27 Super foods for dogs: It is time to up the game. Part II
In my previous blog post, I had discussed about 8 amazing superfoods for dogs, their benefits and how much of them should be given to your dog on a daily basis. In this blog post, I bring you the remaining 19 superfoods which you can add to your dog’s diet and enhance the immunity, keep them young and healthy as well as keep them away from cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and so much more.
I will be discussing the following superfoods in this post:
- Chia seeds
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
- Sweet potato
- Raw Honey
- Sunflower oil
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These are known as the nutritional powerhouse as they are packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Chia seeds have been known to boost dog’s immune system, support joints as well as intestinal health, improve the skin and coat condition, promote insulin function as well as regulate blood sugar. They are a great addition to those dog’s diet who are on a fat loss regime since these slow down the digestion and absorb water allowing dogs to feel fuller and less hungry for a longer time.
You can either use chia seeds after soaking them in water and mixing it in your dog’s food or can use them dry. Simply sprinkle some Chia seeds on top of your dog’s meal if you wish to use them as dry. Remember to start small and gradually increase the quantity.
Leafy green vegetables
Study has shown that admission of leafy green vegetables to dog’s diet reduces their risk of cancer development by around 90% as compared to dogs who consume yellow orange vegetables like carrots which reduce the risk by 70%.
Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in nutrients. This gives them anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant qualities. Leafy vegetables are also rich in vitamins E, C, K, contain a ton of fiber as well as are high in potassium, iron and calcium.
The primary thing to remember when administering leafy greens to your dog is to wash them properly and get rid of any pesticides. You can either steam, sauté or just serve them raw to your dog. For sautéing you can use some olive oil. Remember to administer leafy greens sparingly and occasionally.
I have already discussed the amazing benefits of ginger for dogs in my previous blog post. However, there are controversies regarding whether ginger should be administered to dogs or not. Ginger has many anti-inflammatory properties, prevents cancer and relieves arthritis. It also suits the dog’s digestive system, bloating as well as gastrointestinal problems.
Olive oil is not only great for humans, it is great for dogs as well. Olive oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants. It can act as a natural superfood and reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. The omega 3 present in olive oil works to improve the skin and coat condition of your dog.
Remember to only use extra virgin olive oil. You can just drizzle some of it on your dog’s diet. Limit the consumption of olive oil to 1 teaspoon every 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight.
Parsley contains antioxidants, folic acid as well as vitamins A, C and K. It has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes healthy immune system, and benefits your dog’s joints, urinary tract, kidneys as well as works to refresh your dog’s breath.
However, remember to only feed curled leaf parsley to your dog and in small quantities. Parsley contains furanocoumarin which can be harmful to your pup if consumed in large quantities. Never give your dog spring parsley as they contain large amounts of furanocoumarin.
You can either chop parsley and add to your pup’s food or you can blend parsley with water and juice it to add to your dog’s water bowl. You can also make breath freshener with parsley for your dog.
This is probably known to every dog guardian for its potential benefit in soothing a dog’s upset stomach. Pumpkin is not only rich in enhancing your dog’s immune health, it also supports eye health and protects your dog’s coat and skin.
Pumpkin contains an enormous amount of fiber which helps to relieve constipation and relieves diarrhea. Check out this blog post to know everything about dog constipation and how you can help your pup. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamins A, C, E, calcium as well as iron.
To add pumpkin as a superfood to your dog’s food, cook it and add one or two tablespoons to your dog’s diet and serve it. You can either cook the pumpkin or buy a cooked one. Do not buy pumpkin pie filling as it contains spices, sugar and other components which are not safe for your dog.
You can also save pumpkin seeds and make a treat for your pup and yourself. Roast the pumpkin seeds with some olive oil and just a bit of salt. You can also grind the seeds and add it to your dog’s food. Remember to give your dog only a little number of treats at once, since the fat in pumpkin seeds can cause diarrhea or soft stools when fed in large quantities.
Watermelon is one of the most nutritious dog foods. It not only contains antioxidants like lycopene (prevents cancer), it also contains vitamin A, B, C, magnesium, potassium as well as amino acids. Watermelon also acts as an amazing source of fiber which is great for your pup’s intestinal health. Furthermore, watermelon contains a lot of water which is amazing for your dog’s liver and kidney health.
Yogurt is considered as one of the best probiotics for your dog overall health. However, recent evidences suggest that yoghurt not only promotes gut health, it can also enhance your dog’s immune system. Greek style yogurt is an amazing source of protein. Some dogs may have trouble digesting yogurt, therefore, give your dog yogurt in small quantities. For the plain or unflavored yogurt, add a couple of tablespoons to your dog’s food. You can also allow your pup to directly lick it off the spoon.
Bananas are natural sugars which can quickly metabolize and provide your dog an instant boost of energy. Bananas are also a great source of electrolytes, potassium, vitamin C as well as amino acids.
Unseasoned, boneless, skinless roasted turkey can act as an amazing protein packed diet which can give your dog essential amino acids and potassium.
