Try New Foods
Do One Thing: September, 2019. This article is part of the 2019 "Do One Thing" series, which focuses on one small project we can do each month to support our dog's health.
If you are local to the GTA, you're most likely aware of the time honoured tradition of the Canadian National Exhibition and its showcase of wild and wacky food combinations: Pickle Pizza, Cotton Candy Tacos, Deep Fried Avocado, and the Snickle Dog - a deep fried hot dog wrapped inside a tortilla with pickles and a Snickers bar.
Quick pass the peppermint tea!
It's good to try new foods, and I'd definitely sample a small slice of pickle pizza with a side of avocado fries. Right now I'm having a vegan chocolate chickpea brownie - which does not taste as good as it sounds. Surprised?
When was the last time you introduced a new food to your dog? Are you in a food rut with your dog?
It can be easy to feed the same foods on repeat to your dog. Your dog may miss out on important nutrients from a lack of diversity in the diet, or become unwilling to try new foods if he's never given the chance to try something new.
Eating a wide variety of proteins, veggies, and healthy fats promotes greater bacterial diversity in the gut which, as research suggests, has immune supporting benefits.
Your assignment for September...
Feed one new food item to your dog. (This assignment is for healthy dogs with healthy guts and no food sensitivities or allergies.)
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Try a new vegetable. As an example, instead of sweet potato, consider butternut squash. Your dog might enjoy pureed red cabbage instead of celery. Or perhaps try to add sauteed shiitake mushrooms to your dog's bowl.
Try a new protein. If you have access to a new protein type, this could be a good addition to your dog's diet.
Try a new treat. Treats can be an excellent way of slowly introducing something new to your dog and can be especially helpful for picky eaters; it's easier to see a green bean or homemade treat go uneaten than several ounces of a new protein.
Vary the texture. You may want to vary the texture of your dog's food or treats from time to time. You could try a whole raw baby carrot, steamed broccoli florets or a slice of cucumber occasionally instead of pureed veggies. (Vegetables need to be lightly steamed or pureed in order for your dog to benefit from the nutrients, but a whole raw baby carrot every once in a while is fine.)
Dogs who are accustomed to a variety of food, consistency and flavours tend to make easier travel companions. Raw feeders who travel with their dogs may need to rely on raw food from a different supplier or use freeze dried or dehydrated food from time to time - and the flexibility of being able to use other types food can make feeding while traveling a bit easier. You should try the new food at home, before you travel with your dog, just in case it's not a fit.
Always remember to go slowly with new food additions. Even the healthiest of foods can be too much of a good thing if fed in amounts that are not tolerated by your dog.
For more information about variety and balance in the raw diet, you can check out this article.
Just joining us? Click here to begin the series.
This article is for information purposes only. Every dog is different and has a different tolerance level for new foods. Always do your own research when making health decisions for your dog. You are your dog's best health care advocate.