We all want our dogs to be as healthy as possible. Canine nutrition plays a huge role in keeping your dog healthy, active, calm, happy and away from the vets.
There is conflicting information out there; it is hard for owners to understand what is best for their dogs. The answer is much more simple than we realise. And guess what, it’s not a raw meat diet. So what is the best natural food for dogs to keep them healthy? In this blog post, we examine the alternative to raw feeding and why fresh plant-based natural foods are so good for your dog.
Why Feed Your Dog Natural Foods
Humans feel better when we eat natural, home-cooked, fresh foods. This is the same for our dogs. When dogs eat fresh food, they eat unprocessed nutrients straight from the source.
When feeding your dog natural foods, you can also ensure that you avoid harmful chemicals. These include food colourings, antibiotics and preservatives. These chemicals have been linked to long term health impacts such as cancer.
Processed dog food is also unpalatable. Companies add sugars and fats (which are low in nutritional benefits) to get dogs to eat their food. Sugar has been linked to obesity, heart disease and problems with insulin levels.
Benefits of Natural Foods for Dogs
The benefits of natural foods for dogs are astounding. Case studies show that dogs who eat a natural plant-based diet are happier, more active when outside, calmer when inside and have fewer digestive and allergy problems. Here are some of the key health benefits of feeding your dog a natural diet.
- Healthy heart. Fresh, unprocessed food may help inflammation in dogs and reduce heart disease.
- Fresh, fibrous material promotes ease of digestion and a healthy stool. Quality fibre sources prevent impacted anal glands. If you feed a raw diet, it is important to feed fibre too.
- Great for skin and coat - fresh, natural foods for dogs promote a healthy coat and skin. Owners who change their dog onto a natural diet notice their dog’s skin and coat improve first.
- High in healthy fats - healthy fats are crucial for your dog’s cells, nerves, bone and tissue development. The right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will improve your dog’s short and long term health. Large amounts of saturated fat is not healthy for your dog. Raw feeders should be careful as some meats are high in saturated fats. Especially where the meat is corn, not grass-fed.
What natural foods can dogs eat
When considering healthy dog treats, it is always best to check first. Fruits such as grapes (and raisins) are known to cause kidney failure and should never be given to dogs.
For a balanced and complete meal, - it is crucial that you have a vet nutritionist formulated recipe which is FEDIAF compliant. Here at Fleetful, we offer a vet nutritionist formulated recipe kit, Hearty Hemp and Chickpea. It is balanced and formulated for optimum nutrition absorption. This is an excellent option for all dogs. Especially those with allergies to animal proteins or with digestion issues.
If you wish to feed a natural meat-based diet, we recommend that you consult a registered canine nutritionist. Not all natural meat-based options on the market have the health of your dog in mind. There are many businesses cropping up which are taking advantage of the ‘raw feeding’ trend. In a few years, owners will begin to see the long term negative health impacts of a poor raw diet.
Best natural foods for dogs' joints
Here are some of the best natural foods to help dogs who suffer from joint pain and arthritis:
- Sweet potato. Naturally high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, they are an excellent anti-inflammatory.
- Algae oil - this super oil contains omega -3 fatty acid DHA and EPA which is excellent for inflammation. Some people recommend flaxseed oil as a source of omega-3s but dogs do not absorb flax seeds as well as humans do.
- Turmeric! Turmeric contains curcumin which is known to reduce pain and stiffness. There is a ‘golden paste’ recipe using turmeric and coconut oil (another great ingredient for joints) that many senior dog owners swear by! It is best to make your own - do let us know if you have a special recipe and we will post it!
- Ginger. Contains gingerol, which is a known anti-inflammatory and pain reliever in arthritic dogs. Only small amounts should be given; our Umameo protein powder for toppers and treats has the correct ratio of ginger.
- Blueberries. Full of antioxidants and nutrients, blueberries are great for helping inflammation in dogs.
Best natural food for dogs with sensitive stomachs
A balanced, plant-based meal is the best natural food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Animal protein will aggravate your dog’s stomach as they are so hard to process and digest. Fleetful’s organic Hearty Hemp and Chickpea kit is perfect for dogs with tummy trouble. It is highly digestible and hypoallergenic. If your dog has specific allergies, we recommend that you talk to a vet nutritionist for a specific home cook recipe. It is by far the best and quickest way to help your dog get better. It is also cheaper than all those vet bills and expensive prescription diets!
Best natural foods to help dogs with constipation
Vegetable fibre is the best natural food to help your dog with constipation. Try feeding your dog cooked vegetables such as beans, leafy greens, carrots and pumpkin. Fleetful’s recipes are full of fibre and balanced out so you know you are not overfeeding one type of vegetable. Our Umameo treats focus on better digestion. We recommend Umameo Ginger pumpkin recipe. Feeding a few of these treats a day is likely to improve your dog’s digestion.
Best natural foods to help dogs gain weight
Sweet potato and pumpkin are the best and most healthy way to help your dog gain weight. They are full of nutrients and easily digestible. Digestibility is key to the absorption of nutrients and food. Fleetful’s protein powder for food and treats will ensure that your dog is digesting healthy organic ingredients. We also give recipes that include the best vegetables for excellent digestion.
Best natural food for dogs with allergies
When your dog has specific allergies, it is important you know exactly what is in your dog’s food. That is why a balanced, vet nutritionist recipe is best for your dog, so you can ensure that your dog has everything they need. The top allergen in dogs is animal protein. Vets will recommend expensive ‘prescription diets’ that process protein so much they. of so bodies can no longer recognise the protein molecules. They could also recommend a ‘novel’ protein diet; alligator, ostrich and other exotic animals.
There is no need to go down the extreme routes of a ‘novel diet’ and certainly not a processed ‘prescription diet’. Consult a vet nutritionist or talk to us about your dogs allergy. Plant-based balanced home cooked meals are best for dogs with allergies to animal proteins. You can also ensure that any other allergens are avoided in the cooking process yourself.
More and more people are discovering the huge health benefits of natural foods for dogs. Natural plant-based foods will improve your dog’s health. It is the best way to ensure your dog lives a long, happy and healthy life.
Here at Fleetful, our customers love our unique recipe. This is because of its digestibility and high-quality organic ingredients. Feeding our Hearty Hemp and Chickpea recipe may save you thousands in vet bills and hours of stress and worry.
If you are happy with your dog’s current meal plans, then you can add more plant-based natural foods into their diet to improve your dog’s health. Our Umameo protein powders are a great way you can do this alongside vegetables such as pumpkin and beans. Choosing the best natural food for dogs will change your dog’s and your life forever.