One thing that’s always playing on our minds as dog owners is how to improve our dog’s health. Just like human health, there are lots of different options to go about this important task, and because of this, it can become a bit overwhelming.
Plus, it may take time for you to decide what really works well for your dogs. Any reputable dog expert will concur; ensuring your dog is eating the right foods is one of the most fundamental ways you can boost their health. So, what healthy foods should you be feeding them?
We’ve made it as easy as possible to find out by featuring 3 healthy foods that will boost a dog’s immune system.
Our friend Chelsea Smith, over at PupsNPaws.com, has a great guide on healthy homemade dog foods!
“Complete and Balanced” Dog Food
One recommendation many dog experts will give is to look for the label “complete and balanced” on any dog food. While it may just seem like a great marketing tactic, as the American Kennel Club points out, it is, in fact, a certification from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
The AAFO will only allow products that really give your dog a complete and balanced diet, as the ingredients have been proven to meet certain nutritional requirements. So ensuring the dog food you buy has this label will save you from trying to wade through countless dog food options, all claiming to be healthy.
In fact, if you’re wondering precisely what your dog needs in terms of nutrition, the best person to ask is your vet. They have the expertise to recommend the foods your dog needs to be happy and healthy. Vets have such a wealth of knowledge about dog nutrition that they’re always happy to share, so long as you’re willing to ask. Just don’t forget to show your thanks for their guidance! Asking could make a real difference to your dog’s health, so make sure you take the opportunity to do so.
As you know, many snacks and treats for dogs are high in salt, additives, and all range of ingredients that are best to avoid. So you may find it hard to find a snack that’s not only nutritious but also a real treat for your dog too. That snack is chicken jerky. It sounds too “naughty” to be healthy, right? But chicken jerky is, in fact, one food that is incredibly underrated as a snack or a treat to give your dog. That is, provided that you choose a high-quality chicken jerky!
There are certainly a variety of options available, with some far healthier than others. In order to buy the best chicken jerky for your dog, look for more natural options that have minimal ingredients. After all, you should know exactly what your dog is eating, and this is possible when you opt for more natural offerings. For example, Full Moon’s All Natural Human Grade Chicken Jerky Dog Treats contain just four ingredients, of which a primary one is a USDA-approved chicken from family farms in the USA.
Dog immune system supplements
If you’re looking for further ways to boost your dog’s immune system, you can always give them supplements and probiotics.
One great supplement to give to your dog is Omega-3 or fish oil. This supplement allows them to have less inflammation and better skincare. Alongside this, a milk thistle supplement can help their liver function and immunity. Rosemary also contains a lot of Vitamin B6 and iron, helping your dog’s immunity.
Dogs can also greatly benefit from consuming dog probiotics. Just like it does for humans, probiotics for dogs help keep their digestive health on track by aiding both their digestion and their immune system. So how do these tiny but powerful supplements manage such a feat? By reducing the growth of dangerous bacteria that can make your dog ill.
Now you know a bit more about why probiotics are so wonderful for their health, you’re probably wondering how you even go about choosing a probiotic supplement for your dog. There are many to choose from, that’s for sure! Look for offerings that are scientifically proven to work. Be mindful that different products focus on different needs as well as types of dogs.
Don’t just buy the first thing you spot, or you may discover your dog is pickier than you thought. This brings us to our final tip—buy a probiotic that’s easy for your dog to chew and has a tempting flavour that will make feeding time a breeze.
What can I feed my dog instead of dog food?
Alongside the foods listed above, you may want to know what human food you can feed your dog. The truth is, there are lots out there! To help you, here are a few of the healthiest ones:
Carrots are a great food to give to dogs as they’re low in calories and healthy. They also have a high fibre and beta-carotene content. If you’re not familiar with beta-carotene, it produces Vitamin A, which can help their bone health, eye strength, immune system and more. Plus, the crunchiness a carrot provides is a great way to help strengthen your dog’s teeth.
Fish is often a treat for dogs and works great for a balanced diet. It is high in amino acids and can provide Omega 3 fatty acids, all depending on the fish they eat. If they consume this, it can contribute to better health for their skin and coat.
Do you remember the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, having an apple daily or every other day may contribute to fewer vet visits. They’re packed full of vitamins, the main ones being Vitamin A and C, and they have lots of dietary fibre. It’s one of many food types which can boost a dog’s immune system.
