Keeping Dogs Fit: Heart-Healthy Dog Food & More
Our furry friends rely on their human parents for all of their needs, and this includes their fitness and nutritional needs. At Wag Tantrum, we can provide you with heart-healthy dog food, but that’s just part of the equation. Here are a few tips to help keep your sweet dogs as healthy as possible.
Create An Exercise Routine
Every dog needs exercise, but the amount of exercise needed varies based on the breed and their age. For instance, puppies would benefit from short bursts of activity throughout the day rather than long walks or exercise sessions. An older dog also might benefit from a few shorter walks and play sessions, while an energetic, healthy adult dog might be up for a long walk or run in the morning or evening.
While brisk walks are always a great idea, it’s not the only option to consider. Dogs love to play tug and fetch or find the toy and these types of exercises not only get the heart pumping, but also provide some good mental stimulus for your dog.
Agility training can be another fun option to consider, and agility training also provides you with an opportunity to teach obedience skills and forge a closer bond with your furry friend. There are many affordable agility kits on the market, and these can even be set up in a family room or basement during inclement weather to provide some fun exercise when it’s too hot for walks or raining.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
Puppies need to head to the vet several times each year for routine exams and vaccinations. An adult dog typically will only need a yearly comprehensive exam, although some dogs may need more frequent vet visits.
For senior dogs, it’s smart to schedule two yearly exams, especially to check their urine and do some bloodwork, which can signal potential health issues in their early stages, when problems can be easier to fix.
Keep Their Teeth Clean
There is a huge correlation between heart health and dental health. Gum disease increases the risk of developing heart issues and heart disease both for dogs and their human companions.
The reason for this is that when our gums are diseased, this introduces certain types of bad bacteria into our bloodstream where they cause the immune system to ramp up and fight off the bad bacteria. This causes inflammation, which can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
In a perfect world, it is recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth once per day, but most vets agree that even striving for three or four brushings each week can help prevent the formation of plaque, improve breath and prevent tooth decay.
Of course, you also need to schedule professional teeth cleaning at least once each year, and sometimes more often. Certain breeds and older dogs may need more frequent cleanings. While this is an extra expense, if you keep up with daily brushing tasks and schedule a professional cleaning every few months you are likely to avoid high-cost procedures such as anesthesia cleanings and tooth extractions.
Limit The Treats
While we all want to reward our good dogs and provide them with yummy treats, the calories in these little morsels can add up. Dog parents often forget about the treat factor when they count calories for their dogs, but if your dog needs 500 calories per day, it is recommended that no more than 50 calories (or 10% of their daily caloric count) derive from treats.
We recommend sticking with low-calorie, organic and non-GMO treats for your sweet pooch. You also could provide them with low-calorie nibbles of human food, such as a fresh blueberry or a bite of watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe. A tiny piece of apple (with the seeds and core removed – these are toxic to dogs) can be another fun option. A small bite of a carrot also can be a quick, low-cal treat that many dogs enjoy.
Feed Them A Heart-Healthy Diet
There are hundreds of different brands of dog food on the market and selecting the best option for your dog can be tough. Just as humans need heart-healthy foods, our dogs also need heart-healthy dog food.
Traditional canned and kibble might not be the best option, however, because these types of food tend to be heavily processed and full of chemicals, preservatives and low-quality sources of protein and grains. Highly processed foods are not good for humans or dogs, and fresh dog food can be a better option and provide better nutritional support for their heart and the rest of their body.
We developed Wag Tantrum fresh organic dog food to meet the special needs of our sweet dog, Lily, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor when she was a puppy. Additionally, she had a very touchy tummy and usually turned up her snout at traditional dog food.
After a hefty amount of research about animal nutrition, we decided that organic fresh dog food was the best option for our furry companions and Wag Tantrum was born. We use only organic fruits, veggies and grains and USDA organic beef and chicken. Wag Tantrum contains no preservatives, no chemicals and no GMOs, and is corn-free and soy-free.
Each ingredient we use has been selected carefully for its high nutritional value. After we prepare each small batch, pharmaceutical-grade vitamins and minerals are added to ensure that Wag Tantrum meets all of your dog’s nutritional needs.