Just like their human companions, dogs are experiencing a rising trend toward obesity. As owners strive to help their overweight pets lose weight, they seek out new diets and treats that will produce results. One of the food items in the dietary spotlight is the humble green bean.
The Green Bean’s Nutritional Value
There are five nutritional benefits found in green beans, which are vitamins A, K and C, magnesium and fiber. Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, helps to preserve your dog’s eye health and maintain optimal heart health.
Vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin, and it plays a role in healing from injury and surgery as it promotes blood clotting. It also aids the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that enhances your dog’s immunity and regulates blood pressure.
All three vitamins have antioxidant properties to aid in cancer prevention.
Green beans also contain magnesium, a mineral that plays an essential role in helping the body to efficiently absorb and use other nutrients, such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, and vitamins C and E.
Magnesium is required for many of the body’s enzymes to carry out their functions. Healthy levels of magnesium and vitamins A, K and C are all included in your dog’s commercial diet.
The primary reason that green beans have taken center stage in the quest to lose weight is their high dietary fiber content. In analyzing the labels on many of the commercial weight loss diet preparations for dogs, the formulations are low in fat and high in fiber.
Fiber adds bulk, which enables dogs to consume less volume and still feel satiated. Green beans are also an ideal treat because they are low in calories.
Green Beans In His Bowl
One way to serve up green beans as part of your dog’s menu is to add them to his regular food. Remember that cutting back calories too far, as well as cutting back other nutrients contained in his food, can be just as harmful as being overweight, so do not make green beans the main component of his meal.
Feed the amount of his food that is recommended for his target weight, and add a handful of green beans. Steamed fresh green beans will retain more nutrients, but frozen and canned variations will also do the job of filling up his growling tummy.
When buying canned green beans, opt for those with no added salt. Whichever type you choose, shred or grind the green beans before mixing them with his food. The uniformly sized contents of his dish will make digestion easier.
Treats Are Not Forbidden
Many owners fret when their veterinarian instructs them to cut back on their furry friend’s treats. Treat time is often a bonding moment between a dog and his owner.
Green beans offer a healthy alternative for doling out as treats for your dog. Most dogs like them, and they are low in calories, allowing you to continue the treat time ritual with your canine companion.
If you have been handing him biscuits at multiple times throughout the day, consider offering him a biscuit once a day and substituting green bean handouts for the remaining snacking sessions.
The Benefits Outweigh the Inconvenience
Owners who start their dogs on high fiber diets often baulk at the dramatic increase in stool production. Your dog may need to go outside more frequently, and he will defecate a larger volume with each bowel movement.
The longterm health benefits that your dog will reap by losing weight will overshadow the inconvenience of your heightened poop patrol duties outside.
You can also feel good about the fact that you are supplementing his dog food with such a natural, healthy ingredient as the green bean.
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