Super Foods for Dogs
What makes a “super” food? Superfoods are foods that are naturally nutrient-rich and therefore are especially beneficial for your dog’s health.
Eating healthy is just as important for our four-legged friends as it is for their two-legged masters. How much happier would you be if you could feed your dog healthy foods that are not only delicious, but can save your dog from expensive and harmful medication?
These super foods help people and their pets fight disease, boost energy and maintain good health in general. They make great additions to your dog’s diet—whether you feed packaged dog food or home cook meals.
Whether you’ve got a new pup, a pooch prone to allergies or a senior in her golden years, these dog friendly foods will keep your best friend healthy on the inside and out.
Good for the gut, yogurt has probiotic bacteria that promote digestive health in bath two & four legged consumers. Dogs with food allergies to meat may find yogurt a tasty source of protein. Yogurt also contains a number of nutrients including protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions).
A great dog snack crunchy, naturally sweet and most dogs really like them. Carrot is a long-standing superfood for dogs – loaded with carotenoids, fibre, vitamin C and K which assist with everything from preventing heart disease to healthy eyesight.
They won’t help your dog see in the dark, but freshly chopped carrot sticks will keep your dog’s stomach fuller until mealtime and keep their teeth healthy.
Conventionally grown Broccoli is one of the most pesticide-free foods available! The vitamins in broccoli can help a dog’s digestion, while also healing any skin problems and preventing cancer.
Broccoli boasts cancer -fighting powers, is rich in eye-protecting lutein and is an excellent source of potassium, fibre and calcium.
Among the highest vegetables on the nutrition scale, sweet potatoes include Vitamins A, C, Manganese and Iron which are good for a healthy coat and immune system.
These super tubers are rich in dietary fibre and naturally occurring sugars, and contain antioxidants that help prevent cancer and fight the effects of aging.
Their high level of fibre also aids in healthy digestion
Serve them sliced or dehydrated as a tasty treat!
Salmon is a great source of fish oil, and has been known to benefit dogs with allergies! The Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids in the fish are especially beneficial for the dog’s overall health.
Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions.
Pouring a bit of fish oil over the top of the dog’s food bowl can help the dog’s coat and skin look healthier.
Commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a seed related to spinach. Also known as the mother of all grains, quinoa is a highly nutritious seed and a good source of fibre and protein. Packed with protein, studies have reported quinoa is also associated with preventing heart disease and cancer. One of the few vegetables sources of complete proteins, quinoa is a potent antioxidant and reducing the risk of diabetes.
A true superfood, quinoa also provides all eight essential amino acids.
Antioxidants and Vitamins C and E are this superfood’s claim to fame. Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries, loaded with phytochemicals, are a great treat for your dog. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential; as blueberries are very rich in fibre. Too much of a good thing can cause diarrhoea in dogs.
Blueberries are the perfect alternative to processed treats for your pet. Slowly add them to your dog’s diet by replacing one treat a day with a fresh or frozen blueberry!
The ‘good fats’ in coconut mimic the properties of antioxidants and boost vitamin E, promoting tissue health and shiny coats in dogs. Coconut oil helps prevent diabetes by regulating and balancing insulin. It also promotes mobility in dogs with arthritis and other joint issues.
Coconut oil is excellent for brain health; it is a must to keep senior dogs’ minds from becoming cloudy.
Spinach has two key properties that can prevent inflammation and cancer in pets: Flavonoids & Carotenoids. Steamed spinach offers plenty of iron and vitamin K, which will help the health of your dog’s bones and heart. To include it in your dog’s diet you can steam the leaves and add to your dog’s dinner.
As with kale, baking spinach into dog treats is a good way to add this superfood to your dog’s diet.
Besides these, there are many simple, fresh and wholesome food items that are beneficial for dogs including apples, bananas, eggs, chia, pumpkin and apple cider vinegar. For dogs, animal protein such as chicken, fish, beef, should be an integral part of their meals.
You may try different permutations and combinations to find the right combination of superfoods that appeal to your dog and provide him with all the essential nutrients, just be careful of food allergies.