Dog owners have a responsibility to provide a happy home for their pets including safe, nutritious food. While dog food is safe and affordable, sometimes we want a variety in the diet of our furry friend.
Safe to Eat
The following can be substitutes to your dog’s monotonous diet.
- Grains like rice can be good for dogs. Make sure however to consult with the veterinarian if your dog is allergic to gluten.
- Dry food like kibbles are good for teeth, especially when they are at that age when they want to chew. Read the labels so you’ll know what’s in the food.
- Canned food for dogs have meaty parts that have high protein content. They are also good for dogs who can’t chew hard, dry food. Remember to read the labels.
- Fish can be a substitute for other meat. It also has protein and other nutrients that dogs need. They are also safer for dogs with allergies.
- Eggs have protein and can add variety to your dog’s diet.
- Bones should be prepared properly. Ideally, you should feed your dog bones that don’t easily break.
Food to Avoid
- Chocolate can cause diarrhea, vomiting and others. It can even lead to death because it causes abnormal heart rate.
- Coffee can increase the heart rate of dogs. Avoid anything that has caffeine.
- Alcohol isn’t good for dogs. The effect of liquor is stronger in dogs than in humans.
- Milk and other dairy products can cause diarrhea in dogs because lactose can’t be broken down sufficiently. When fed in small amounts however, it’s not harmful.
- Nuts of any variety have fat and oil. They can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
- Onion and garlic should be avoided because they can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Dogs can still consume them, but not in large amounts.
- Grapes as well as raisins sometimes cause kidney failure.
- White bread has sugar and oil. This can cause vomiting and pancreatitis. Avoid yeast in doughs as well.
- Raw meat as substitute for cooked meat is debatable. While raw meat has more protein, there is also a risk of contamination, diseases and parasites. Buy clean, fresh meat with fewer bones if you want to feed your pet raw meat.
- Diet supplements are not necessary if your dog is getting all the nutrients it needs. If you’re not sure, you should ask your veterinarian about it.
- Organic food is more expensive. Read the labels carefully and monitor the effects on your dog. You still have to avoid toxic and harmful ingredients listed above even if you choose to feed your dog organic food.
- Vegetarian diet for dogs need careful monitoring. Dogs need protein. Remember that they have evolved from wolves which are carnivorous. Make sure they get nutrients from meat substitutes and diet supplements, but vegetarian diet isn’t necessary.