So many dogs and cats consume meals that are out of sync with their biological profile, or what veterinarians refer to as a “species-appropriate diet.”
Cats, for instance, were never meant to consume carbs. Carnivores by nature, a cat’s diet historically has been composed of meat – something that is often in short supply in commercially available foods.
Dogs, too, thrive on quality fat and protein, not fillers that run rampant in fly-by-night bags of kibble.
Talking to your veterinarian about a balanced diet for your dog or cat is essential. But did you also know? Fresh foods can also be a key ingredient in our pets’ diets. Studies have shown that supplementing our animals’ meals with fresh foods your pet can enjoy, like some fruits and vegetables, goes a long way in reducing the risk for obesity and chronic illness.
Vegetables, too – while perhaps not the first item you’d find on a sabretooth or timber wolf’s menu – are a good source of vitamins for our pets.
Here are just four fresh foods your pet can enjoy that may also improve their health and weight in the long run:
- Carrots: The old joke is you’ve never seen a rabbit wearing eyeglasses, as carrots have been touted for their vision-enhancing qualities. But they also do wonders for your dog’s dental hygiene. Chewing carrots can actually remove the plaque from their teeth. Not only that, but they’re a phenomenal source of vitamin A, which give your dog’s immune system a boost while promoting a healthy skin and coat.
- Apples: One a day keeps the doctor away – and that doesn’t necessarily apply only to human beings. A great source of fiber, fresh apples can help keep a dog’s digestive system regulated. It should go without saying, however, to steer clear of rotten apples, which can result in alcohol poisoning. Peeled apples, cut into small pieces, are also generally considered safe for healthy cats, as well – though they don’t need them. Avoid apple stems, leaves, and seeds, however, as they contain cyanide which is dangerous for cats.
- Grains: Rice or barley or quinoa are safe for animals. Implemented with homemade meals, they offer another solid source of vitamins and minerals.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants. And antioxidants are key to warding off cell damage stemming from unstable molecules (free radicals) that can contribute to heart disease, cancer, and – for dogs, at least – age-related concerns and conditions. Some pet foods are even made with blueberry powder. The fiber and water found in blueberries are also beneficial for cats.
As always, it remains so important that you consult with your family veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog. Talk to your vet about implementing fresh foods your pet can enjoy into their daily meals. Green Acres Pet Resort wants our guests to be happy and healthy. Veterinarian-owned and operated, we take great care to provide healthy means as part of our in-suite dining service. Contact us today to learn more.