A whopping 55% of all dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight, according to a 2012 study by the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention. Animals are developing severe allergies, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and digestive disorders in record numbers. Why is this happening and what can pet owners do about it?
The Problem with Pet Food
Pet obesity and unhealthy dogs is a result of the very same growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides that are lurking in our food system are also in most commercial pet food. Think this is bad? It doesn’t stop there. The parts of dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals, deemed unsuitable for human consumption, are ground up and included in your pet’s food as well. The rest of the food is composed of fillers that offer little to no nutritional value.
You don’t have to feed your pet a veggie diet, but thankfully, there are healthy options available!
Option #1 – Make your own pet food at home. You should talk to a vet first before making any changes to your pet’s diet. Do your research and learn which foods you should avoid feeding pets. Browse a few animal food cookbooks for inspiration. Be sure to incorporate a wide variety of raw and cooked veggies!
Option #2 – Buy only high-quality pet food and treats from a trusted brand.
Below are some great product recommendations to help ensure your pet is getting enough healthy veggies in their diet:
1. NATURAL BALANCE
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dog Food is made with brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, peas, carrots and potatoes. The company tests each batch of food for nine known contaminants before their products are distributed. Natural Balance makes both dry and wet veggie dog food.
2. NATURE’S RECIPE
Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe Dog Food is formulated to give your dog a healthy skin and coat. It is free from animal protein, dairy, corn, wheat, color additives and artificial preservatives. Their vegetarian recipe is available in both wet and dry varieties.
3. PET GUARD
Pet Guard Organic Vegetarian Dog Food is made with over 95% organic ingredients. It is full of healthy whole grains, such as quinoa, oatmeal, barley, brown rice and amaranth. Pet Guard also adds a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables, including apples, cranberries, peas, carrots and potatoes. Their products are free of corn, soy, wheat and yeast. Pet Guard makes adult formulated wet and dry dog food.
4. V-DOG KIBBLE
V-Dog is a family owned and operated business in the USA. Their mission is twofold; They strive to make high-protein, nutritiously balanced plant-based dog food and to minimize their contribution to Global Depletion. V-Dog Kibble is hypoallergenic and gluten-free. Their human- grade formula does not contain any corn, wheat, soy or GMOs. Rather, V-Dog’s unique formula is packed with protein and essential amino acids from peas, lentils and flaxseed. Key vitamins and minerals are added by way of nature’s superfoods. Carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, cranberries and blueberries are all included! As part of their commitment to the environment, V-Dog bags are 100% compostable.
5. OLD MOTHER HUBBARD BAKING CO. JUST VEGG’N
Old Mother Hubbard Baking Co. Just Vegg’n oven-baked dog biscuits are all natural, with no artificial preservatives. They are made with healthy ingredients like carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, parsley, oatmeal and ground flaxseeds. Old Mother Hubbard’s dog biscuits are suitable for dogs of any age or size.
6. PET NATURALS OF VERMONT GARDEN BITES
Pet Naturals of Vermont Garden Bites are a great way to incorporate greens into your pet’s diet. They contain broccoli and carrot powder, flaxseed, kelp and spinach. In addition, Garden Bites are wheat and corn free. Pet Naturals of Vermont makes a version for both dogs and cats.
7. SAM’S YAMS VEGGIE RAWHIDE
Sam’s Yams Veggie Rawhide Sweet Potato Dog Chewz are made of 100% dehydrated sweet potato. The patented ridges gently clean teeth and gums. They are suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes. Sam’s Yams products are made in the USA!
8. C.E.T. VEGGIEDENT CHEWS
C.E.T. VeggieDent Dental Chews are uniquely shaped to clean teeth, freshen breath, reduce plaque and decrease tartar buildup. They have the same benefits as rawhides, but are cruelty-free!
If you loved these recommendations, you can browse through some more amazing product recommendations here!
Image Source: Lauri Rantala/Flickr