Food as medicine is a concept that we’ve seen heal time and time again. Along with other lifestyle changes, diet has been proven to help prevent and even reverse many chronic conditions in human folk. But can the same be true for our canine friends? The answer is a resounding — yes.
Investing in an all-natural high-quality dog food is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to help your pup happily and healthily live out their dog years.
Signs Your Pup Might Need a Diet Upgrade
Your dog’s diet directly affects their skin and coat, gut health, and weight and energy levels. Also just like us, food can also create allergies in our four-legged friends. Registered Vet Technician Jenna Stregowski shares a few potential telltale signs to help you assess your dog’s nutritional health.
- How does their coat look? It should be shiny and free of flakes, but not greasy.
- Have you noticed a change in their energy level? A decrease in energy could indicate a problem.
- Have they lost or gained weight? Obesity in dogs is a very common problem that can often be reversed with proper diet and exercise. Excess weight loss may occur if your dog does not find the food palatable.
What to Look For In A Quality Food and What to Avoid
Dog Food Should Be Real Food
In the same way we label check our own food for unpronounceable ingredients, artificial additives, and preservatives — the same can be said for our dogs’ food. One of our favorite brands is Sundays for Dogs; namely because it aligns with our own food values and uses clean ingredients including USDA beef, but also incorporates many healing herbs and spices including chicory root, turmeric, and flaxseed. In fact, its ingredients are so clean that it’s even fit enough for human consumption.
Grain-Free Foods, Anti-Nutrients, and Heart Failure
One human wellness trend that does not crossover to dogs is “grain-free.” As Sundays for Dogs outlines on their blog, “In July 2018 the FDA opened an investigation into a potential link between grain-free dog foods and a form of heart failure in dogs called dilated cardiomyopathy (or DCM). Researchers still don’t know the exact cause, but the current thinking is that legumes (like peas and lentils) and potatoes, which grain-free foods use to replace grains, are somehow blocking the absorption of essential nutrients. Food scientists have long known that many starches contain anti-nutrients, which are compounds that can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.” If you’re worried that your current food might fall into this category, check out their comparative tool that lets you search over 3,000 dog foods available in the US.
Your Dog Should Lick The Bowl Clean
Perhaps with the exception of a morning dog park hang, meal times are one of the favorite parts of your dog’s day, meaning there’s no point providing a healthier alternative if they aren’t going to enjoy it. If your dog has typically been a picky eater, then maybe it’s time to try to mix up their diet.
Another reason we’re big fans of Sundays for Dogs is that they engineered their air-dried kibble to taste more like a dog treat than dog food. The nutrient-dense pieces also means your pup doesn’t need as big a serving.
A generation ago, dogs were relegated to the backyard and fed cans of mystery meat, but now dogs have truly become more family than family pet. As they’ve made their way into the human wolfpack, pet parents are also looking to feed them as optimally as they feed themselves. The good news is that thanks to brands like Sundays for Dogs, healthy dog food is becoming increasingly accessible and doesn’t require excessive prep. Equally thanks to innovation and research, we’re beginning to better understand dog nutrition and have more tools than ever to support them in the most loving ways possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about dog health, then check out our Sundays for Dogs podcast. And as THE FULLEST reader, you can also enjoy 30% off your Sundays order, just use code THEFULLEST at checkout.