Dog Food: Healthy Dogs and Healthy Coats

Dogs have been domesticated by man for a long time and over that time its habits have also changed. As pets, dogs need to be taken good care of and maintained well. The animals need to be taken care of well just like one would take care of their health. Dogs can live on a vegetarian diet but they need to be supplemented with additional nutrition.

The dog needs a balanced and a complete diet like any other human being. They need a diet which comprises of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and fiber. It is important that dogs don’t get a full meal but also a healthy meal. There are a number of companies which are dealing with dog food and claim to provide nutrition for your pet, however, one needs to check the contents before buying any dog food.

Being a well-informed buyer is a very important task. You can always find information on the internet. Different dogs may need different nutrients, so it is a good idea to do research about your breed before deciding what type of food will be best. Providing a variety of textures are also a good idea. You do not want to only feed your pet soft foods, that may allow your pet to have dental problems.

It is extremely important that the dog gets proper meals, especially if it is a pup. It will eat more frequently as compared to the adult. Hence, depending on the dietary needs dog foods are different for puppies and the adults. It is also important that the dog gets a good diet of high fiber since this will help keep all the digestive problems of the dog at bay. Dogs may suffer from problems like constipation and diabetes and to combat such problems a meal containing high fiber is always helpful. This will not just make the pet healthy but also help keep problems like these away and help the dog be healthy.

Just like humans, dogs may also face obesity problems and a high fiber diet will help the dog combat obesity as well. The well-being of a dog is seen in the color and texture of its coat. Hence, a well balanced diet will assure all these qualities. Also like humans, dogs need water, exercise, and love. Taking care of your pet is a hard job, but you will enjoy the benefits of have a happy and healthy best friend.

Super Food Healthy Breakfast – Jump Start the Day For Pennies

How do we feed a family of 4-6 these days? There is no excuse for letting anyone out of the house to start the day without getting a Super Food healthy breakfast. More so if you are on a tight budget or you’re on Food Stamps!

It’s imperative that we start the day with all engines revved up for the big guys, our active teenagers and the little ones. Imagine if you turned on your engine and didn’t have any gasoline in your gas tank…

Most nutritionists agree that this is actually the most important meal of the day. This is also very stressful on everyone due to time constraints. You want to get this done quickly while showering or dressing and be ready to fly out of the door in record time.

Initially, when I started to serve up this breakfast, I got some smug negative sour faces from my athlete hubby and my grandchildren. Even my 98 year old mother was squawking. Don’t give up! Keep dishing it out! Be creative by supplementing this healthy breakfast with some attractive condiments. They love it now and ask for more! I’ll explain later.

Many of the sugared cereals on the market have been robbed of nutrition due to food processing, added preservatives. They are actually very expensive for the average family. Some cereal boxes cost $5.00 to $7.00 per box. You can finish off this box in a few days. That’s outrageous!

Ideally, if you can get an annual membership with Costco or BJ’s Wholesale in your area, you’ll attain huge savings. The key is to shop and save at these stores by purchasing only necessities in bulk. I know it’s tempting to get carried away and spend a couple of hundred dollars without much effort. So, always make a list before you go!

Here is what I usually do. Whenever I have time during the month, I’ll prepare breakfast for the whole month in advance. With this simple preparation, I’ll have most of the work done. It will take only several minutes in the morning to have a delicious piping hot; heart healthy, nutritious Super Foods breakfast on the table.

Here is what you need and how to do it…

Grab a Ziploc or any plastic gallon sized bag.

Fill the bag 3/4 full with old fashioned Oatmeal. I consider it a Super Food! It helps to lower the bad LDL cholesterol and controls weight gain due to the soluble fiber in oats.

Add liberally 1 cup or more of whole ground preservative free Flaxseed or Wheat Bran. This Super Food is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins & Omega-3 fats. Helps us achieve and maintain an optimal body weight, prevent or control diabetes and reduce blood pressure. Most health food stores carry it. (Also Trader Joe’s)

Add a 1 cup or more of ground Cinnamon (Super food!) Enhances metabolism of glucose and cholesterol! May help to reduce appetite, hasten weight loss and control and (or) prevent Diabetes. Add a cup or more of dried blueberries (Super Food!) preferably without sugar. You may wish to add strawberries and (or) cranberries for variety. Blueberries are rich in polyphenol antioxidants; substances that reduce inflammation and prevent diseases. (Trader Joe’s has a good selection)

Seal bag and…

Shake, shake, shake and you are ready to store this mixture in your refrigerator or a cool place.

In the morning, scoop out from your Ziploc bag 1 cup of mixture(1/4 cup per person); put it in a micro safe 1 1/2 quart bowl, add some ripe sliced fresh fruit in season (banana, peach, apple, purple grapes or berries for texture & additional nutrients.)

