7 Amazing Super Foods for Dogs
Check out these 'must-have' super food list to include them in your dog's daily regimen and prevent diseases like cancer!
What are some super foods that you can add to your dog's diet to help him or her live longer and with more energy, vitality and no aches and pains? Let's not waste time - let' get to this very lovely, interesting article right away! It is definitely going to help you a lot!
1. Nutritional Yeast - You want to give your dog the best but not in artificial ways like man-made, lab-made vitamins and minerals. Here comes nutritional yeast - a natural food rich in B-vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast is not the same as brewer's yeast - nutritional yeast is usually from blackstrap molasses whereas brewer's yeast is the by-product of beer making process.
Imagine having a product that is natural and that you can just sprinkle on your dog's food and there! you have added vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, protein, zinc, selenium, potassium, calcium, iron, folic acid, pantothenic acid and fiber all in 1 sprinkle! Whoa! That is some good 'health' management you are doing as a dog owner. For e.g., adding just a 1/2 teaspoon for a small dog 2-3 times a week is good enough.
2. Hemp Oil - THIS is THE oil to beat and keep inflammation away! and therefore, it makes into our super foods list. We know that fats are necessary for healthy brain function, healthy joints and skin, and most of all, to keep inflammation away. Hemp oil is rich in fatty acids, especially gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), as well as omega-3 and omega-6 which is known to inhibit cancer, inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver malfunction, allergies and even blood pressure. Hemp oil is also rich in antioxidants and help prevent oxidative stress in your dog's body - thus further delaying or completely inhibiting the onset of any disease.
Also note that another benefit of adding hemp oil is that it does not come with mercury, aluminium, lead, petrol and plastic - things all too common in our oceans now and therefore, in the fish oil. Hemp oil is also a cleaner, sustainable source so you can feel good and proud buying it for your dog! It is also cruelty-free!
Adding a minimum of spoonful to your dog's diet daily (according to weight) will help prevent lot of these issues for your dog.
3 & 4. Chlorella & Spirulina for Dogs - I am going to cover these two together and I will explain below. I love these two green powders! Both chlorella and spirulina are green fresh water algae that are super nutritious and full of healthy antioxidants that benefit the whole body.
Spirulina is rich in an antioxidant called phycocyanbin - the reason it has bright green color. Phycocyabin helps fight free radicals and helps prevent diseases. Spirulina is known for balancing blood sugar, providing endurance (a must for working or farm dogs), beautiful skin and coat, lowering bad cholesterol and giving antioxidant support to dog's body.
Chlorella helps in digestion and is rich in protein (about 60% protein), fiber, omegas, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Both of these powders - chlorella and spirulina for dogs, can help in energy, digestive health, beautiful skin and coat, cancer prevention and healthy aging in dogs. Toxic overload in the body leads to diseases and speeds up aging process. Chlorella is known for detoxification - it binds to heavy metals in the body and helps flush them out. This way chlorella can help your dog with increased immunity - thus, also preventing allergies.
Do NOT add too much of these powders otherwise your dog will have the runs! Start with just a tiny pinch and adjust slowly. If buying in little tablet form, then start with only 1 or 2 tablet and see. Buy one that is a 50-50 combination of both powders.
Make sure when buying chlorella, it should say, 'broken cell wall' or '100% cracked wall' and buy one that is non-irradiated. Buy from a company that clearly says that it grows in the pool.
For spirulina, look for one that says non-irradiated and organic. The company should state that it is 'heavy metal tested' and organic. Best to buy both in one - 50 to 50 ratio.
5. Matcha (Camellia sinensis) - We know the benefits of green tea for cancer prevention, cognitive health, allergies, skin and hair, stress, and inflammation. Similarly, as our dogs age, they need more antioxidant support to fight free radicals and cognitive decline. Matcha is a type of green tea but much more concentrated and rich in nutrients. Matcha has been taking the world by storm and for very good reasons - it helps in cognitive health by fighting free radicals, and combating stress. This is due to the high levels of theanine in matcha, along with arginine - both amino acids found in abundant in matcha green tea. Matcha is also rich in alkaloids, vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium and chromium. Matcha has also been shown to suppress anxiety and depression - a bonus for ill-mannered and restless aging dogs.
If we are what we eat, then our dogs are what we feed their brain - taking care of their brain health can phenomenally improve their behavior and make them more obedient and calmer - a new approach in looking at "out-of-control" or "aggressive" or "ill-mannered" dogs.
Matcha powder is also helpful in reducing plaque in dogs and this is the reason why it is often added in some high quality dog food and treats that claim "reduces plaque in dogs" for their marketing tactic.
But why not just invest in a high quality matcha and add it to your dog's diet yourself? Matcha fights oxidative stress in the body and thus, helps prevent diseases like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological decline. Matcha has been shown to down regulate the oxygen consumption by cancer cells - thus, inhibiting cancer growth and helping in cancer prevention.
Simply add some matcha powder and make into tea for your dog. Now, you can add this tea to his diet daily. Another way to give is to add about a pinch's worth to your dog's food about 2 to 3 times a week. Don't over-do it with any of the super foods, including matcha. Look at my end notes below for more info.
