by Amber Kingsley, a freelance journalist and member of a pet enthusiast/ animal lover group in my city.
“We are always discussing new issues and spreading the word on how to properly take care of your pets. One area of concern we are seeing with pet owners is the different dog diet recommendations that emerge every day on the internet/news. In an effort to help pet owners understand the issue and its effects better we have created an infographic on ‘Superfoods for dogs’.”
Superfoods, by definition, are packed with nutrients and vitamins that are especially beneficial for better health and well-being. Nowadays many people are making healthier choices, buying more locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, cutting down on added fat and sugar in their diets and the same goes for feeding their precious pets.
Watching our weight, eating a better diet, and getting more exercise is the best way that we can literally tip the scale in our favor. By making these healthier choices, we will all stay fit and trim, lower our cholesterol, keep our hearts healthy, and allow us to live much longer lives.
As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and what’s healthy for humans is also good for their hounds. We all know it’s better to eat more greens, but why? Are there dangers of feeding Fido corn as opposed to kale? What’s okay for people to consume, but not their pooch? Let’s take a look at these healthy foods sorted by color:
GREEN for purification and detoxification – Green vegetables and fruits help us to maintain a stronger immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and lower blood pressure. Load up on salad greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, and collards.
AVOID: Green onions, or any type of onion for that matter, and avocados can all potentially cause stomach distress or gastritis in some dogs. Grapes are also linked to kidney failure in some animals but not others, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid giving them to your pet altogether.
RED to fight disease and maintain heart health – Watermelons, apples, kidney beans, raspberries, and strawberries have all been linked to better circulation and can help our bodies fight disease and promote good health.
AVOID: Tomatoes have been known to cause allergies and skin irritation for some dogs so it’s best to keep them out of reach. Red peppers are also not a good idea since they can be difficult to digest and some varieties are too spicy for our canines.
YELLOW & ORANGE reduces the risk of cancer and promotes better health – Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and other colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and also can aid with better digestion.
AVOID: Or more precisely, take it easy on the corn, as it can also cause skin ailments and other irritants in some dogs. Many pet owners will avoid processed dog foods that list corn as the main ingredient for this very reason. The same goes for the pepper precaution.
PURPLE for longer life – Blueberries, plums, and eggplant are rich in antioxidants and contain disease-fighting phytochemicals, which can only be found in plants. Eating blueberries, in particular, may prevent the effects of aging by improving cell communication in the nervous system. Eating blue and blackberries may also prevent a decline in brain function as we age.
AVOID: Synonymous with the “green” warning, steer clear of grapes and onions. According to the SPCA, additional avoidances for feeding dogs, regardless of color, include garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and macadamia nuts, which can all be toxic for canines.
We can all eat healthier every day of the week and by including some of the seven superfoods shown on this infographic, both people and their pets will benefit. As always, be sure to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your animal’s diet, but it’s probably safe to admit that your dog’s doctor will likely agree to these healthy choices.