2020 is finally over! Why not make it your resolution to commit to feeding your dog a cleaner, healthier diet? This might seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve got picky eaters at the dog bowl, but it doesn’t have to be. In order to help out, here’s a quick list of some tasty, natural foods that will be sure to make your dog’s stomach happy.
As with any “human food” you plan to give to your dog, the foods listed below should always be served to your dog unseasoned. Many seasonings have garlic and onion powder hiding in them, and as we know from previous articles, onion and garlic are toxic to dogs. However, other things you might use in the normal preparation of your food such as butter, and oils are also not healthy for your dog to consume in large quantities, and could cause stomach upset.
Now, with that said, onto the list! Here’s a list of 10 nutritious foods that you can give to your dog to improve their diet.
Rice can be used to soothe the symptoms of stomach upset in dogs, but did you also know that you could be feeding your dog rice every day? Though it may seem like kind of a bland food, rice has many benefits for your dog’s diet. If you are going to give your dog rice, make sure to give them adequate amounts of water to prevent constipation. Not only is rice a complex carb that will keep your dog feeling full due to its longer digestion time, but it also contains important minerals that your dog needs for good health. Rice contains Vitamin B3 and Vitamin D. B3 is a central requirement in enzymatic and hormonal control. B3 also regulates nervous system activity and digestion. Vitamin D aids in proper bone growth and formation.
Carrots aren’t just good for human eyes, the beta carotene found in carrots is also very beneficial to your dog’s vision. Beta-carotene is a precursor enzyme in the creation of Vitamin A, which is essential to your dog’s diet and is usually included in most commercially available dog food. Carrots are also beneficial for your dog’s digestion, because of the high amounts of fiber that carrots have. Raw carrots are difficult for a dog to digest so give them a quick boil in a pot of water before you let your dog munch on them. As one final benefit, carrots will help clean your dog’s teeth. If you hate brushing your dog’s teeth, or more realistically, if they hate it when you try to brush their teeth then give your dog a carrot instead!
Sweet potatoes contain Manganese. Manganese is an essential part of the production and usage of energy for your dog, because it specifically aids in the body’s usage of proteins and carbohydrates and contributes to the enzymes responsible for energy production. Sweet potatoes are an easy solution to including this important mineral in your dog’s diet, and they taste good to boot. There are sufficient amounts of potassium in potatoes, as well as Vitamin A, C, and B6 which are all important for the health of your dog’s eyesight, immune system, fur, and skin.
While coconut is most popular with humans, it has some really great benefits for your dog’s health as well. Coconut contains lauric acid, which is a fatty acid that is very easily digested by your dog, and found in large quantities in the meat of the coconut. Lauric acid is an efficient source of energy for your dog. Lauric acid can also help to fight off afflictions including but not limited to, Influenza, Giardia, and ringworms. Lauric acid is also anti-inflammatory and can help to relieve some of the discomfort of joint pain in arthritic dogs. Coconut oil will help your dog’s skin and will improve the overall texture and health of your dog’s coat. Coconut water contains high levels of electrolytes which will help hydrate your dog.
It is well known that dog’s love peanut butter, but did you know that peanut butter is actually a very healthy snack for your dog? Peanut butter contains many vitamins that are beneficial for your dog. In addition to being an additional source of Vitamin B3, which helps with your dog’s coat and skin and promotes proper circulation, peanut butter is also a good source of Vitamin E which is an immune booster for your dog. The good fats, and proteins that are contained in peanut butter will help to provide your dog with healthy nutrients without unhealthy fats that often come along with other sources of protein. Be careful when incorporating peanut butter into your dog’s diet, because too much can lead to obesity and pancreatitis, and most important make sure that the specific peanut butter you are using does not contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and can kill your dog.
Pumpkin is a superfood! Literally the whole pumpkin can be fed to your dog, and is beneficial to your dog in one way or another. The seeds and skins of the pumpkin contain certain oils that will help maintain the health of your dog’s urinary tract and can help with issues of incontinence. Pumpkin is also helpful in the regulation of digestive processes. This is because pumpkin boasts a high fiber content. Pumpkin can even be used to help your dog lose weight.
Salmon may seem like a pricey protein to be feeding to your dog, but it has many health benefits for you and your dog. These benefits are what makes salmon a superfood. For this reason it is often included in many high end dog foods. The Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in salmon will give a big boost to your dog’s immune system. Salmon also can help to reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints, and contribute to a healthy, shiny coat. Since salmon contains a high protein content but is low in fat, salmon is a good source of protein for dogs who may be allergic to other healthy proteins like chicken.
Chicken is a cheaper alternative to salmon, that is still high in protein but low in fat content. It also contains Omega 6 Fatty Acids, which like omega 3 Fatty Acids, will help the health of your dog’s coat. Chicken contains glucosamine which is essential for your dog’s healthy bones. Chicken is an important source of many members of the Vitamin B family as well as antioxidants which are helpful to the function of your dog’s immune system.
Green beans are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals and are a great, healthy alternative snack to dog biscuits. Vitamin A, K, and C are all present in green beans. We’ve already discussed Vitamin A in this article, but Vitamin K is essential for proper blood clotting. Vitamin C provides immune system support, much in the same way that it does the same thing for humans. Green beans are also another great source of Iron, which is essential for blood health. Iron helps the body form red blood cells which transport oxygen in the bloodstream. Green beans are also a good source of Magnesium which is needed by your dog for most bodily processes.
Even though eggs have been thought to be a high cholesterol food, this is actually a misconception as the cholesterol found in eggs is actually beneficial to your dog. Benefits of this “good” cholesterol are as follows. Eggs are abundant in amino acids which are needed for the production of protein. They help build muscle, contribute to a healthy coat and helps with healing and tissue repair. They are also a good source of Calcium which is essential for the production of strong bones and teeth. Eggs yolks are rich in biotin which produces healthy skin and coat in dogs as well. Don’t overdo it when it comes to feeding eggs to your dogs. Don’t make them a staple of the dog’s diet, but occasionally supplement their food intake with eggs because they are a very beneficial food for your dog.
2021 means a new year, and a new you! Make the choice to include healthy food choices in your dog’s diet as well. Hopefully this list of healthy dietary supplementary foods makes getting started down the path to healthy clean eating for your dog simple and stress free! Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog, and a dog that will live a long life full of enjoyment.