Cooking for your dog can be a wholesome way to show you care. And with the rising costs of providing for her it is also a potentially cheap way to cater to her special dietary needs. For instance, when she's suffering from stomach upset or constipation there are several healthy choices offered on the web these days. One "no muss, no fuss" dish consists only of vegetable oil, rice and cottage cheese.
Some Oils Have All the Luck
Experts tout the benefits of olive, fish and/or vegetable oil for a dog's skin and coat. More recently pet care experts, such as Dawn Logas, DVM, have shown greater favor for vegetable oil, ostensibly for the nutritional content added by leading manufacturers. This has called into question the harmful effects of omega-6 on canine kidney function, an essential fatty acid found in vegetable oil in high quantities -- as reported in a paper published by Jennifer Larsen and Andy Fell at UC Davis. These tidal information shifts favoring one ingredient or another are to be expected when it comes to nutrition. It can be frustrating. Nonetheless, it's important to stay abreast of these trending pet health updates so you can plot your own common-sense course during the lifetime of your dog. If after going through all the data you're still in doubt, stick with salmon oil. It's safe, effective and tasty.
The Gruel Thickens
Add your oil of choice to a mixture of your kibble, homemade or otherwise, and a modest serving of low or nonfat cottage cheese and mushy, overcooked white rice. The oil will create a coating in your dog's tummy, while the cottage cheese will soothe inflammation and the rice will absorb excess acid. What nutritional content these ingredients provide, such as the probiotic bacterial culture in the cottage cheese, are a bonus. The kibble however will determine the overall nutritional content of the dog's meals. The oil in cottage cheese and rice is not a sufficient meal in itself, for an extended period of time, for anyone. Malnutrition can compromise the immune system, heralding complications from allergies and illnesses. So be conscious of the quality and quantity of the kibble you feed, especially when planning to alter your furry friend's diet. Consulting the family vet couldn't hurt either.
Canine Culinary Arts
If she has a bad reaction or just refuses to eat you can try switching the ingredients out or combining them with other veterinary approved ingredients. You can add each of these ingredients to your dog's kibble independently. The fine-tuning process for some dogs can be trying, particularly for dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other gastrointestinal disorders. Keep experimenting with what your research turns up until you find what's best for your girl. Specialty supplements can be purchased separately too, if it makes life easier.
Knowledge is Power
While cooking for your pooch is without doubt a great thing to do for your dog, being a diligent researcher will be key to your success. A high percentage of homemade dog food doesn't contain the requisite nutrition for a well-nourished dog. This is the result of an information explosion on the Internet with cooking websites that don't research canine nutritional requirements, as recommended by veterinary researchers, before publishing recipes for the public. Be picky about your sources. Your dog will be grateful. To be safe, always check with your vet to make sure you're serving a complete, healthy diet to your dog.
Christopher Lapinel blogs for the Johnson Attorney's Group. He also writes his own blog at bluestonewriter.com. Lapinel holds an MLitt in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews and taught English composition at LaGuardia Community College.