Healthy Snacks for your pets

You are what you eat is not only relevant to us as humans.  Its time that we have a paradigm shift with a mindset similar towards our pets and the food we feed them.  They are 100% reliant on us for the food that they consume.  We have read many stories of people self curing their illnesses with eating healthy.   Today is the day that we can start to do the same for our pets. 

We love our pets and it's a pleasure for us to hand them a treats, which is why we want to share with you a few easy and very healthy alternatives to consider giving them to snack on.  Dogs are a lot like humans when it comes to eating and snacking. They also need to snack during the day, and fruit and veggies are great ways to substitute over-processed unhealthy biscuits.

A good place to start is to stop feeding our pets processed treats made from feed-grade ingredients, and rather offer them fresh, crunchy, juicy and tasty alternatives.  There are so many options available, but lets discuss a few healthy options for you that are easy to remember.

Important Notice:  Fruits and vegetable that should be avoided at all costs:

  • Grapes
  • raisins
  • currants and their juices have an unknown toxic mechanism that adversely affects the kidneys of some dogs and cats
  • avoid dried fruits unless they are made without added sugar or preservatives (sulphur dioxide, etc.).
  • avocado

 

Enjoy the opportunity to bond with your pet in a way that promotes good behaviour and provides safe and healthy nutrition.

  • All fruit & vegetables should be gently washed with a small volume of regular dish soap to remove debris and potentially harmful bacteria before feeding.
  • Always start by providing a tiny portion as a test to gauge your pet’s interest (or possible allergies) in the snack. (food allergies can have a delayed onset - not to say if a dog is tolerating a substance a few hours after ingestion that it may not cause an allergy reaction a few days later)

 

Bananas ...

are creamy, rich, and sweet to a dog’s palate and provide superior nutrition with several essential amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fibre, and manganese. Working and performance dogs thrive on bananas because their natural sugars metabolize quickly to provide instant energy. Dogs recuperating from illness or injury benefit as bananas assist in maintaining normal blood pressure, heart function, fluid balance, and digestive tract function.

But be careful not to give your dog too much banana.  Given in large amounts, banana can cause stomach upset. Dogs and humans have many genetic similarities. However, the digestive tract of dogs is much shorter. The digestive capacity of dogs is different from the digestive capabilities of human as well. Eating large amounts of banana can cause diarrhoea. Although the sugar content of banana is not the processed kind, regular ingestion of large amounts of banana can result in obesity and can cause fluctuations in the blood glucose control of a diabetic pet.

 

Persimmon ...

is low in calories and fats but is rich source of dietary fibre. Additionally, fresh persimmons contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds function as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

For a small dog or cat, a thin slice of persimmon should suffice, while a larger dog could potentially eat upwards of a whole piece of fruit.

 

Pomegranate ...

seeds should be removed from the fruit’s flesh, then crushed up in your dog’s bowl or mixed with food.

Pomegranate is a moderate calorie fruit, slightly more than that in the apples. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.” Plus, “certain ellagitannin compounds such as Granatin B and Punicalagin are found abundantly in the pomegranate juice. Studies suggest that punicalagin and tannins are effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging harmful free radicals from the human body.”

PawPaw Pet Insurance South Africa

Cucumbers ...

(peeled unless you have grown them yourself) can be good for your dogs teeth and bones.

Cucumber is crisp and tastes fresh. In fact, the main ingredient of cucumber is water, cucumber is a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Cucumber provides vitamin for dog’s skin and improves the dog’s coat. Cucumber is low in calories, it just contains trace amounts of fat and sugar. Cucumber is an ideal food for losing weight because it contains the alcohol acid which can inhibit the carbohydrates into fat. If your dog is overweight, cucumber is the best snack for them. 

Cut the cucumber into pieces for your dog to snack on. Don’t feed dogs with pickled cucumber because it contains large amounts of salt and other spices, may be harmful to dogs.

 

Most dogs love carrots! 

Carrots are also a tasty treat, crunchy and fresh, and great for healthy coat, liver and kidney functioning. Not only are they a great snack, but they will also assist in cleaning your dogs teeth. They are low calorie foods, and are generally safe to feed healthy dogs. Carrots may be raw or cooked, depending on your dog’s individual preference.

Benefits include Improved Vision, cancer prevention and anti-aging.  Carrots can also be grated and sprinkled over their food too.

 

Apples ...

can be chopped into small pieces that can be given as a snack or added to moist or dry meals to reduce the portion of pet food consumed in one setting.

Apples are low in calories, they however, contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, the fruit is rich in dietary fibre, which helps prevent absorption of dietary-LDL or bad cholesterol in the gut. The fibre also saves the colon mucous membrane from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer-causing chemicals inside the colon.”   Remember to cut away the seeds as they do contain a small amount of cyanide. Apple seeds contain a substance called amygdalin that can release cyanide under the right circumstances such as contact with digestive enzymes.  The cyanide is linked to sugars in the form of a cyanogenic glycoside and these cyanide-releasing compounds are remarkably common in nature.

Always remember that too much fruit or vegetables can be hard on your pets digestive tract. Keep it to one or two snacks per day, separated a few hours apart.

 

Sources: PetMD , Bunk BlogThe Naked Scientist , Dog Questions

 


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