Dogs are lovable and dear creatures and best friends to many people. There are various dog breeds and each of them posses its charms and other characteristics.
Dogs have been humans' cohabitants and friends since prehistoric times. The friendship we've developed so long ago still lasts and the bound between dogs and humans is unbreakable. Dogs are present in our daily lives, professions, all forms of art, religion and storytelling. Over time, dogs have been praised and loved for their good relations with humans.
Once upon a time, they've helped us survive in the wild, so we've shared our food and shelter with them. This form of alliance has soon turned into a true and everlasting friendship.
People who have a dog consider their four-legged friend a family member. That is not surprising at all, since dogs express a wide range of emotions towards people. They would comfort you when you're sad and share happy times with you and your loved ones. Dogs are sensitive beings and they need to feel your love, as well.
However, they are not just funny playing buddies. You need to be aware of the fact having a dog is not an easy task. A dog is a demanding pet, in terms of living conditions, your time, money and patience.
If you want to have a healthy and cheerful pet, you have to provide it with proper conditions. It is important to take it to see a vet regularly, to take it out on a daily basis, spend time with it, pamper it and feed it well. It is also important to train your dog properly, in order to avoid unpleasant events of all sorts. Be gentle and caring to your new friend and it would be very grateful to you. Having a dog is a serious and long-term commitment and the most precious and beautiful experience for all animal lovers.
Preparing food for your dog
If you have a dog, you are probably familiar with the basis of dogs' nutrition, in general. However, a little reminder is always useful. It is of a vital importance for your pet's health to feed it well and according to its individual nutritional needs. Although all dogs have similar eating habits, nutritional needs may vary depending on its size, gender, age, breed, current health condition and so on. Generally speaking, dogs are not extremely picky animals and they love to eat a lot of things. However, not all viands are good for them, even when it seem to please them.
Well-educated dog owners and animal owners in general, know what the basic nutritional needs of a dog are. It is true dogs are kind of omnivores, but they cannot eat everything. Well, your pet might like some of your food, snacks, sweets or other processed products, but they are actually harmful for dogs. You have to know dogs were carnivores once, but their organisms have adapted to process other types of food besides meat (see our article on dogs eating raw meat). That fact may easily explain why dogs are not able to digest various viands we eat. Their digestive system has evolved to a point dogs could digest both food of plant and animal origin, but that's all.
Good nutrition plan for a dog includes all groups of nutrients, meaning proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other important compound. The secret of the perfect diet plan for your pet are appropriate proportions of each group. To determine the best match for your own pet, take it to see a vet and they would help you create the best possible diet scheme, which would meet your dog's nutritional needs.
Choosing the right products to feed your dog may depend on your pet's individual characteristics. There are different manufacturers of high quality dog food and there are various options for different types of dogs. Commercial food is meant to be used as a basic food, because it contains all of the nutrients your dog needs daily and in the right proportions. Some home cooked meals are welcome, as well. You can safely mix the two, once you get well informed on what types of food you could prepare for your lovely pet.
Dogs and vegetables
Dogs are able to process some types of plant food, which includes pretty wide range of vegetables. Some dogs would love eating them, some not. The thing is that, in nature, wild dog species would eat plant food in its original and raw form.
So, if you want to enrich your dog's diet with vegetables, use a food processor or juicer only. The best way to include veggies in your dog's nutrition plan is to mix it with meat meals, or commercial wet food. Although dogs are not as picky as cats, sole vegetables might not be interesting to them at all. However, they should eat some. In fact, plant food should take up about 25% of your pet's nutrition. It doesn't need to be given in same amounts every day; you could mix it with your dog's typical food occasionally.
You surely want to know which veggies to choose. There is evidence dogs don't go well with nightshade family plants, just as cats and other pets. Those include veggies such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes. Leaves of these vegetables are definitely toxic, so it is best to avoid them. They contain solanine, which could be harmful and poisonous to dogs.
As for other vegetables, it is commonly advised to avoid cruciferous family plants, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Some researches claim those veggies may badly affect dogs' thyroid functions and that they cause bloating and gassy issues. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid them or at least feed them in small servings.
Leafy green vegetables are great for dogs. The list includes celery, zucchini, green beans, peas, lettuce, dandelion, parsley, kale, basil and others. Those are good because they are full of antioxidant materials; they are great sources of vitamins and minerals. All of their properties are beneficial for your pet's digestion and immune system. Moreover, leafy and green veggies are the most similar to plants wild dogs would eat in nature.
Should I feed my dog asparagus?
Asparagus is a tricky one, in terms of feeding dogs vegetables. Some claim it is best to avoid it completely, while others say it is ok to give your dog asparagus in moderation. The truth is asparagus are true treasuries of valuable and useful material for humans in the first place. They are rich source of very valuable compounds, which are claimed to be powerful anti cancer and anti aging elements. Asparagus are known to boost immune system and to help in reducing and prevention of inflammation processes in body, particularly arthritic conditions and painful joints.
However, asparagus are not easy to digest. Many food for humans are, like chestnuts. We would prepare them in various ways and make them truly delicious! People eat various meals including this superfood. We eat them baked in oven, cooked, grilled, roasted. Asparagus have deep flavor and they are a good and very healthy meat meals addition or pasta ingredient. Those meals suit people, but they are not good for dogs. Don't get wrong with your healthy asparagus meals, because those usually contain compounds harmful to dogs, such as spices and other ingredients.
Asparagus is generally safe for dogs, meaning it is not toxic or such. It contains the whole range of powerful and useful nutrients that might to well our four-legged friend. For example, it very good for obese dogs, because it contains a lot of dietary fiber. Asparagus promotes digestion and maintain healthy intestinal. It also works for dogs with arthritic or similar conditions, the same way as it does for humans. However, dogs' are not well equipped to digest asparagus well; it is a heavier type of vegetables for them.
While there is no concrete verdict over asparagus in dogs' diet, you may seek for other owners’ experiences or try to feed your dog some small portions of asparagus, to see if it suits your pet. It is fine and nutritional to be given raw, but cooked would be easier for your dog to digest. It is important to use only plain asparagus, no spices or other additions that might harm your pet.
Occasional and small servings of asparagus would probably do well for your pet. If you are unsure of this, there are plenty of other vegetables that are known to be safe and beneficial to dogs.