6. Wild Blueberries for Dogs - Always add something wild in your dog's diet and by that, I mean, wild blueberries! Easily found in the freezer section of your grocery store (or health food store), wild blueberries are not only delicious, but they pack a bunch of nutrients into your dog's diet.
Wild Blueberries are not the same as the ones that are found on your grocery store's produce isle and are not cultivated. Wild Blueberries are smaller, more sweeter and tangy. They are found in glacial environments and cold weather conditions like Canada, Quebec, and Maine. They are spread by rhizomes and not planted like regular blueberries.
Wild Blueberries are much superior in their antioxidant content than regular blueberries and other fruits. Rich in anthocyanin - an antioxidant responsible for their dark blue color, they are powerful free radical fighters specially for the brain and the eye health. This alone is enough to consider the benefits of Wild Blueberries for our dogs - as dogs age, they lose their brain function capability and may also have vision problems. On top of this, Wild Blueberries also protect against free radicals that lead to diseases like cancer, stroke, etc. They are also a great way to 'hydrate cells' and provide some fiber to your dog's diet.
A spoonful of Wild Blueberries a day can be the best treat for your dog and much better than the toxic vet bills or the cute little gummies in the name of vitamins!
7. Kelp - Kelp is a type of algae seaweed that grows underwater in shallow oceans where the water is nutrient dense. This naturally makes kelp very nutrient rich and a great source of iodine and alkali. Iodine is one powerful anti-cancer mineral as well as the key source for thyroid health.
Kelp has a whooping 60 different vitamins, minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, etc, fatty acids, fiber, polyphenols, antioxidants and is considered one of the best sources of amino acids. It has 21 amino acids, 25% protein and is a complex carbohydrate.
Kelp can help your dog with beautiful coat, healthy teeth and gums (it is often an ingredient in plaque & tartar products for dogs), balanced thyroid function, good energy, prevent or reverse cancer (due to iodine), can help obese dogs (due to low thyroid function or slow metabolism or lack of nutrients), and great for allergies such as itching, rashes, etc. Kelp is also known to reduce shedding and give dogs a beautiful healthy, shiny, rich coat color.
Make sure you buy kelp that is organic, and from a good quality company. Buy from your local country - so if buying in the U.S., look for one that is made in U.S. Make sure it is non-irradiated and it clearly should say so on the package.
Do NOT over do it with kelp as it can stimulate the thyroid too much. Adding in your dog's food just 2 to 3 times per week, about 1/3 teaspoon for 40 lbs dog, is a great dose. For a small dog like 10 lbs chihuahua, 1/8th of a teaspoon twice weekly is a great start. Once again, do NOT over do it with kelp.
1. Respect the super food enough to use it only few times a week and in less amount - this will help maintain it's efficacy better while at the same time helping you budget for it so that you can provide these benefits to your dog consistently.
2. Even if money is not an issue, super foods should still be used in small dosage and only about 2 or max. 4 times a week, for best efficacy and for safety.
3. Your dog's nutritional needs should always be sourced first from local produce - fruits, veggies, quinoa, brown rice, lentils, herbs, garlic, ginger, oats, etc. Look around in your produce isle or at Farmer's market and see what is fresh, local and seasonal and that IS the best super food for your dog.
4. THEN, you figure out what you would like to add to enhance your dog's health and well-being. Now, go over this list in the article and review. Then, buy from ethical, organic and sustainable companies. Do note that many of these super foods like kelp and matcha are coming from overseas. Be mindful of the planet, the fossil fuels, the ships that transport these goods and consume them less, just like I explained in point #1.
5. Yes! you can buy all these items and they all are much cheaper than just alone one vet visit. Once you get stocked up, you can then plan a schedule what to add when to your dog's diet. For e.g., this week you can add kelp once and next week, you can add matcha on Wednesday...followed by chlorella and spirulina on weekend and so on. Local super foods that I mentioned like wild blueberries, hemp oil and nutritional yeast can be added more since they offer immense benefits to your dog and are way cheaper than the others.
I hope this article has helped you realize how easy it is so maintain good health in dogs and that whatever you have been told by the vets, the medical industry and the commercial pet brands is wrong! Diet should be the first choice of care always, matched by some super healthy and affordable super foods! Ref (1). Ref (2). Ref (3)
For any questions or comments that relate to this article, please post below and I will reply. Please do NOT send in e-mails.
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Somyata, thanks for the information. My dogs have been getting all of these things, wild blueberries every morning with their oatmeal, the other things several times/week, but not matcha. I drink green tea many times/day, but if my dogs express an interest in what I am drinking, I tell them it's mine. Bad mommy! I will remedy this. Thanks!!! Stay safe.
You are most welcome..:) I laughed when I read 'bad mommy!' - that was so funny! Thanks for the free laugh.
I am curious when you say fresh herbs and garlic for dogs. Was that a typo? I thought garlic was bad for dogs if you have different information please share. I always wondered if that was a myth because some dog treats I got had garlic in them.
Hello - Garlic has been given to dogs all across the world since ages and it is one of the best preventive measures against germs, bacteria, worms and even in repelling fleas and ticks..
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