Increasingly our four legged friends are visiting vets with a range of illnesses, such as allergies, respiratory complaints, skin irritations and heart conditions that may have their roots in a poor diet.

dog-carrot

There is a healthy alternative that only requires a little thought and planning

These conditions are not only distressing for the animal, but expensive for the owner. It’s not just that we are guilty of overfeeding our pets, but the tendency to rely on dried dog food that is causing problems. Dried dog food contains high levels of raw starch that can prove an irritant to the dog’s digestive system. Combined with the fact that we often feed our dogs the same food for years on end, has lead to an increase in the number of dogs suffering from Adverse Food Reaction. There is an alternative that only requires a little thought and some planning.

It is known that a healthy dog requires a diet of high quality protein, low carbohydrates as well as some vegetables and fruits. The advantage of shop bought dog food is that the nutritional content is already worked out for you. If you are planning on giving your dog a more natural diet than you need to ensure that your dog gets a variety of foods in order to get the nutrients they require. An excellent website that clearly explains this is www.thedogdiet.co.uk.

Lean meat and fish provide the B vitamins that help build bones, muscles, cartilage, fur and claws. It can be cooked or raw, but if cooked then the bones must be removed as they are more likely to splinter and cause choking.

Also good for bones and joints are raw eggs, shell included that provide calcium and essential fatty acids. Carbohydrates such as brown rice contain many micro nutrients such as selenium, manganese, magnesium and thiamine.

Green leafy vegetables (cooked or blended) are not just good for us dog owners but for our pets as well, providing Vitamins A,C and K as well as iron and calcium which are first rate for heart and kidney function and the immune system.

Other starchy foods such as sweet potatoes, peas and beans are also useful additions to the diet. Now I know my dog loves sweet potato and carrots, but fruit? Mmm… not so sure, but I am willing to try him with some strawberries, bananas and apples if it will help boost his immune system and improve his gut function. As with anything in life, it is best to introduce these changes slowly, otherwise you may have a very confused animal on your hands!

Like their owners dogs need exercise too, so get those trainers on and you will both benefit from that walk in the fresh air.

By Sue Rodgers for Valle Verde Animal Rescue

This article was originally published in the Sentinella April 2016

Next Month: What Your Cat Really Needs

Find a pet

Here are some of the other cat and dogs currently waiting to find their forever homes. Could that be with you?

Click on your favourite below or find more here

Maximo, Breton Spaniel

Maximo – male Breton Spaniel seeks forever home

Maximo is a male Breton Spaniel looking for his forever home. Please share 🐾

Dori, Podenco in UK foster looking for forever home

Dori – female Podenco in UK foster seeks forever homve

Dori is a female Podenco – A friendly girl currently in foster in UK. Seeks forever home 🐾

Koko, female Mastín

Koko – female Mastín

Koko is an affectionate girl who likes being with people and other dogs. Healthy and playful and walks nicely on the lead. Let’s find this girl a loving home.

Nina, female dog rescued from the perrera is up for adoption

Nina – shy female dog rescued from the perrera seeks home

Nina has just arrived at the shelter after spending two years in the perrera. She is sweet-natured and a little shy at first. Let’s find this sweet girl a home!

Leo, male dog for adoption, Spain

Leo – friendly male dog seeks a home

Leo was abandoned outside Linda’s house and has settled in very well at the shelter with the other dogs. Let’s find this super boy a home!

Woody – male dog seeks loving home

Sadly, Woody is looking for a family to love him. He is an active boy who loves going on walks and playing. He loves people, no problem with children or other dogs. No cats.

Mora female dog

Mora – Friendly young female dog seeks home

Meet Mora. A big, friendly girl, she loves affection and socialises well with other dogs. Mora is negative to all 5 mediterranean diseases.

Buddy – male Podenco Cross for adoption

Buddy is a Podenco cross and a very lively boy. He loves playing with his siblings. Let’s find this boy a home!

Cassidy – young male dog needs a home

Cassidy is a male Retriever Mastín cross. He is fairly big but has a gentle and timid nature. Mixes well with other dogs, not dominant. Let’s find this gentle boy a home.

Toby – young male dog needs a home

Toby is new to the shelter, he came in with Daisy. He is a happy and friendly boy. Mixes and plays with the other dogs. Let’s find this great boy a home!

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Adopt

Meet the Valle Verde Cats & Dogs looking for homes

Koko – female Mastín

Koko – female Mastín

Koko is an affectionate girl who likes being with people and other dogs. Healthy and playful and walks nicely on the lead. Let’s find this girl a loving home.

Find out about other ways that you can help

We understand that not everybody can offer a home to our rescue animals, but there are many other ways that you can support the work we do. Find out more…

Donate

All your donations, big or small, help us continue our work rescuing and re-homing animals in need.

Fundraise

If you would like to fundraise for Valle Verde Animal Rescue, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Volunteer

There are lots of other ways that you can support the animals. Find out more about volunteering.

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