Once upon a time, long, long ago, dogs were wolves, and wolves ate meat. Ergo, dogs should, by the very laws of nature, be almost exclusively meat eaters. Not so? Not quite. Fruit and vegetables for dogs not only have their place, they can be quite integral to a healthy, happy life for man’s best friend. Here’s why, and how, you should be harnessing the power of fruit and veg – alongside meat of course – to power pup your dog’s vitality.
The first step to understanding why your dog needs fruits and vegetables in their diet is understanding the difference between true carnivores and omnivores. If dogs were obligate, or true carnivores, they would only be able to eat meat, and would not have the ability to process plants. This simply isn’t true. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to the point where they are omnivores and can eat both meat and plants.
More than that, they should eat both meat and plants for the following reasons:
A Natural, Nutrient-Dense Palette
Just like their parents, dogs benefit from a diverse range of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables like sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, romaine lettuce, apples, blueberries, and cranberries offer a rich palette of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are vital for overall hound health.
More specifically, these ingredients and their associated nutrients – found in Northwest Naturals range of frozen nugget recipes, as well as their Raw Frozen Fruit and Veggies Nuggets treats for dogs for example – play a key role in:
- supporting your dog’s immune system,
- preventing disturbances of the liver,
- maintaining healthy skin and coat,
- helping stabilize blood sugar levels,
- and promoting optimal organ function.
Supporting Digestive Health
Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of dietary fiber, which is fundamental for a healthy digestive system. This fiber content aids in:
- maintaining regular bowel movements,
- preventing constipation, and
- supporting overall gastrointestinal health.
Antioxidants are superheroes when it comes to combating oxidative stress and inflammation. Fruits and vegetables are packed with these powerful compounds that help protect your dog’s cells from damage. This is especially important for senior dogs.
By incorporating antioxidant-rich produce into your pet’s diet, you can contribute to your favorite furry friend’s long-term health and potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Naturally low in calories and fat, fruits and vegetables are also an obvious choice for dogs prone to weight gain. Being nutrient dense, adding produce to your dog’s diet allows you to provide portions that:
(a) don’t compromise on satiety and satisfaction, and
(b) don’t skimp on essential nutrients.
This double power punch of flavor and nutrition can play a key role in weight management and overall well-being.
Of course, none of this is to say your dog should turn vegetarian any time soon. Perish the thought – or suffer the consequences of their wolfish ancestors haunting your dreams with their meat-starved howls. Instead, look to producers like Northwest Naturals who understand the significance of a well-balanced diet for pooches. By embracing a well-rounded diet which incorporates all that nature has to offer, you can nourish your dog’s body and soul with all the goodness of raw, nutrient-rich meat and produce. And, ultimately, witness the positive impact on their vitality and longevity.
Animal Wellness is North America’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.