Alongside this, they help keep your dog’s teeth clean and stops their breath from smelling. If you plan on giving your dog an animal, make sure you remove the seeds from the core first.
If your dog has an upset stomach, the best thing to give it is white rice. This food is easy to make, quick for digestion and low in fibre.
Giving peanut butter in moderation is also healthy for dogs as it provides Vitamins B and E. Plus, it has lots of protein, healthy fats and niacin.
You can feed your dog bananas in moderation, and by doing so, you will provide them with lots of magnesium. They also are high in sugar, so if you plan on giving them to your dogs, make sure you do it once in a while as a treat.
If your dog is gaining weight, cucumbers are low in calories, healthy and safe to eat. Cucumbers provide dogs with lots of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K.
What foods are toxic to dogs?
Out of all the foods that exist, you have to be cautious feeding your dog some. There are a few that can be poisonous, which are:
Onions, garlic and chives
Any food which is in the onion family often contains a toxic chemical known as N-propyl disulphide. Once your dog consumes this, it can break down its red blood cells and cause anemia.
Chocolate contains a high theobromine content which can be highly dangerous. Theobromine stops your dog from metabolizing the food correctly and can trigger more health problems. Dogs that eat chocolate can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, rapid breathing, incoordination, heightened heart rate and seizures.
Macadamia nuts are full of fat and can easily cause their pancreas to become inflamed.
Avocados can be deadly for your dog. The reason behind this is that they contain a fungicidal toxin known as persin, which can trigger many symptoms, even death.
Artificial sweetener (Xylitol) …
Xylitol is found in many foods, and any food that might contain this should not be given to your dog. The tiniest amount of xylitol can contribute to low blood sugar and cause seizures, liver failure, death and more.
The littlest bit of alcohol, even in syrups or sauces, can cause harm to your dog. If your dog consumes it, it will depress its central nervous system. Because of this, they can easily become drowsy, uncoordinated and respond less to what’s happening around them.
Once you’ve finished any meat that you eat, never give your dog cooked bones. Cooked bones can easily split into shards in their body and cause a lot of damage to their mouth; they can choke hurt their throat and intestines.
How to boost dog immune system?
Alongside feeding your dog healthy foods, giving them probiotics and supplements, you can also do other things to boost their immunity which are:
- Keep them clean
Unlike humans, dogs pretty much lick every body part of theirs, other dogs and any object that comes in their way. This is why you should pay attention to their hygiene to make sure there are no bad bacteria lingering around. If you wash your dog frequently, it will cut down any dangerous bacteria and restore the balance to their body. On the contrary, don’t over clean them as it good strip away their good bacteria compromising their immune system.
- Maintain their weight
If your dog is obese or underweight, their immune system is at risk, and it can be more difficult for them to fight infections. Therefore you should take your dog to the vet for regular checkups.
- Keep their toys, bedding, and food bowls clean
As a dog owner, you should be cleaning anything else they use. Your dog is most likely to sniff and lick anything they own; bad bacteria can linger on these objects too! Try to clean these items daily and leave no soap on them. Similarly, make sure they dry properly as moisture can encourage bad bacteria.
- Make sure they’re stress free
Just like humans, stress can contribute to more illnesses. If your dog is stressed, it can slow down their immune system and put them at risk of your dog’s body from fighting off diseases. Therefore try to avoid stressful experiences and environments that could cause harm to your dog. To help keep them happy, give them plenty of exercise and stick to a routine.
Your canine’s health is something that should always be on the top of your mind. You can optimize their health by taking them on regular trips to the vet, feeding them healthy foods, probiotics and supplements. Make sure your dog is not stressed and clean them regularly.
People also ask
Can I feed my dog chicken every day?
Yes, you can give your dog chicken every day as long as it’s boiled. It’s a great way to get protein and has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids. However, never give your dog raw chicken as it could cause bacterial infections.
What is the best natural food to feed your dog?
There are lots of fantastic natural foods to feed your dog, such as carrots, chicken, fish, dairy, rice, peanut butter and apples.
Can I feed my dog scrambled eggs?
Now and again, you can give your dog a small portion of scrambled eggs without butter or oil. If you give it to them regularly, it can make them sick.