Beyond Kibbles

Healthy types have long avoided processed, preservative-filled
food, and now it’s time for Fido to do the same.

Sure, little Rusty has been keeping the kitchen floor clear of
your dinner’s wholesome dietary debris since you brought him home
from the rescue shelter. But the time has officially come to phase
real food into your dog’s diet. It would take a lot of research and
time to completely switch over to an all-raw, all-natural,
all-the-time diet, which is considered the healthiest choice dog
guardians can make. So start small and make it easy. A lot of
good-for-you foods are good for your four-legged kids, too.

Here are some whole foods that, according to Animal
(Feb./March 2006), you and Spot can snack on

Broccoli: This phytonutrient-dense treat can help boost doggy
immune systems and prevent cancer. Steam it before serving to boost
its healthy benefits and minimize its impact on the thyroid.
(Broccoli fed in excess can depress thyroid function; do not give
it to any dog with thyroid problems.)

Pumpkin: Is Daisy feeling all backed up? This fiber-rich treat
is great for getting things moving. Even cats can reap its
stool-softening rewards. Another plus: Pumpkin makes a pup feel
full fast, so if Toto has become a Tootsie Roll over the winter,
add pumpkin to his weight-loss diet.

Sweet potatoes: High in vitamin E and rich in beta-carotenes and
dietary fiber, this tasty tuberous root will pack a nutrient punch
and help keep Rex regular.

Carrots: A classic snack for dog and master, this veggie is rich
in almost every nutrient you can name. Carrots can also help with
skin problems and serve as an eye conditioner.

Dogs don’t have the digestive enzymes necessary to break down
important carbohydrates in the skin and outside layers of fruits
and vegetables, so always steam the veggies and use a food
processor to puree the fruits for easier digestion.

And don’t get carried away: Onions, garlic, grapes, mushrooms,
and of course dark chocolate, a source of antioxidants for humans,
are toxic for dogs.

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