Are we killing our dogs and ourselves? – Green Beans
Are we killing our dogs and ourselves?
Over the last few weeks, we have discussed dog food ingredients, and how to read dog food labels. When I was beginning my research for the next article, something caught my attention. It seems that the food we eat, and the food we feed our dogs is causing serious health problems.
That problem is obesity. Obesity rates for dogs and people are at an all time high.
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According to Wikipedia, the overweight and obesity rates for dogs in the U.S., range from 23% to 41%, with about 5.1% being in the obese category.
Interesting statistics I thought. It seems every nightly news program continues to talk about the human population’s obesity rate. According to the CDC’s prevalence map (which breaks it down state by state) the human obesity rate is 20% to 35% or more in some states. Do those percentages look similar to you?
So it seems we are killing our dogs and ourselves, from obesity and the health toll it can take on us, and our dogs. The take away from these statistics is for another post.
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Human food, that will give added nutritional value and potentially improve their health and reduce their waistline.
Let’s face it; we all know that not all dog foods are created equally. We give our pets with the best food that we can, but what if we cut some of the kibble and add some human food that is good for them. Would you be interested?
Now this idea came from what I saw in my nephew Logan’s dog food bowl. While I was staying with my brother up in New England, I noticed that Logan had green things on top of his kibble. Upon closer inspection, and to my surprise, it was frozen French cut green beans.
What I am talking about here has nothing to do with a “Green Bean Diet” for our dogs. My goal here is that we give nutritious food to our dogs before they become overweight.
Green beans provide vitamins A, K and C, magnesium and fiber. We all know that fiber is filling. This allows us to cut some of our dogs kibble and replace it with green beans without leaving them to feel hungry.
Vitamin A helps care for our dog’s eye health. Vitamin K helps our dogs bodies heal from injury and surgery because it promotes blood clotting, and helps our dog’s body to absorb calcium. Vitamin C helps with immunity and regulating blood pressure.
All three of these vitamins help to aid in cancer prevention as they have antioxidant properties.
Green beans also contain the mineral magnesium. Magnesium helps our dog’s bodies to absorb and use other nutrients in an efficient way. Nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, sodium, calcium and vitamin C (found in the green beans) and E.
Now commercial dog foods do have healthy levels of A, K and C along with magnesium. The difference is the fiber, fiber is bulk, so our dogs can eat less and not be hungry.
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whether the goal is to aid in weight loss or just to keep our dogs healthy.
The best way to start our dogs eating green beans is exactly what my brother did for Logan.
Give him his kibble and throw a handful of green beans on top.
Now if we are opting for weight loss, feed the amount of kibble recommended for the weight our dog SHOULD be, and add a handful of green beans. Our dogs will be eating less kibble and feeling full because of the fiber content in the green beans.
If our dog likes green beans, then this is the perfect treat to offer them. Logan likes his French cut frozen style green beans, and he does eat them as treats too. You can still give the occasional regular treat, but opt for the green bean snack/treat more often.
The best green beans to offer our dog just as with humans, is fresh from the garden – and into the steaming pan. Steaming them keeps more of the nutrients in tact. Frozen is next on the list, and probably the most convenient. Canned will also do the job of filling our dogs tummy.
If we opt for the canned variety, we need to get the “no salt added” kind. Regardless of the type of green bean we choose, it’s best to grind or shred them before adding to their food. This will help with digestion; the more uniform the pieces of the food, the easier it is for our dogs to digest.
As for giving them out as treats, just toss one over.
A little trial and error will help us figure out which style of green beans our dogs enjoys most. Okay, so now for the other end of our dog – (yes pun intended, don’t worry I’ll keep my day job) – when we feed our dogs a diet that is high in fiber they will poop more. However, isn’t that better than killing our dogs from obesity?
I’m willing to clean up a little more poop if it means I get more years with my dog, and I’m pretty sure you feel the same.
I’d love to hear from those of you that may already be feeding green beans to your furry friend. I’d also like to hear from those of you that are giving it a go and what the outcome is (no pun intended here).
Just think of the warm fuzzies we’ll get from feeding our dogs a healthy meal, and possibly having many more years with them to enjoy.
Be sure to come back next week and we’ll look at another human food that is a nutritious alternative for our dogs. There are several of them, and I’ll review one every week.
Better yet, sign up for our newsletter today, and be sure you don’t miss out on any of these articles.
Until Next Time,
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
Originally posted and authorized for PGAA re-posting by the The Dog Training Lady Visit the Dog Training Lady’s site for more training information and watch for new training books and E-books. Just who is the The Dog Training Lady? Copyright © 2015