Vegetables have been part of the food bowl changes that I made to help improve my dog’s digestive system. It is an interesting topic for me and, these days, I don’t just add veggies for nutritional reasons. It has been one of the best changes I made to help him loose weight and help him stay full. It has also become a way of adding variety to his bowl for flavour so he doesn’t get bored. Night after night, he gets something completely different and it only takes me a moment of time. And, to top it all off, we discovered the world of gravy!
During my training it was suggested that up to 5% of a dog’s meal should be fruit and veg and I suspect that is probably the case for us over the course of a week. Most of his calories are eaten through the day during mini training sessions or stuffed in a Kong so he is calm and quiet when I am in the office. However, his evening meal is easily 50% veg with a smaller portion of fruits.
It started with parsnips, green beans, sweet potato and then as my confidence grew, so did the list. I noticed within a week that he was eating earlier in the mornings which suggested his tummy ache was getting better. His stool firmed up and, after about a month, there were no more of the familiar runny tummy that we had become accustomed to during his puppy months. His eyes became brighter, he calmed down, he settled for longer and he never missed a meal.
It then became a way to add variety to his meals so that we could build up his gut biodiversity, something that was sorely missed from his puppy months. Whether you feed your dog raw, home cooked, wet or dry, the benefit of variety really is underestimated by most dog owners.
I began microwaving the veggies for a few minutes in a few tablespoons of water and then started adding different proteins into the mix. Whether it was fish, lean meat or something cheeky out of a tin, he got used to lots of different flavours of gravy. And herbs too. I am a big fan, and, whether it is shop bought for specific canine conditions or out of the garden for flavour, we started adding them too. And sometimes it does get bound together in some sort of mash so it is easy to eat.
Then vegetables really came into their own when we lost his rib cage! The problem with being obsessed about dog food is that I cook a lot. And I mean, a lot! And with a dog in the kitchen as my taste tester, well, let’s say he tasted one too many recipes and before I knew it, it was diet time!
Vegetables were the one thing that I could safely increase in his food bowl so he felt fuller for longer.
It has been an incredible journey with fruit and veggies. Whether raw, cooked, blended, dehydrated or grated, it is a journey that is worth investing into your dog’s health bank.
If you would like to talk more about this or any other topic, do use my free 15 minute service to find out how I can support you, on your journey with canine nutrition for your faithful friend.