The importance of a good diet

Many of you come to me with questions about your pets health. You are what you eat is much more than a catch phrase. So many products that are sold in our local stores are full of wheat, corn, soy, and by-product. These are the main things most dogs are allergic to and yet we unconsciously feed it to them everyday. When questioning your dogs health the first place you should look is whats going into their belly.

Licking feet, chewing hot spots, hair loss, and ear infections are most commonly linked to an allergic reaction. Try changing their diet and in three months you are more than likely going to solve your pups problems. Sometimes paying a little extra will save you money in the long run. Vet bills can be pricey, a quality dog food will reduce chances of allergic reactions, and is shown to extend your pets lifespan. With a better diet your dogs fur will become softer, they may have more energy, their eyes will water less, and they will feel better inside.

Just like people, every dog is different. Some dogs require a more bland diet, while others may need a high protein diet. The best way to determine what your dog should eat is to take a look at their lifestyle. If your dog is active, they might burn off more calories than an older dog who lays in bed most of the day. Therefore, an active dog may require a higher protein based diet and the older dog a weight management food.

Lets start with some options for an active pup. If you have the time and money the best option for your fur friend is the raw diet. Everyone has their own opinions of this style of feeding but it is the most natural way for your dog to eat. Not only is it helpful for your dog, but it makes your job a lot easier too! Feeding raw takes a few minutes to prep and put into the fridge for the week. You can ziploc it and give a feeding twice daily. A client of mine gives her German Shepard an organic chicken back twice a day. He munches it in no time and is standing strong at 12 years old! Another perk to the raw diet is the waste smells way less than standard food. Moving on from the raw diet, you can find high protein foods in your local pet store. Check out the ingredients in the back and always make sure meat is the first ingredient listed. Not chicken-meal, beef-meal, or anything with the disguised word that means “filler”, straight up chicken, beef, lamb, or whatever the source of protein is. The ingredients should also list a percentage letting customers know about how much protein is in every serving. I must warn you, you can give your dog too much protein and it can have a negative effect. You should always take into consideration your dog’s breed and size.

A big mistake people make is confusing diet food and weight management. Diet food contains ingredients to help your dog lose weight. This is usually recommended for dogs that are obese.  Weight management, although having some similar affects, is used to keep your dogs weight at a controlled state when they are already at a healthy size. My dog who is now 7 is less active  than he used to be. I have him on weight management to keep him at his normal size, without needing to exercise as often. Its is important to keep your pet at the weight they should be to prevent health issues.

If your dog is unhealthy, their body will slowly start to break down. Weight issues, similar to humans can bring on problems like diabetes, arthritis, hip dysplasia, depression, fatty tumors,strokes, and sometimes even death. One pound on a dog is equivalent to 10 pounds on a human being. Human food is also an issue people have a hard time breaking from. As pet owners we want to make our babies happy and sometimes we want to slip them a snack to show them we care. Although our fur friends enjoy a piece of bread or a scrumptious rib bone they don’t digest the food the same. Bones have been known to split in the intestines causing heaps of problems and bread can cause severe allergy problems. Fortunately there are other snacks you can give to your pup so that these issues don’t arise!

To make things a bit easier for my customers I have created a line of hypoallergenic treats. These treats are made with organic, human grade ingredients. I have a few different flavors available so even the picky guys can have a healthy snack! Check out the treats page for details! I have also provided a link below of all of the fruits and veggies we can share with our pups safely and of course generously!

http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/


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