It goes without saying that we endeavor to give our dogs the best in life, especially when it comes to their diet. Going natural is the best option if you want to avoid giving your beloved pooch anything that could harm him, and prevent those unwanted—and expensive—trips to the vet. Lucky for us, superfoods for dogs DO exist, they do wonders for canine health, and the best part—you won’t have to break the bank to get them. You can even share a delicious snack or two!
5. Sweet Potato
Tons of canine health care books warn against starches in the diet, but this much, much more fun version of our usual white taters have huge amounts of vitamins and minerals that not only provides energy, but also helps heal wounds, promote collagen production, and overall, make Ms. Pickles’ skin radiant and uber healthy.
Dogs love the taste and texture of sweet potatoes, so aside from being a yummy side dish on the food bowl, they make for great treats for those training sessions (and bribes for trips to the V.E.T.): just boil small chunks until they soften and let cool before packing them into airtight containers.
Taking it several steps further than yogurt, Kefir is Fidelma’s best friend when it comes to protecting her digestive system. Made from cultured milk, this superfood contains larger quantities of probiotics, the good bacteria that helps fight off the onset of infections and other suspicious bacterial activity in the tummy.
Recommended for daily consumption, especially for canines under antibiotic treatment, Kefir fills up your pooch with essential amino acids, vitamins, calcium, and aids in relieving constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and diarrhea.
Not only is it just as effective as those ridiculously expensive probiotic drinks and tablets for pets in the market, it is also much, much friendlier to the wallet, and tastes better, too. Let Bolt slurp a teaspoon of this superfood daily, and increase the amount to 2 teaspoons (up to 3 teaspoons for larger dogs) once he gets used to it.
3. Manuka Honey
Always a gold medalist for its healthful properties and sweet, sweet taste, honey is a staple for anyone who wants to go for a natural way to keep strong, fit, and vigorous. Raw, unfiltered Manuka honey –the King of all Honeys—provide an extra oomph in your pooch’s daily meals by providing natural enzymes that help remedy gut issues, loose stools, and other digestive problems.
Manuka honey, also famous for its antibacterial prowess, is clinically proven to counter more than a quarter thousand strains of the bad guys—making a perfect supplement for convalescence, and even a great hotspot, wound, or burn liquid bandage.
This superfood is also ideal for dogs with low blood glucose, but it’s always prudent to seek your favorite veterinarian’s advice first before giving to puppies or overweight pooches.
2. Chia Seeds
Most vegans and health buffs—the human kind—swear by Chia seeds for providing power-packed antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and as it turns out, they can also be superfood for dogs.
Tiny as they come, these powerhouse seeds contain concentrated amounts of nutrients that most other food products or produce can only give in bulk—huge bulks. Chia has triple the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, higher levels of magnesium and iron than spinach and broccoli, and still has room for lots and lots of the good stuff—copper, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.
These unassuming, hypo-allergenic, odorless, tasteless seeds carry a crazy amount of health benefits, and good news for your pocket: it doesn’t take a lot to put Mr. Pugglesworth on top of his game. Just sprinkle some Chia seeds on his food bowl and let him munch away!
1. Coconut Oil
While the general consensus is fat equals bad, this wonder oil is the ultimate, all-around, all-natural exception to the rule—for both humans and canines. Coconut oil is mainly made up of MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides—the good kind of fat—that has a truckload of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that not only boost the immune system, but also crank up your pooch’s energy and metabolism. Mixing this fabulously-scented oil into your dog’s daily meals (in proper amounts, of course) can help improve digestion, prevent colitis, balance sugar levels, and even speed up convalescence and healing, and that's why it's the number one superfood for your dog.
Extra tidbit: when you can apply it topically AND eat it, you know it’s safe. Whether you massage a thin layer of coconut oil on the skin during puppy spa time, or mix it up with your favorite dog shampoo, it makes your dog’s fur look AND smell like a million dollars by:
- Preventing eczema and flea bite rashes
- Clearing up seasonal and/or dietary allergic reactions (reddened or swollen skin and ears)
- Warding off yeast and other fungal overgrowth
- Providing a glossy sheen on your dog’s coat
- Helping avoid flaky skin and fur loss (alopecia)
- Aiding wound healing and disinfection
- Eliminating bad odors
One teaspoon for every 10 pounds of doggie weight is optimal for daily consumption—never jump the gun and try to give Gizmo too much no matter how crazy he is for coconut oil. It tastes good, smells good, and provides great health benefits, but everything in excess can do you harm. Diarrhea can result in overconsumption of this superfood, so try not to fall for those beggy puppy eyes and be strict about dosage.
What’s not to love with these superfoods for dogs? They’re easy to find, easy to give to your dog, easy on the budget—they are perfect as staples in your pet supplies pantry and yours too!
Has your pup enjoyed the tastes and benefits of these five superfoods? Tell us about it in the comment section!