This is a favorite veggie for a lot of dog guardians. Sweet potatoes are very rich in naturally occurring sugars as well as dietary fiber and contains a lot of antioxidants which help in fighting aging as well as prevent cancer in dogs. Sweet potatoes also possess a large number of antioxidants as well as anthocyanin. These two factors when combined together can help reduce oxidative damage which is caused by ageing and reduces the chances of disease development like cancer.
Kelly can act as a great source of folic acid, iodine, vitamin A, calcium and sodium. It has been observed to enhance the immune system and improve the energy of your dog. Kelp can also be of benefit if you’re trying to help your dog shed some pounds.
Quinoa is an extremely nutritious seed besides being a great source of protein and fiber. Therefore, quinoa is referred to as the mother of all grains. Quinoa is also very easy for dogs to digest. You can allow your dog to have quinoa right from the plate. Quinoa also offers a satiety feeling to your dog, reducing the hunger pangs. Remember to make minimally prepared quinoa (broth or water with a slight amount of salt) for your dog. When cooking quinoa, do not add onions or spices as these can be toxic to your dog.
Raw honey is great when you are trying to help your dog enhance immune tolerance towards seasonal allergies. When dogs eat local and unpurified honey, they ingest a large amount of local pollen. This increases your dog’s tolerance towards pollen which can be of great help during the allergy season and keep your dog protected from seasonal allergies. Honey also contains enzymes, antibacterial properties as well as many vitamins which help your dog build a stronger immunity and aids in his or her digestion. Give 1 teaspoon every day if your dog belongs to a small dog breed and 1 tablespoon if your dog belongs to a large dog breed.
Broccoli is one of the best greens not only for your child but your dog as well. Broccoli boasts of containing excellent cancer part fighting powers. It is also very rich in fiber, calcium, potassium as well as the eye protecting lutein. Broccoli can also act as a great treat for training your dog.
Kefir is like a runny yoghurt, but it is full of probiotics. This is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to provide your dog healthy gut bacteria. Just add one spoonful of kefir to your dog’s meal. You can also make kefir yourself a home and save more money.
The oil extracted from sunflower seeds contain an amazing number of fatty acids (omega 6), vitamin E as well as many anti-inflammatory properties. In case you bake dog biscuits for your pup, you can use sunflower oil in the preparation or you can serve this oil as a direct addition to your dog’s diet.
Due to Kale being aa superfood not only for your dog, but also for your kid, people try to add it to all the recipes. Kale aids in your dog’s liver function as well as acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is super rich in iron, antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C and K. When kale is mixed with other dietary items, it tends to take the flavor of other food items. You can add 1- 3 tablespoons of chopped kale to your dog’s meal on an everyday basis. Just sprinkle the kale with a slight amount of water followed by microwaving it for 20 seconds to allow wilting slightly before you present it to your dog. Kale is rich in beta carotene which allows improvement in his or her reproductive functions.
Seaweed can be considered as the oceanic version of the ever so nutritious kale. It is harder to look for a leafy green that is more nutrient dense that this superfood. Seaweeds are rich in vitamin B12 and iodine. Seaweed also contains soluble fiber which is great for your dog.
Seaweed has the potential to slow down your dog’s digestive process and reduces the risk of cholesterol and sugar. In the research performed on dogs suffering from bone fractures, seaweed or its milled version, was added to the diet of the dogs. After a period of 30 days, dogs who were administered seaweed flour showed higher bone healing capacity compared to the control group.
The most important point to remember: Extras
Remember, none of the foods mentioned here contain superpowers. None of them can change your dog’s life overnight or cure him from the disease in an instant. However, these can prevent your dog from suffering from many diseases in the senior years of his or her life.
Many commercial dog foods boast about containing nutrients which are needed by your dog. The packs say the food is wholesome for your dog. However, the extreme pressure and heat used in processing of these commercial dog foods, leach the diet of most of its nutritional factor. Therefore, your dog will need a healthy dose of a combination of superfoods on a regular basis to keep up with his or her nutritional requirements.
Remember, not all super foods can be safe for your dog. Consult your veterinarian before you start your dog on any new superfood. If, the veterinarian is not available, you can test the superfood out yourself by giving a very small quantity to your dog and checking the dog’s reaction to it. However, remember to do prior research before starting your dog on any superfood.
Superfoods, even though there amazing for your dog, must be administered in moderation. These should not make up over 10% of your dog’s diet. Giving your dog’s snacks and treats in large quantities can make him or her susceptible to weight gain. If your dog shows symptoms like excessive gas, vomiting or diarrhea, immediately stopped administering the food and have a consultation with your veterinarian.
What superfood do you give your dog? Which one is your favorite? Has your dog ever shown any negative reaction to any of the superfoods you administered to him or her till date? Let me know in the comment section below. If you have any queries regarding the article, please mention it in the comment section below, I will try to address it as soon as possible. If you have a story or anecdote you wish to share with the world, feel free to contact me on any of my social media channels.