How to Cater to a Pet with a Specialized Diet
The fall season can be such a fun time. The weather gets cooler, the leaves change colors, everything pumpkin spiced comes out in stores -- and most importantly, there’s Halloween candy. Between the chocolates, the candy corn, the caramel apples, and the Pillsbury sugar cookies it’s almost impossible to “eat healthy” during this time.
Imagine what it must be like if you were on a specialized diet and felt as if you couldn’t join in on any of the fun! Now we know how dogs must feel on the daily when we get to eat candy, but they can’t. If only they understood it’s because we love them, we don’t let them eat foods that are bad for them.
Since we do love our pups, we may have to restrict what they eat sometimes and put them on a specialized diet that caters to their needs. If this is the case for you and your dog and you want to make sure that your dog still enjoys his dinner time, then here are some tips for you!
#1: Make it less boring!
Just because someone is on a strict diet doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their meals! Try adding in some extra (and healthy) treats. Here are some ingredients that you can pick up during your next grocery trip for some homemade dog food.
- Kefir: low-lactose and a good source of vitamins and probiotics
- Sardines: a great protein source filled with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and calcium
- Blueberries and strawberries are considered superfoods which are rich in antioxidants and fiber
- Mint for fresh breath (you’ll want to make sure they eat this before you give them goodnight kisses).
- You can also add in a multi-vitamin that keep their bones and joints strong!
IMPORTANT: Make sure to speak to your vet before you make any changes to your pet’s diet.
#2: Make it a game!
Puzzles for dogs not only help your dog to not eat too fast, but they are meant to stimulate the brain. Puzzles—or “brain games”—for dogs can help refocus their attention, calm anxiety, decrease boredom, and can curb destructive or reactive behavior.
We suggest hiding a few carrots in the puzzles to support your dog’s digestive system. For the “toy destroyer” of the family hide some treats in one of our Frenchie Baguette Plush Toys!
And for senior dogs, try something simpler such as a lick mat. These mats don’t have any widgets that need to be moved; the dog can simply lick it until the treat is gone. We suggest using lick mats with more cream-based treats such as peanut butter for fiber and healthy fats or coconut oil which can increase energy levels, improve skin and coat, and reduce allergic reactions. It will still take some time to get through as well as make for a fun activity for any age dog.
These interactive toys provide a mental and a physical exercise all in one. Sprinkle some of the specialized diet kibble along with some healthy treats into these puzzles and let the fun begin!
#3: Do it together!
They say that dieting is a lot easier when you’re doing it with a partner. If you’re making chicken for yourself for dinner, try making a separate plate for your dog.
Unseasoned, cooked chicken is great for energy and help dogs feel fuller for longer. If you’re a multiple dog parent, try to make sure that all dogs are being given the same foods (if possible). That way there’s no temptation for one pup to steal the other one’s food.
Work up an appetite by going for a long walk together. The minute your pup sees the Spooky Frenchie Comfort Leash they’ll be ready to work out in style! Then at dinner if you’re a dog parent who shares their food (and we know you are because we are too!), swap those fries for some spinach, which contains iron, to share with your buddy. (Then eat the fries when they’re not looking!)
IMPORTANT: Make sure to monitor your dog’s reactions when giving them new foods, some foods (just like in humans) can cause an allergic reaction. Speak to your vet if this issue occurs.
Just because your fur baby has to be on a diet during the most candy-filled month doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy the holiday seasons to come. Need to size up to a new harness? We've got you covered with plenty to choose from in our duo reversible harnesses and strap harness collections.
If you need us, we'll be hiding the Tootsie rolls from Leo!