By Desiree Carlos
It is important to keep our pets hydrated during these hot, summer months. We can do so by giving cooling food to our dog or cat, aside from making sure they have lots of fresh water the whole day.
Cooling food can also reduce inflammation in pets, said Dr. Ruth Roberts in “5 Cooling Foods for Dogs and Cats” in her online site.
Roberts suggests the following cooling food for pets: broccoli, squash, celery, turkey and watermelon.
But turkey is expensive so we will not discuss this further. We give the following fruits and veggies to our dogs and rescued dogs and cats of Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL Inc.) during the summer months:
1. Singkamas or Mexican turnip is not expensive. You can get a bundle of singkamas (about 6-8 pieces) anywhere in the Philippines this summer for only P40 per bundle.
Just remove the skin, and cut into pieces that your dog can bit so that he or she will not choke. For small dogs, we grate the singkamas. The amount will depend on the size of the dog.
2. Watermelon is readily available in the Philippines. Remove the skin and seeds. The seeds are toxic to pets.
“Okay, this one is pretty strictly for moderate snacking. Watermelon is a great cooling food – even the thought of it is refreshing,” says Roberts.
Do no give too much as it might cause loose stool.
But watermelon or pakwan is a very healthy fruit. “Watermelon contains the amino acid l-citruline, which has been shown the relieve muscle soreness (great for active pets!). Potassium and magnesium found in this fruit can also help your pet’s body detox and avoid kidney stones. The natural diuretic property of this fruit are also great for kidneys. Make sure to remove any seeds before you offer this treat to your pet,” Roberts said.
3. Celery is a healthy treat that pets love because the stalk is crunchy.
Celery “contains lots of dietary fiber. Vitamin K is present in impressive amounts, along with potassium, folate and vitamins A and C. And here’s a fun fact: celery contains pthalides, an organic compound that can lower stress levels and blood pressure,” Roberts said.
4. Broccoli is also one healthy, cooling food.
“This brassica veggie is loaded with a long list of vitamins and nutrients. Broccoli is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins B and E, and as much vitamin c as an orange. You’ll also find vitamin K, folate, selenium and potassium in this veggie. Surprisingly enough, broccoli also contains a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, “ Roberts said.
5. Squash or kalabasa is packed with vitamins.
“ Here’s another power packed veggie (though it’s technically a fruit!) for your crockpot. This yellow squash is high in folate, magnesium, potassium and iron. Vitamins A, C and B6 also come in this package. Beats carotene and lutein are also par for the course, protecting the body from free radicals and improving eye health, respectively. High levels of manganese also helps your pet maintain healthy bones (not the ones they’re chewing on),” said Roberts.
6. Lettuce is very cooling. Just give a leaf or two depending on the size of the dog. We give romaine lettuce which is also good for the liver and kidneys.
“The list of cooling foods goes on and on, and they can be consumed safely year round. Many pets tend to ‘run hot,’ so feeding a diet full of cooling foods is a great way to keep them feeling balanced and healthy. Remember to always keep a healthy rotation and variety of proteins and vegetables in your pet’s diet,” said Roberts.
This article also appears in the Manila Standard
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