It’s not just us humans who can benefit from the power of nutrient-packed foods. Our four-legged friends also enjoy the taste and experience the health boost that nature’s superfoods can deliver. With that in mind, we’ve put together our top choice for foods that your dog will love, which will also enhance his health and prolong his lifespan.
Raw pumpkin seeds are a delicious and easy treat to give your dog. High in minerals, vitamin K and plant sterols, as well as zinc, vitamin E and B complex vitamins, pumpkin seeds are packed with goodness. Research has shown that pumpkin seeds can prevent some types of kidney stones, reduce arthritic inflammation, and support good prostate health.
Broccoli contains fibre to aid digestion, and is rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin C and potassium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, supports eye health, repairs skin damage and is good for your heart.
Rich in amino acids and antioxidants, goji berries are the superfood that health fanatics rave about. The beta carotene and zeaxanthin content of goji berries may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells, as well as reducing blood glucose and lowering cholesterol. These can be given as healthy treats in place of processed dog treats, or added to your own healthy dog treat recipes.
Chia seeds are well known for their abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health. They are also rich in antioxidants, fibre, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, niacin and zinc. Try sprinkling a few seeds into your dog’s food, or mix with some coconut oil for a nutritious bedtime snack.
Fermenting foods makes them rich in probiotics, which are essential for your dog’s digestive health. A healthy colony of gut microflora also has positive effects on immunity, behaviour and general health and wellbeing. Adding a couple of teaspoons of fermented vegetables to your dog’s food is a great way to make sure your pet gets the benefits of probiotics. You could also try making your own kefir, a fermented milk product widely recognised as a ‘super probiotic’.
Blueberries are rich in powerful antioxidants, which protect the body against cancer. They are also a good source of fibre, vitamins C and E, and manganese. Just be sure to introduce your dog to blueberries gradually, as too much too soon can cause stomach upset. Both fresh and frozen blueberries are a great treat for your dog just once or twice a day.
Kale is a green cruciferous vegetable that is rich in iron, vitamins (A, C and K mainly) and antioxidants. A popular addition to healthy green smoothies for us humans, adding some finely chopped raw kale to your dog’s food will deliver a great source of fibre, nutrients and whole food antioxidants.
Check out our favourite recipes for healthy homemade dog treats here.
If you want to give your dog all the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet, you do not necessarily need to invest in expensive dog foods. Treat your pet to the same high quality nutrition you reserve for yourself, and see him grow in vitality and health.