Have you made a New Years resolution to eat healthier in 2015? Consider feeding your dog a more nutritious diet in the coming new year too! One simple dietary change can improve your dog’s health and wellness. Switch to all natural fruit and vegetable treats. Commercially produced dog treats are often loaded with fat, sugar, preservatives, and artificial colorings and flavorings. Calorie-dense snacks can also cause your dog to put on excess weight. Instead of treating your dog with over-processed, chemical filled snacks reward them with dried fruits and veggies. The fiber found in whole fruits and veggies can support your dog’s gastrointestinal health and help them maintain a healthy weight.
Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
Dogs are omnivores. They thrive on a varied diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of some of the best dehydrated vegetables and freeze dried fruits you can give as treats to your dog:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
All of these fruits and vegetables are low calorie, nutrient rich foods that can be easily chewed and digested. Our fruits and veggies contain no additives, preservatives, or added sugar. You don’t have to cook or prepare them in any way. Just keep a pouch of veggies or fruits on hand and give your dog a small amount as a reward.
Dog Treat No Nos
Even though fruits and vegetables are a healthy option for treats—don’t give them too much. Animal nutrition experts agree that fruit and veggie treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
There are certain foods you should never feed your pet. You may have heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but did you know that avocados can also be toxic for your four legged friend? A list of foods never to feed your dog includes: onions (including onion powder), garlic, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts.
The ASPCA has put together a handy list of People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets that can be helpful as you choose which healthy treats to give your favorite pup.
The Best Way to Make the Switch to Natural Treats
Any time you introduce new foods into a dog’s diet you will need to go slowly. Too much of a new food given much too fast can lead to stomach upset. Only introduce one new food at a time and monitor your pup’s reactions. If you notice any digestive upset, stop giving that food. Try one piece of a new food at first. If the dog responds well, then try the same ingredient again. If your dog shows symptoms such as gas, or stomach upset, stop giving that treat and talk to your veterinarian.
Any dog’s age and breed will influence its dietary needs. It is a good rule of thumb that if you are considering making any changes to your pet’s diet talk to your veterinarian first. Your vet will be the best resource for information about your dog’s specific dietary needs. Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year for you and your four legged family members!