Your dog is part of your family, and as such, should be eating foods that are healthy for them. A good rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t eat it, why feed it to your canine? Here are several tips to help you improve your dog’s diet and get them as healthy as possible.

Examine the food label

No matter what dog food commercials and advertisements tell you, it’s important that you look at the labels of your dog’s food to determine exactly what’s in it. Determine whether it’s something you should be feeding them on your own, as it’s the company’s job to make even the most dangerous food look healthy.

Include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties

As inflammation is one of the main causes of disease and can lead to premature ageing, it’s important to research the ingredients in your dog’s food. You should also be looking into the manufacturing process for possible cross-contamination. To reduce inflammation, move towards a whole food diet for your dog, or at least add some in along with other commercial food.

Stick to raw meats

Humans are the only species that cooks their meat. Others are perfectly capable of surviving on raw meat, and your dog is no exception. Cooking food drastically reduces the beneficial nutrients within, nutrients that are necessary for your dog’s diet. Avoid cooking meat for your canine when possible.

Avoid gluten

A lot of dried dog food contains some form of gluten, usually gluten meal which is a dry residue made from corn to preserve fats from going bad. In small amounts, corn gluten can harm your pet’s organs.

Instead of rice, use lentils

Organic green lentils to be exact. Dogs don’t need rice or other grains to maintain a healthy diet, especially since most are allergic to wheat. Lentils contain high levels of protein, are rich in fibres and minerals and contain an essential amino acid that boosts immune function.

Don’t overfeed them

This includes treats as well as full meals. Depending on how your dog gains or loses weight, feed them accordingly in order to keep them at a healthy size. They can easily gain weight if they more then regularly, particularly before they go to sleep for the night. But it’s also important not to underfeed them, as being underweight will affect their immune system and other bodily functions.

Oral hygiene alternatives

While it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis, there are additional methods that can improve their dental health. Use raw coconut oil as toothpaste, as it contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

Use vinegar for washing food bowls

Instead of using a commercial cleaning product to clean your dog’s bowl, try a good quality white vinegar to get rid of bacteria. It effectively disinfects and doesn’t have a scent once dry. Replacing store-bought products with natural alternatives is the best way to make sure your canine isn’t ingesting harmful chemicals.

At Aquitaine Animal Hospital, we provide easy access and quality care for your furry friends. With services that include physical exams, vaccinations and dental care, our Mississauga pet clinic is the place to be. Call or visit our website to make an appointment.