Many Health Fitness Revolution followers are dog lovers and owners, and as we wrote here a while back, Fido really can be a catalyst to leading a healthy lifestyle by being more active. It is a proven fact that much like human becings, good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent.
The suggestions below are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals:
- Oatmeal: a good source of soluble fibre. Just make sure that the oatmeal is cooked and plain with no sugar/flavoring. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be fed in conjunction with probiotics to enhance their function.
- Apples: a wonderful crunchy treat for your dog. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core- a couple apple seeds won’t matter but don’t let it happen too often.
- Eggs: are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Just make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency.
- Brewer’s yeast: can actually boost your pup’s appetite! It is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick.
- Green beans: are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of their regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight- a lot of dogs like them frozen too.
- Sweet potatoes: another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog.
- Pumpkin: a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fibre in their diet to maintain regularity in their digestive system.
- Flax seeds: (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. They are also a good source of fiber.
- Yogurt: a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is overweight, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes. This summer, freeze the yogurt and give it to Fido as a special treat!
- Salmon: (oil or cooked) is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. Just make sure you cook it so that there are no parasites.
- Carrots: Just as in humans, carrot’s can improve your dog’s eyesight and reduce the development of cataracts and other eye diseases! Because they are rich in beta-carotene, if you dog eats too much and they have a white or light coat, it can turn them slightly yellow (a temporary affliction).