Our pets are so cute and cuddly that sometimes we forget that their bodies are a lot like ours. While, yes, there's nothing cuter than a chunky puppy, the truth of the matter is that there are simply too many unhealthy pets in America – it's actually a crisis
. Over the past five years, the percentages of obese pets, diabetes, and arthritis have shot up, and we only have ourselves to blame.
Since you put the same food in your dog's bowl every day, maybe you don't often think about his diet. Truth be told, though, your dog's diet is just as important as your own! In fact, if you start thinking of your dog as more of a human, he'll be in better health in no time.
Healthy Human Foods for Dogs
Did you know dogs like veggies, too? It's true – they won't eat all fruits and vegetables, and some of them aren't as good for your pup as others. That being said, there are some fruits and veggies that your dog will love, and he'll be healthier from all the vitamins and nutrients.
· Cantaloupe – it's good for canine eyesight, full of vitamin A, and has carotene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer.
· Green beans – this veggie is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. You and your pooch can enjoy them together at dinner.
· Pumpkin – feeding your dog pumpkin (and we're not talking about the pie) can help him get his daily intake of fiber and anti-oxidants. It's a great way to combat the digestive issues that some dog foods cause.
Lots of humans take their daily multi-vitamins…so why wouldn't our dogs? For example, dogs that suffer from joint trouble or arthritis can benefit from taking glucosamine supplements to restore cartilage. There are Omega 3 and 6 supplements to give your dog a healthier, shinier coat, too. Do some research and find out what pet vitamins
you should be feeding your best friend.
Weight Loss and Disease Screenings
A lot of us made it our New Year's resolution to lose weight or hit the gym more often. This could be a good idea for your dog, too. There are 37% more obese dogs in the United States this year than there were five years ago. There are also 37% more dogs with arthritis, 32% more dogs with diabetes, and 11% more dogs with kidney disease. On top of giving your dog a nutrient-rich diet, it's important to ensure that they're getting plenty of exercise. Use a guide
to find out your dog's ideal weight, and use diet and exercise to achieve that goal just like you'd do for yourself. Most importantly, make sure your dog is being regularly screened for diabetes and arthritis – as they age, they're just as prone to these diseases as you are!