The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Dog Healthy

1.  Water.  You probably already know that dogs need fresh, clean water at all times.  All of us do.  But if you want to remove as many toxins as possible from your dog’s water and do everything possible to keep him healthy, think about using a water filter.  Tap water can contain many unhealthy chemicals such as lead and low levels of prescription medications.  A water filter or purifier can help remove as many toxins from the water as possible and make the water healthier for you and your dog.

2.  Food.  There are an amazing number of dog foods on the market today.  Unfortunately, many of them are not made from very healthy ingredients.  They may technically pass government standards but they can contain ingredients that you wouldn’t want your dog to eat.  You can choose healthier food for your dog by doing some research and learning to read dog food labels.  Look for foods that contain more meats than fillers.  Most of the better foods contain much less corn and other cereal products.  It’s not necessary to go completely grain-free but you should look for foods that have named meat sources, such as lamb, lamb meal, chicken, chicken meal, and so on.

You should also avoid foods that contain the preservative ethoxyquin.  This same ingredient is used in making tires.  It’s not something that you want your dog to eat.  Instead, look for natural preservatives such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, citric acid and rosemary.  These natural preservatives all have antioxidant properties and are healthier for your dog.

3.  Vet care.  Good vet care is, of course, important for your dog’s long term health.  This means flea control, heartworm prevention and receiving the necessary vaccinations.  However, all of these issues are the subject of some debate.  Flea control and heartworm prevention often involve using strong chemicals.  Some people feel that pets are being over-vaccinated.  You should familiarize yourself with these issues and discuss them with your veterinarian.  We are not advising you to leave off topical flea control or chewable monthly heartworm prevention.  Heartworms can kill dogs and flea infestation can make a dog’s life (and their human’s) miserable.  Vaccinations are necessary, at least at some intervals.  We are recommending that you do further reading and talk to your vet about what is necessary for the health of your dog.

4.  Exercise.  It’s very important that your dog gets the proper exercise.  As much as 40 percent of the dogs in the United States are considered to be overweight or obese.  This is often because owners overfeed them, give them too many treats and table scraps, and because the dogs don’t get enough exercise.  Taking your dog out for a daily walk is a good way to help your dog stay in shape.  Add a weekly run and your dog will be a much healthier dog.

5.  Spend time with your dog.  All of the other things you do for your dog’s health — providing him with good water, food, vet care and exercise — will be meaningless if you don’t spend time with your dog.  Enjoying your time together can do more than almost anything else to keep your dog healthy and happy.  Dogs have been shown to have a beneficial effect on human health.  The same is true of humans and dogs — we have a beneficial effect on their health.  Just petting a dog can improve the way he feels and acts.  Spend time with your dog and he will be a happier, healthier dog throughout his life.

The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Dog Healthy courtesy Dog Articles.

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Should I Feed My Dog A Vegetarian Dog Food?

Although dogs are considered to be omnivores their bodies require a great deal of protein in order to stay healthy.  They are not the obligate carnivores that cats are (an animal that must eat a regular meat diet in order to survive), but even as scavengers dogs have a preference for meat.  Ethologists never get tired of telling us that dogs are descended from wolves.  As such they are predators and they hunted animals for food.  They were able to get by on eating other things, but they preferred to eat meat when they could kill it.

For the most part, dog foods which contain a great deal of corn or other grains are considered inferior products.  Corn is usually a cheaper source of protein than meat sources, such as lamb and chicken.  For this reason some dog food manufacturers use it as a filler ingredient in one of its forms, such as whole yellow corn, ground corn or corn gluten.  It does provide protein but dogs can only digest 54 percent of the nutrients in corn.  The rest passes through the dog and is deposited in your backyard or when you walk your dog.  Dogs fed diets high in cereal and grains typically have large, soft stools because they do not digest all of the food.  On the other hand, dogs fed food that is higher in meat protein can digest much more of the food.  Stools are smaller and firmer because the dog is able to digest much more of the food.

There is currently a popular move toward feeding grain-free dog foods.  The thinking is that all grains are bad for dogs and that dogs should eat food that has as much meat protein content as possible.  This is probably an over-reaction.  It’s not necessary for a pet dog to eat dog food that is 40 percent protein.  The government’s nutritional guidelines for feeding dogs recommends that an adult dog eat food that is 18 percent protein.  A performance dog should have food that is 25 percent protein.  Even a racing sled dog is only recommended to have food that is 35 percent protein.  It’s a mystery why any dog would need 40 percent (or more!) protein in his diet.  As others have pointed out, meat is the most expensive ingredient in dog food so when you buy dog food that has all of this extra meat protein, without a good reason, you are simply paying for the meat.  Why buy it when your dog doesn’t need it?  You can buy a steak for your dog cheaper than you can buy some of these grain-free dog foods.

Vegetarian foods are not recommended for dogs.  They do require meat content in order to be healthy.  Make sure that you are buying dog food that has named meat sources, such as chicken meal, lamb meal, beef and so on.  Be careful about buying the “exotic” protein sources, such as kangaroo meat, duck, venison, etc.  These novel protein sources are really intended for dogs that have allergies to the common sources of protein for dogs.  If you feed your dog a regular diet of duck, kangaroo and other unusual meat sources, what will you do if he develops an allergy to them?  You will have no more exotic meat sources left to try.

If you are a vegetarian and you have a dog it’s recommended that you do what is best for your dog, regardless of your own beliefs.  Take into account his health and welfare and feed him a good dog food.  If it makes you feel better there are many good foods that feature holistic sources of meat.  Some foods are even made from free range chicken or come from meat sources grown by small producers.  You may not find a food you like in the large pet superstores but if you look online or visit a small boutique dog food seller they may be able to special order a high quality dog food for your dog.

Should I Feed My Dog A Vegetarian Dog Food courtesy of Dog Articles.

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