Furbaby Health 411

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How healthy is your furry family member?  Have you ever thought of implementing fresh foods to your pets diet?  We humans typically attempt to lie healthier by choosing what we eat and how active we are, although with any animal as a pet, they depend on us to make the right choices for them and provide them with food, while also regulating their activity levels.  Introducing a healthier lifestyle for our fur babies is essential!  I will cover benefits that follow such a lifestyle including simple tips and suggestions to get your litter guy(s) and/or girl(s) the optimum healthy lifestyle!

Fresh organic foods aren't just good for you, but they provide many health benefits for our pets too.  Produce is usually easier and more accepted by dogs.  Produce is low in calories.  Portions should of course be regulated; snack size is the rule of thumb, based on their body size and weight.  Fruits and vegetables can be consumed raw, but for easier digestion, steaming or sautéing is suggested.  Several foods to choose, range from green leafy vegetables like spinach, beans, string beans, pods, crunchy fruits and vegetables. 

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String beans and bean pods aid with blood cholesterol and glucose levels.  Great source of fiber and good for heart health with antioxidants, vitamin B6, and folic acid.  Broccoli is also a great addition, with its cancer fighting and immune system building compounds indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.  These promote ideal hormones to control cancer reproduction and enzymes to thus prevent cancer from even forming.  Now one of Coco's favorite snacks is carrots!  You can chop carrots into pieces, the size again depends on your dogs size.  I personally chop Coco's into small fine chunks because he sometimes doesn't chew things and he's tiny!  Little pieces for our little pups and larger cuts for the big boys!  Carrots help fight heart disease and reduce the risk too.  Falcarinol, a cancer preventing compound is present along with beta-carotene which also promotes healthy eye sight and includes antioxidant properties to help fight free radical cell damage.

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Now one of Coco's favorite snacks is carrots!  You can chop carrots into pieces, the size again depends on your dogs size.  I personally chop Coco's into small fine chunks because he sometimes doesn't chew things and he's tiny!  Little pieces for our little pups and larger cuts for the big boys!  Carrots help fight heart disease and reduce the risk too.  Falcarinol, a cancer preventing compound is present along with beta-carotene which also promotes healthy eye sight and includes antioxidant properties to help fight free radical cell damage.  Another great source of antioxidants can be found in green leafy vegetables.  They can help to prevent cell damage, which in turn is a preventative for cancer and inflammatory diseases i.e. arthritis.  Sometimes our fur babies will enjoy greens raw, but again, being sautéed or steamed is more appealing and easier to digest.

Fresh foods can definitely enhance your pets diet to fulfill the healthiest lifestyle, but I will now share some essential foods to help with their teeth too!  Using crunchy vegetables and fruits can drastically reduce plaque and clean gums naturally, without added sugar.  Many treats on the market for teeth cleaning are full of sugar and additives, so using apples, celery, broccoli, and carrots is ideal!  These help rid buildup and plaque on teeth. Jerky is great as well, but it must be 100% meat.  The rough texture helps immensely!  Raw bones are a go-to, very similar to fruits and vegetables, although they provide nutrition like bone marrow adding calcium.  This restores and rebuilds teeth strength.  Be aware of sugar or sweeteners added and cracked bones!  If swallowed, the bone fragment can block their gastrointestinal track and cause punctures in the stomach and gastrointestinal lining. 

Although our fur babies can eat many of our human foods, it's pertinent to know the do's and don'ts.  I've listed foods that should be avoided below.  Prevent any consumption of the following to ensure they live long healthy happy lives!  Our pets count on us to provide them with the ultimate healthy lifestyle. 

Toxic Foods for Dogs:
Onions                                                                Milk Products (Including Ice Cream)
Garlic                                                                  Chocolate
Grapes & Raisins                                                Sweets & Rich Foods
Left Over Bones                                                 Salty Foods
Fatty Meats & Poultry                                         Avocado
Bread Dough                                                     Unripe Tomatoes
Garlic                                                                 Sugarless Candy/Gum
Mushrooms                                                        Xylitol
Spinach                                                              Alcohol
Caffeine                                                             Coffee
Baby Food                                                         Meat Drippings