The summer sun brings to mind children playing in the water, camping trips for the family, and day trips to the beaches. If your family includes a dog, this means fun for them too! Some dogs are bred to love the water, and most dogs enjoy a road trip with their family especially if it means a romp on the beach.
With more and more Americans treating their pets as family members there has cropped up a wide variety of vacation spots for the entire family, dogs included. There are camp grounds with doggy play areas, hotels that allow pets to stay and even doggy day spas where your pooch can be as pampered as you are with massage, grooming and special dog beds.
Summer also means eating a bit differently; with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetablesavailable it means healthier and lighter fare for all. While it is not advisable to feed your canine companion directly from the dinner table, it is OK to share some of the fruits and vegetables with your dog. Dogs are omnivores, which mean they derive their nutrients from eating both animal protein and plants (unlike cats that are strictly carnivores). That is why you will sometimes find them snacking on grass outside; some believe it is because they have an upset stomach, but usually it is because they need more fiber in their diet.
There are some foods that should never be given to a dog such as chicken bones as they splinter easily, and canbecome lodged in a dog’s throat. Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs as well as birds and horses. Other foods to keep away from a dog are chocolate, bread dough, macadamia nuts, hops which are used in making beer, garlic and onions, and grapes and raisins.
Sharing food with your dog every now and again is not a crime, but it should be done in moderation. Dogs have food sensitivities and exposing them to new foods could actually cause an upset stomach. Some dogs are lactose intolerant, so any dairy should be given with caution.
Some dogs enjoy fruit, and because of their vitamin and minerals it can be beneficial to their diet. Fruits such as strawberries, cantaloupe, and seedless watermelon are a great sweet treat for your dog. Carrots are full of fiber and are good for dogs’ teeth. Raw, unsalted peanut butter is a great dog treat, and it can be fun to watch them eat it! There are dog toys on the market which have small holes meant for peanut butter to be added which dogs love to discover.Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which is very good for their diet. Salmon is full of Omega-3’s which are good for the dog in the same manner it is good for people. Cooked, mashed sweet potatoes are another good food to share, full of fiber and vitamins.
Sharing healthy summertime fare with your pet can help to provide them with much needed vitamins and minerals. Start off with just a couple of pieces of a particular food at first to see how your dog reacts.