Health Benefits of Plant Based Food For Dog and Top 10 Plant Based Food for Dogs
Plant based dog food has many health benefits.It is not only humans who benefit from plant-based foods. Dogs benefit from having a diet which includes fruits, vegetables, and grains which are from plants. In nature, dogs are natural scavengers and will eat anything from certain herbs to fruits which may have fallen from trees. Most dog owners don’t feed their pets a plant-based diet because they do not think it contains enough protein and traditionally dogs have eaten a canned meat or food leftovers. However, our canine friends will benefit from a healthier diet.
Why Should We Feed Our Dogs a More Plant-Based Diet?
Dogs suffer from many of the same medical conditions as humans. Speak to your local veterinarian, and he or she will give you a long list of medical problems which can affect your pet. I asked my local veterinarian to provide me with a top ten list of dog health problems. To my surprise, her list of health problems was not so different from the one I would get from a doctor.
Top 10 List of Most Common Dog Diseases and Illnesses
Before you ask “what’s wrong with my dog” and run off to your veterinarian, you should make a list of his symptoms and diet. One of the first questions your local vet is likely to ask is about your dog’s food, and rightly so. Diet plays an integral part of your dog’s health.
These are the most common health complaints veterinarians come across on a daily basis:
1) Obesity – commonly caused by the wrong food or lack of exercise
2) Diabetes – believe it or not, but dog food contains as much sugar as some human foods
3) Liver Problems- the most common blood test a veterinarian is likely to perform is a test to check for elevated liver enzymes
4) Allergies – almost 99% of all allergies in dogs are traceable back to diet.
5) Arthritis- often seen in older dogs, but now more common in younger dogs. The condition can easily be treated with the right food.
6) Heart problems – caused by high-fat doggie diets
7) Skin problems caused by parabens in commercial dog foods
8) Kidney Disease – too much salt can often be found in dog food
9) Upset stomach – almost always caused by something your dog has eaten
10) Bad Breath – can indicate problems with teeth or stomach
Would Plant Based Food for Dogs Make My Dog Healthier?
I am “owned” by two dogs, and when I last spoke to my veterinarian, she told me that most of her time is taken up giving dog owners dietary advice. Apparently, when you look at the modern dog diet, it is far removed from what our dogs should be eating, and most dogs eat a diet which is to a large extent artificial. Dogs have few options to tell you that there is something wrong with their diet apart showing you some symptoms that they are not feeling today. The first symptom you should look out for is lethargy – dogs are not meant to sleep 18 hours per day. The next sign your dog is not feeling well can be one or several of the above from our list of top ten list of common dog diseases.
If you would like to improve your dog’s diet and health, you should consider switching to a much more natural eating plan for your dog. Our local veterinarian is a bit of an expert and says that most health conditions she sees in dogs, can be cured by the right diet.
Can I Feed My Dog a Vegan Diet?
You can feed your dog a complete plant and vegan diet, but you should remember dogs may use their joints a lot more than we do. Arthritis is one of the most common canine health complaints, and adding some oily fish to your dog’s otherwise vegan diet can help him or her. It can be something as simple as fresh sardines. Many organic vegan dog foods will contain some oily fish extract. Omega Essential Oils found in cold water fish is good for joints, liver function, a vital component of good eyesight in dogs and the digestive system. Is a vegan diet safe for dogs? It is but if you feed only a plant-based diet to your dog, you need to add a daily supplement of Fish Oil.
What Are The Best Plant Foods for Dogs?
My veterinarian has made up this top ten list of vegan plant based eating options for dogs. She feeds the foods to her dogs and says that making dietary changes using the information is simple as your dog ages. It is easy to forget our human nutritional requirements change as we age, and we can apply the same principle to a dog’s diet.
Top 10 Plant Based Foods For Dogs
These are the top plant based food for dogs which should be part of his diet, but you can add other foods which he or she likes.
1) Sweet potato – vital for proper liver function and packed with antioxidants. Should always be part of a senior dog’s diet.
2) Oats – great for slow release energy for both dogs and humans
3) Asparagus – dogs don’t need to eat a lot of asparaguses, but it is excellent for healthy kidneys in dogs. It is one of the plants dogs will eat when found growing in the wild.
4) The herb parsley can do wonders for your dog’s digestion, and it contains apigenin which promotes cell function. Can be added crushed to your dog’s drinking water for a fresh breath.
5) Tomatoes and cucumber – both contain essential micro minerals
6) Zucchini – absolutely packed with potassium for top cardiovascular health
7) Celeriac – a root vegetable full of vitamin C and vitamin B such as B6 and iron
8) Carrots – excellent for oral health and high in fiber
9) Apples – your average apple contains more vitamin C than an orange
10) Spinach – good source of iron for you and your dog.
It is not a good idea to feed dogs lentils and hard legumes. They find both hard to digest, and eating them may upset their stomach. Soya is also not a healthy alternative for dogs. It can lead to skin problems and hormonal imbalances.
