Feeding for Optimal Health: Tips for a Happy & Healthy Canine

Choosing the right dog food for your dog - or anyone in your care, for that matter - is a big decision.

Apart from exercise and mental health, diet plays a big role in wellbeing. 

We put together 6 tips to improve your pets diet…

1. Take a closer look at the label before you believe the marketing hype.

 It isn't ideal to rely on advertisements for nutritional information, no matter how entertaining they may be.

It's because the people who produce the ads didn't formulate the food. Their job is to make even the worst products seem healthy. Make informed purchases by carefully reading the labels on your dog's food and treats.

The ingredients are always listed from largest to smallest on product labels. Start by searching each of the first five ingredients on Google. Then, type in each ingredient followed by "bad for dogs" and then "good for dogs." The results may surprise you. When you start researching, you'll soon see why prescription foods sold by veterinarians aren’t as safe as you may assume.

Even if they suit a diagnosed condition, they may cause other problems (and that's not even counting the cooking or packaging processes).

You should discuss the ingredients with the person or company recommending the products. If they are not able to explain what each ingredient is, its source, and why and how it is good for dogs, you should do your own research.

Here’s a solid list of foods that are safe for dogs, and foods poisonous for dogs.

2. Avoid shelf stable foods in your pets main diet.

Often, consumers overlook the alarming reasons why processed food has a shelf life of 12 to 24 months due to clever marketing.Shelf-stable foods have been marketed as providing everything dogs need to live a long and healthy life.

While there will always be the rare exception to the rule, don't expect your dog to be one of them.

As a result of industrial cooking, shelf-stable products have no live enzymes. These are dead foods that rely on synthetic supplements to meet AAFCO's supposedly "balanced" nutritional standards. The problem isn’t that these products exist, but more so how they are marketed as a staple diet for our beloved pets.

There would be thousands of companies out there producing human "food" and promoting it as a staple diet if we could pack all the nutrients the body needs into a pellet or a can. But that just isn’t possible.

3. Add fresh, whole foods to their diet.

Fruits and vegetables are full of live enzymes and will add new dimensions to your dog's health. Also, whole foods are rich in fiber, which aids digestion, promotes pooping, and improves stools. Manufacturers add synthetic nutrients to shelf-stable foods because cooking destroys many nutrients.

The difference between whole foods and industrially produced foods is that these nutrients are synthetic imitations of natural ones. A whole food contains nutritional cofactors that work harmoniously to help the body digest and utilize nutrients.

You, and your pet, are more than just what you eat. You are what you absorb.

4. Raw vs. cooked meats

With the exception of humans, all species on earth consume raw food. We humans cook our food for the sake of our taste buds, but this process drastically reduces the level of nutrients left over to fuel our pets bodies.

Most commercial pet foods are fundamentally flawed, regardless of their stated nutritional values.

Quote from Michael Grager, MD:

“When the muscles of mammals, fish, or birds are cooked at high temperatures. carcinogenic chemicals called heterocyclic amines are created that may increase the risk of breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. Risky cooking methods don’t just include barbecuing. frying and grilling. Even just baking chicken at around 350 degrees F for 15 minutes leads to significant production of these cancer-causing compounds.”

5. Watch out for gluten!

Can your dogs farts clear out a room? Do you have to hold your nose when scooping their poop off the lawn? Excessive stench coming from your pets behind may be caused by the gluten in their diet.

Gluten meal in many dry pet foods is added to prevent inferior, unstable fats from becoming rancid, causing waste products to be retained and straining the liver and kidneys.

Even small amounts of corn gluten may harm your dog's organs, and GMO corn is often added to pet food.

6. Supplements: Cod liver oil

This nutrient rich supplement is quickly becoming a staple for pet owners, veterinarians and other pet professionals across the globe due to its many benefits that are sure to make your pup smile.

Skin - Cod liver oil is jam packed with the Vitamin A necessary to keep your pet’s skin healthy and disease free. Insufficient Vitamin A levels can lead to multiple types of skin diseases!

Additionally, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids aid in healing and maintaining soft, healthy skin.

Joints - Did you know that around 20% of dogs over a year old in North America deal with this pesky issue? Yep, it's pretty common, especially as dogs get older.

Luckily, research has provided some exciting news for our arthritic buddies. EPA & DHA, two of the three Omega fatty acids found in Cod Liver Oil, are like superheroes for joint inflammation.

Reduced inflammation improves the symptoms of arthritis, improving the quality of life for our pets!

Eyes - Vitamin A is known to be essential in the development of eye function. A study recently showed that dogs who were supplemented with DHA during their pregnancy gave birth to puppies with superior eye function than those without.

Commercial pet foods are void of the nutrients they need to foster healthy skin, joints and eyes, which are all integral to our pets quality of life. Try adding CountryPet Natural’s Pure Wild Icelandic Cod Liver Oil to your dog or cat’s diet to ensure they are getting the ingredients they need to live a long and happy life!

In short, just like with humans, we are marketed foods that claim to meet the requirements our pets need. But the truth is most commercialized pet brands are serving up synthetic nutrients bound to cause more problems than they do good. But thankfully, you don’t have to start shopping for your pet’s meals at the meat counter. At CountryPet Naturals we put quality and nutrition first, providing nutrient dense, pasture-fed pet foods & supplements.

Want to give your four-legged friend the diet they deserve? Get started with a tasting pack and WOW them with a four course meal!

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