Add about 2 1/2 cups of water depending on what fruit you included; mix it well and microwave 6-8 minutes. While you’re finishing dressing, you’ll have enough delicious cereal for 4-6 servings. Serve it in small bowls and let everyone improvise toppings.

Optional condiments for each serving; sprinkle a bit with organic brown sugar or dark honey. Buckwheat honey (Super Food) has more flavonoids and may help to lower total cholesterol levels. If you wish, add any fresh berries. For a smoother texture, pour a tad of milk to cool it. My big guy uses chocolate milk. You are ready to enjoy a Super Food healthy breakfast!

5 Foods Healthy Moms Should Avoid Feeding Children

Most mothers are keen on what they feed their children. Our number one goal is to make sure they eat food that are healthy and will keep their little bodies strong as they grow. When things are hectic and time runs low, there is a turn of events with fast food taking over the dining table. Here is a list of 5 foods that you should avoid feeding your kids whenever possible.

Processed Meats

Kids will do almost anything for a hot dog or some other processed meat. However, these come packed with fillers, artificial colors, sodium, potentially carcinogenic nitrites and nitrates as well as saturated fats. So potent is this deadly mix that kids who ate 12 hot dogs in one month were found to be 9 times more likely to suffer from leukemia. Pre-packed lunches should be avoided as well. They can have a fat count of up to 38 grams, which is more than half the amount recommended for an adult. Imagine what they can do to your child.

Fruit Roll-ups

Don’t be deceived by the word ‘fruit’ in these gelatin snacks. There is only a trace amount of fruit and the rest is artificial color and lots of sugar. If it’s in the candy section it’s candy, fruit will be on the fruit and vegetable aisle.

Juice

If the drink you are buying is not 100% juice, chances are that you are giving your child high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors to drink. Avoid these drinks like the plague and instead plan on squeezing your own juice from fresh fruit. This way you are not contending with additives. However, it is recommended that children take only 4- 6 oz of juice daily. Even though the juice you squeeze out for yourself has much vitamin C, the fiber is lost. Encourage your child to eat the fruit instead of drinking juice.

French Fries

We have all heard of this one before but it’s worth repeating. French fries have too much sodium, fat and calories to be good for your child. When starchy foods like potatoes are deep fried, heating them to extreme temperatures, acrylamide, a cancer causing agent is produced. French fries do not have much nutritional benefit at least not as much as can be found in spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots and the like. Children could eat French fries every day if you allow them, so put a stop to it or reduce the consumption of fries in your home as much as possible.

Non-Organic Chicken Nuggets

This is an all time favorite for kids and we have all been told that white meat is healthy, so what is the problem? Chicken nuggets made from organic meat are very healthy for your child. However, the commercial kind is made up of high fructose corn syrup, sodium and compressed fat. They may look like organic chicken breast, but most of them are made from left over pieces of skin and chicken meat ground together and shaped like a nugget. These are not healthy for your child and should be avoided at all costs.

What Makes Dog Food Healthy?

Whether it’s kibble, canned, raw or some combination of those, fresh, whole ingredients make dog food healthy.

Any pre-packaged food should list a meat source as the first ingredient on the label.
You’ll want that meat followed by a variety of vegetables. Skip the artificial colors, the grain-filled products the BHA, BHT, and other chemicals.

In other words, go with ingredients you recognize. Any meat base is fine unless your pet is allergic to it and most won’t be. Unless you have reason to think he is allergic to a meat source, don’t worry about it.

I feed my dog a scoop of kibble–the brand varies but right now it’s Nature’s Variety Lamb and Rice–and mix it in with a little leftover (fresh) rice and a raw beef or chicken medallion. This mix offers more of a balance of nutrients and flavor variety than the straight kibble. Plus, by adding in the raw meat, he’s getting some of the benefits of the raw diet–shiny coat, healthy immune system, healthy teeth–but it’s simple (I buy Nature’s Variety and let a few medallions defrost in the fridge at a time) plus I’m able to stretch the pocketbook as feeding a diet of just the raw meat medallions can add up.

So, buy the best dog food you can. You’ll have to go beyond the traditional supermarkets and big box pet stores. You’ll likely need to seek out an independent retailer or order online. The premium foods are usually sold through smaller distribution channels than the big retailers like to deal with.

It ‘s also a good idea to buy a smaller bag for a smaller pooch, because once opened, that food’s going stale. There are many good brands out there; Nature’s Variety, Life’s Abundance, California Natural, Sojo’s and many more. Go for one that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and mix it up with added veggies (raw carrots, broccoli) and the raw meat supplement. You’ll be rewarded with a happy and healthy dog now and for a lifetime.