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FOR A BALANCED DIET THAT INCLUDES FALL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, FIND OUT WHAT YOUR DOG CAN EAT AND IN WHAT AMOUNTS.
A diet that includes fall fruits and vegetables can help your dog stay healthy during the cold season.
But which vegetables to use and in what quantities?
Let’s start with the symbolic fruit of autumn, chestnuts.
Nutritious and versatile in the kitchen, is it possible to share this delicacy with dogs and cats?
Our pets can eat chestnuts but with appropriate reservations and in limited quantities: two or three at most for the dog, one for the cat, and only occasionally.
Of course, chestnuts should be given peeled, cooked or raw as long as they are in their natural state, that is, without added salt, sugar or anything else.
Strictly exclude marron glacé and all sweet or savory chestnut preparations.
Unlike men, dogs and cats cannot digest the starch in which chestnuts are rich, and too much may cause diarrhea and abdominal pain.
In addition, it is always good to pay attention to energy balance without forgetting that in autumn we also need to make a change in the diet of our four-legged friends.
Modifying nutrition in autumn helps dogs and cats cope with the gradual decrease in ambient temperature
While fat and protein are reduced in summer because of the heat, in autumn their bodies need essential nutrients to cope with the moult: the thin summer fur is replaced by thicker, warmer winter fur.
In addition, decreased daylight hours lead to a slowdown in metabolism, which is also associated with decreased periods of physical activity during the day.
In the fall, dogs and cats should have a primarily protein diet with red and white meats, fish and vegetables that provide the animal with the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
Feeding: commercial or homemade food?
Commercial pet foods are an easy and inexpensive solution to meet the nutritional needs of dogs and cats.
In general, we can distinguish three basic forms of pet food:
- the dry (dry food)
- thewet (wet food)
- the semi moist (semi moist food)
The main difference on which this classification is based is the respective amount of water contained in the food; in the dry ones it is usually less than 11 percent, in the wet ones we find a percentage ranging from 60 to 87 percent, while in the semi-wet ones it can range from 25 to 35 percent.
Although dry food can provide complete nutrition some people feel that a diet consisting only of dry food can become boring for their pet.
So, adding a spoonful of a product that eventually looks very similar to our food gives the impression of making it a more enjoyable meal.
If, on the other hand, we are used to giving our four-legged friend ahomemade diet, try not to let him or her lack the excellent quality protein that suits the needs of a carnivore.
What nutrients should a fall home diet contain?
However, the introduction of new food should always be gradual, with the new food being introduced over a period of 8 to 12 days, as too abrupt a change in diet could create intestinal discomfort for your pet.
The cat specifically is a carnivorous animal by nature, this means that it mainly assimilates nutrients by consuming meat.
Fruits and vegetables serve to provide him with a supplementary supply of vitamins and minerals.
Do you know what fall fruits you can let your dog eat?
Fruit can be eaten raw and only after removing stones, seeds and peel, and you must always feed it in moderate amounts.
The accumulation of fructose, which dogs’ bodies metabolize with difficulty, can in the long run trigger damage to the digestive, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Widely used in the pet food industry, they are an excellent source of vitamin C but are also high in citric acid, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Limited to one or two wedges every other day.
It is a nutritionally outstanding food, low in fat and high in antioxidants. Persimmons are also a rich source of fiber.
Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and has very few calories. Since the seeds are indigestible to the dog, they should be separated from the pulp. This can be squeezed or blended and mixed with the other ingredients in the meal.
Excellent for fighting urinary tract infections, blueberries are also rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.
The apple is an outstanding source of natural fiber and is extremely rich in vitamins C and K.
And what seasonal vegetables and greens instead?
The fiber in which vegetables are rich helps maintain intestinal motility.
To make them more digestible and preserve their nutrients, you can boil them in a little water or steam them.
Dogs really love the sweet taste and this is one of their favorite foods. The potatoes must be well cooked.
Pumpkin is low in fat and helps keep your dog’s urinary tract clean.
Rich in vitamins A, C and K, fiber and trace elements, they are a recommended food but in moderate amounts due to the presence of ISO thiocyanate, a toxic substance for dogs.
Low in calories and rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, they can be consumed daily and are detoxifying for liver and kidneys, with diuretic effects.
They contain high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, a powerful oxidant that helps improve vision. Dogs are fond of carrots: they love to gnaw on them and to enjoy them slowly.
Home feeding should also take into account the age of the animal
The formulation of the home diet must also take into account the life stages of the animal, whether puppy, adult or elderly.
With aging, for example, a dog’s body undergoes changes that tend to progressively impair the functionality of certain apparatuses.
Decreased efficiency of the immune system, decline in cognitive function, and inflammatory phenomena in the joints often require the use for the elderly dog of supplements that prevent and delay the exacerbation of senility symptoms especially as temperatures drop.
How do you choose a supplement?
The choice of supplement is, in fact, one of the key points in setting the home diet and especially in its effectiveness and maintenance of its positive effects over time.
The supplement should be balanced in all its components to avoid imbalances or deficiencies and should be specifically formulated according to the needs of the animal and its age group.
Even when choosing a supplement, do not fall into the mistake of improvising as a nutritionist but consult your trusted Veterinary Nutritionist.
Considered by some to be superficial or unhelpful, the advice of a nutritionist can in fact prove crucial where proper nutrition of dogs and cats at any specific time of year has a particularly positive influence on the animal’s mental and physical well-being, as well as on the length and quality of its life.
Book a consultation with an experienced Veterinarian in nutrition at our facility to get a specific diet for your four-legged friend.
We would also like to remind you that in case of need and urgency Clinica La Veterinaria is always open h24 every day including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.
For the joy of seeing them HAPPY.