Golden Boy George and Fresh Foods for Dogs

Meet golden boy George! He’s not your ordinary retriever, he’s a little more compact with a spicy kick to him. In fact, he represents Fernie well, in his own canine style. George is that social friend who gets along well with everyone, he enjoys outdoor adventures to the fullest in every season and he’s a hard worker (at pleasing you that is). Winter is his favourite as he shows off his athletic moves catching big air for snowballs on powder days. He’s one happy dog and if you see him on the trails, make sure to stop and say hi, if he doesn’t get to you first.

The beauty of dogs is that they enrich our lives in so many ways. We find ourselves training our dogs to suit our lifestyles and in reality, they end up teaching us so much more. There are lots of ways you can return the favour, and one of those is by providing a healthy diet.

I think everyone can agree, we could all use a little more fresh food in our lives! It’s no different for our furry friends. Unless you’re already feeding a fresh bowl full of goodness, go ahead and add some healthy items.

For a little extra fresh protein, you can offer your dog his or her favourite meat or fish. Cook or boil it if you want to play it safe, especially pork. Check for bones in the meat and never feed cooked bones to dogs, regardless of how big or small the piece might be. Eggs are another canine favourite protein, including from chickens, ducks or quails.

As far as vegetables go for some healthy vitamins and minerals, the list is long so you can narrow it down by the groups or ‘families’ that are safe:

  • Leafy greens are all a great choice including herbs and don’t forget edible green tops like carrot tops, beet tops and dandelion.
  • Cruciferous veggies make for a great crunch most dogs love, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
  • Pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini are three healthy examples from the squash family.
  • Root vegetables are common like carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes and yams. This group is particularly higher in carbs so don’t overdo it. Corn also fits into the high-carb category and never give your dog whole corn, they cannot digest the cob.
  • Celery and asparagus make up the edible stem family.
  • Legumes like peas and green beans are other types of healthy greens.
  • Finally, sprouts and microgreens are very nutrient-rich foods.

If you’re wondering how to feed them, it’s simple. Peel vegetables only when necessary and know that most can be given raw, although cooking them is a fine alternative. Of course, some have to be cooked and can be pureed, like root vegetables and squash.

Fruit isn’t always a dog's favourite snack, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of healthy options to try. In fact, only grapes and currants are bad so go ahead, feed the rainbow. Especially in the summer, store them in the freezer for a yummy cold treat.

There are a few fresh foods that are toxic to dogs. Don’t give your dog onions or avocados and others that make the shortlist like chocolate, macadamia nuts, alcohol and xylitol (artificial sweetener).

Next time you buy your groceries or pick from your garden, think about your dog in making healthy choices and grab a little extra to share. Don’t overthink it, dogs are scavengers by nature who can handle a varied diet. You’ll learn to know your dog’s favourites and ultimately, have fun with it!