Meat-Based Vs. Plant-Based Diet for Dogs
What can I expect when I start to add fruit and vegetables to my dog’s diet? Just like us humans, dogs must have a chance to develop the digestive enzymes to digest plant-based foods. Don’t try to turn your dog into a vegan overnight. Introduce new foods slowly and find out what your dogs like. My veterinarian says that she has never known a dog not to enjoy a plant-based diet, but you must not rush it.
Postive signs that your dog is feeling better is increased activity, shiny coat, healthier gums and improved skin quality. Most dogs who eat plant-based food have a lot more energy, and their temperant often improves. It is a little bit like feeding a plant-based diet to a child with ADHD.
Plant Based Dog Food Recipes
Even your doggie snacks are useful when it comes to improving your dog’s diet. Dogs love to snack, and I used to spend a small fortune on dog treats before I started to prepare my own dog food treats. One of my dogs is very old, and one of the natural foods which seem to benefit my senior dog is honey. You can add honey to your dog’s diet in many different ways, but I do it as a part of their snacks. My dogs are also very different in size, so snack time is the ideal time to make sure they get any “personal” extras which their diet may require.
Gonzo’s Dog Biscuits with Honey
5 oz porridge oats
5 oz whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 oz butter –
Two tablespoons of natural organic honey
3 fl oz milk
flour for dusting if you like
Mix all of the dry ingredients together, and then add the melted butter, eggs, honey, and milk. Knead in a bowl thoroughly making sure all of the ingredients blend well.
Set your oven to 400 F, and cover a baking sheet with baking paper.
You can roll the dough out and use cookie cutters if you like. The alternative is to roll it into a long role and cut out about 1/2 inch thick biscuits. Place on the baking sheet leaving some space in between them, and bake in the oven for approximately 15 -20 minutes. Dogs like dry biscuits and once they have finished baking, I turn off my oven and just leave the treats to dry for about 2 hours in the oven.
These treats are the talk of the town in our local dog park, and all dogs seem to love them. On top of they make excellent training treats as they are easy to break apart. If you have access to some organic cheese, you can add it to the biscuits for extra calcium.
Honey Healthy Benefits for Dogs
As part of a better diet for dogs, there are many natural foods you can add. The fact your dog is eating a natural diet helps a lot as many natural herbs, and honey, become easier for them to absorb.
Of course, you should not give honey to a diabetic dog without discussing with your vet. But there is a lot of evidence of honey reducing liver inflammation which is common in dogs with diabetes.
Our veterinarian recommended honey to my Yorkshire terrier after he developed a dog disease called Degenerative Myelopathy. It is often seen in older dogs and is often unexplained. However, reducing the allover inflammation in the body seems to work, and honey is well-known for doing that.
Honey also has other health benefits for dogs. It can help to deal with digestive issues, fantastic for skin allergies and fights infections. If your dog has a graze or cut, honey can help to deal with the problem in virtually no time at all. You should always contact a veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s health.
Where Do I Find Plant Based Protein for Dogs?
Plant based proteins are a great way of keeping your dog fit and healthy without him or her eating any unhealthy fats. When you are on a vegan eating plan, it can be harder to find suitable proteins, and it helps if you understand how proteins form. What you should be looking for are plants which produce a broad range of amino acids. A protein is made up of various amino acids, and the most useful source in nature is corn.
Corn – A natural Food
Corn is indeed a smart choice when you would like to add more protein to a plant based diet, but here is the kicker, not all corn products contain enough amino acids to make them useful. If you are serious about adding more plant based protein to your diet, you should avoid genetically modified corn. It has virtually no amino acids in it at all. A naturally produced corn, in other words, organic corn, contains at least 12 amino acids. These are what you and your canine needs to stay healthy on your plant based diet.
How Do You Add Organic Corn to Your Diet
Adding organic corn to your diet can be done in different ways. Baking bread with cornmeal is one way of doing so. Your dog can eat cornbread as well, and you can always make doggie treats out of corn flour.
A brilliant way, and perhaps the way we will be adding corn to our diet in the future, is by sprouting corn in your own home. Sprouting corn is easy to do, and freshly sprouted corn contains a higher level of essential amino acids than any other plant based protein food.
Drinking corn-based protein powders is popular when you are on a vegan diet, but many of them come from genetically modified crops, and they are also less bio-available than freshly sprouted corn. In other words, your body thinks of your own sprouted corn as food and not a food supplement. Both of my dogs eat sprouted corn, and they love the taste. How does it taste? It tastes like corn on the cob.
Final Word On Plant Based Food for Dogs
Plant based food for dogs can make your dog both healthier and happier. Remember your dog is not a natural carnivore, your friend with a wagging tail is an omnivore. Meat does not have to be your dog’s source of protein, plant based protein for dogs, is just as healthy. The myth of dogs being carnivores was invented by pet food companies.