(Part 1 of 3)
The lockdown made many owners realize pet food may not always be available or accessible. Many owners could not buy pet food online and from pet stores during the lockdown. When they were able to access pet food, the prices were marked up by 20-30 per cent, exclusive of shipping cost or delivery fee.
While many owners are now stocking up on dry and canned food for dogs and cats, it is possible that we may run out of certain brands of processed food for our pets due to some restrictions or delays in the release of imported cargo.
Here are alternative food for your pets which we usually have in our kitchen, or you can source online, or plant in your garden or in pots in your garage and terrace. A mixture of these vegetables and meat, combined with a multivitamin, can be an alternative diet for dogs during an emergency like the Metro Manila-wide lockdown.
Pumpkin or calabasa for dogs
Pumpkin is a member of the squash family.
Squash has lots of beta carotene and vitamin A.
“Squash is high in fiber, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and nutrients that are great for dog’s long-term health, “ noted MyOllie.com.
Squash is also sweet which dogs appreciate.
Since squash is rich in potassium, it also helps maintain electrolyte balance.
Preparing pumpkin for your dog
Before you cook the pumpkin, please remove the skin and the seeds. Your dog can not digest these.
“Squash is tough and very high in fiber, raw squash may be tough on dog’s stomach, causing diarrhea or vomiting. It’s best to steam or light bake squash before giving it to your pup. Leave out unnecessary butter or oil and skip garlic or onions, which can be toxic for dogs,” MyOllie.com said.
It is also important to make sure the pumpkin is cooked.
For constipated dogs, pureed pumpkin is a popular anecdote.
“The soluble fiber helps to get things moving without adverse effects,” MyOllie said.
Pumpkin also contains carotenoids for better skin and eye health and the anti-inflammatory vitamin E, MyOllie added.
Other kinds of squash
Dogs can eat all kinds of squash.
Butternut Squash for Dogs
This squash looks like a bottle but this one is rich in potassium “which is critical when it comes to the functioning of kidneys, muscles, nerves, and enzymes,” MyOllie.com said.
Zucchini for Dogs
This is easier to digest than most squashes.
It is “usually well-tolerated by dogs and can be eaten raw with the seeds,” MyOllie said.
This vegetable is rich in potassium, beta-carotene, and folate. Folate is important for cell health and to help maintain a quickly ticking metabolism, MyOllies aid.
Acorn Squash for Dogs
This is a small squash that looks like pumpkin.
This squash is loaded with vitamin V, folate, and vitamin B-6.
“Vitamin B-6 helps promote healthy digestion and a shiny coat,” MyOllie said.
Acorn squash is also high in vitamin C “which is best enjoyed by dogs in moderation and excessive amounts can lead to calcium oxalate stones,” MyOllie said.
Whenever you are introducing new food to your dog, do it slowly and in small amounts.
“Try mixing a spoonful of cooked squash into your dog’s food and see how he fares. If your dog loves squash and it agrees with his digestive system, this is a great vegetable to include in his healthy diet,” MyOllie said.