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This Diet Isn’t Working

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These days, more emphasis is being placed on the nutritional value of various pet foods.  More pet owners are now finding value in cooking for their pets as an alternative to processed food.

Putting your pet on a raw or cooked diet takes time, not everyone has the additional time for it, but would like to be sure their pet gets the nutrients he needs to stay healthy.  If you’re not sure you’re ready to totally convert your pet’s diet, but would like to boost the nutritional value of the processed food he’s eating, here are some easy ways to boost his meals:

  • Eggs.  Eggs contain a large amount of protein and fat that are beneficial for dogs.  Some are hesitant to feed raw eggs due to a danger of salmonella.  Soft or hard cooked or scrambled eggs are easier to digest and reduce the salmonella threat.
  • Yogurt.  Mixing a spoonful of low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt with his dry food will provide him with probiotics that help with digestion.
  • Sardines.  Feeding one small canned sardine to small breeds (20 lbs. or less) and  increasing proportionately for larger dogs provides them with fatty acids that are good for their coats.  Nutrients in sardines also help control inflammation, which can be good for dogs suffering from arthritis.  Use canned sardines packed in water, being sure to feed soon after opening to preserve the fatty acids.
  • Fruits and Vegetables.  Feeding berries, like blueberries, provides a good dose of antioxidants.  Jessie loves fruits like apples and bananas.  Be sure to omit grapes and raisins, as they are known to cause kidney failure in dogs.  Vegetables are another good option, cooking them a bit first helps dogs digest them betters.  Favorites include peas, green beans , zucchini and carrots.  Some dogs like broccoli, but don’t feed too much……it can cause gas.

The recommendations above are geared toward dogs.  Raw and cooked diets have also proven very beneficial to cats, but due to the fact their nutritional needs are very specific, it’s best to check with a pet nutritionist to determine options.

So share a healthy snack with your pet, it’s good for both of you!

Source:  Whole Dog Journal, May 2011

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