dog’s lives.
In a perfect world, our dogs would live as long as we do, but unfortunately they don’t. They cross the Rainbow Bridge far too soon. As pet parents, we are committed to doing what we can to keep our beloved fur-babies in our lives for as long as possible.
There are many ways to do that including:
- Regular veterinarian visits
- Healthy diet
- Enriching their environment through sights and sounds
- Lots of love!
Nutrition is one way in which we enrich our dog’s lives by feeding healthy, nutritious foods and healthy dog treats. DOGTV has partnered with Kevyn Matthews, The Dog Chef to bring you healthy and tasty recipes for your dog.
- The food we feed
- The way we care for and address their separation anxiety
- The way in which we enrich their environment by turning on DOGTV to keep them entertained while we are away
- Socializing them and,
- Making certain they are engaged and exercised in body and mind.
5 Ways To Improve Your Dog’s Life Through Diet
During February which is Responsible Pet Parent Month, we offer five ways to improve, enhance and enrich your dog’s life by providing nutritional enrichment.
Read food labels. If you’re like many consumers, you read food labels and serving sizes on the foods you buy. Do you do that for the food you feed your dog? Food labels are confusing and if you really want to know what is healthy and nutritious, ask your veterinarian for advice on the food your dog should eat.
Your dog’s nutrition needs vary based on her age, breed and activity level among other factors. Be a label reader to assure you’re feeding your dog as much healthy food as you can.
Avoid table scraps. Yes, we know it’s tempting to slip your dog a treat from your plate at the dinner table or to give him a french fry from your take out meal, but they just don’t need. They also will not miss it if you don’t give it to them.
Dogs don’t crave food items the way we do so they won’t miss a bite of your cheesecake. Dogs beg at the table because they have been conditioned to the idea that “if I sit here and look adorable, they will give me a treat.” Your dog won’t care if you give him a piece of steak or a piece of carrot; it’s more about “getting something because I’ve begged” than the food.
If you don’t want to banish your dog from the dining room while you eat, chop up healthy fruits and veggies and feed him those treats rather than “human food.”
Feed a variety of whole, healthy foods. You wouldn’t want to eat the same food every day would you? Probably not. Even though your dog will happily gobble down her dinner, give her variety.
Introduce dog-safe fruits and veggies into her diet. Pumpkin, carrots, apples and green peppers are among the fruits and vegetables that you can put into your dog’s dinner dish or feed her as training treats. Fresh is better than processed and packaged foods — for your dog as well as yourself!
Don’t overfeed. If you want your dog to be healthy, “food is not love.” Overfeeding can lead to an overweight dog and that leads to hip and joint issues as well as diabetes and other health issues. An overweight dog won’t live as long as a dog who is a healthy weight.
Ask your veterinarian how to tell if your dog is at an ideal weight. If he’s not, look for ways to cut back on his food consumption. Check and see if you’re the “cause” of his weight gain because you’ve been feeding table scraps or overfeeding with calorie-laden treats during training sessions.
Watch water intake. Make sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water. Check her water bowl to gauge how much she is drinking. If you don’t think she’s drinking enough, feed her fruits and veggies high in water content (watermelon, for example. Just don’t feed her the seeds!).
There are water additives that can make the water taste like beef or chicken and that may entice her to drink. Water is necessary for life. It lubricates the bones and joints and keeps her kidneys functioning and removes toxins from her body. When you’re out for a walk or run with your dog — no matter the weather — make sure you bring fresh water for the two of you to enjoy to stay hydrated.
Nutrition is only one part of enriching your dog’s life. Feeding them a healthy diet rich in nutrients and low in calories, make sure he gets exercise and is socialized. Pet parents who leave their dogs home alone while they are at work understand, too that a tired dog is a happy dog and a long walk or run in the morning will help your dog relax while you’re away.
Leave him with a healthy treat to munch on while he relaxes and watches DOGTV! Sign up here for a free 14-day trial!
What can you do to make your dog’s life better? How can you change up her diet to make sure she is eating more nutritionally-balanced foods? Do you have a diet that your dog loves?
Grab a copy of the Dog Chef Cookbook.