In recent years, more people have begun to embrace a healthier lifestyle, and food plays an important part in this. There has been more of an interest in healthy eating, and the term superfoods has begun to be used more and more.
Dogs are, of course, man’s best friend, and so, this interest in healthy eating often extends to pets too. The question is, are there any superfoods that you can feed your dog to safeguard their health and well-being? The answer is yes. Let’s take a look.
Firstly, berries do pack a powerful punch in terms of nutrition and a lot of berries are considered superfoods too. Feeding your dog blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and acai berries are all great options. Most berries contain antioxidants and anthocyanins.
They also often have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to ensure your dog’s overall health. The berries are also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals while being relatively low in calories and sugar than some other fruits, which makes them an excellent treat for your dog.
Whole berries can be fed to bigger dogs. However, smaller dogs might need them to be crushed or cut up to ensure that they don’t constitute a choking hazard. Frozen berries are also very popular in warmer weather.
Different types of fish are also often classed as a superfood, and most dogs tend to love them too. Most small, tinned fishes like anchovies, sardines and even pilchards or mackerel all have their health benefits.
They tend to be high in Omega-3, which can improve the look and feel of your dog’s coat and skin as well as supporting brain, joint and heart health. They are also often a great source of calcium, vitamins, and minerals too.
Obviously, the health benefits will depend on the quality of the fish. Buying high-quality, sustainable, fished, low-mercury options are better, not only for the environment but for your dog too.
The fish have calories in them too – as does all foods – and they are a little more than, say, fruit, but in moderation, they aren’t bad for your dog. Just try to adjust their diet to ensure that you aren’t overfeeding them.
A lot of people consciously try to incorporate more greens into their diet, such as the health benefits, but greens are actually good for your dog too.
Leafy greens like kale or spinach have a high number of vitamins, minerals, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants too.
Truthfully, not all dogs like leafy greens, and you cannot force them to eat them if they don’t want to. However, if your dog will eat them, then remember to rinse the leaves well beforehand to remove any lingering dirt or pesticides.
You can add them raw into your dog’s food, or you can cook them if your dog prefers. You shouldn’t feed them the leaves in too high a volume because they can give your dog’s constipation.
There are a few different vegetables that could be classed as superfoods for dogs. Weirdly, the front runners are both orange. Carrots and pumpkins are both classed as dog-friendly superfoods.
Both carrots and pumpkin can help boost the immune system, safeguard eye health, and even improve your dog’s skin and coat. This is because they both – as a lot of orange vegetables do – have beta-carotene in them.
Carrots are also quite low calorie compared to their size, meaning that you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can give your dog a decent-sized chunk, and allowing them to chew on it and break it down also counts as enrichment.
Pumpkins are obviously seasonal, but when they are in season, you can add pumpkin puree to their food or feed them the roasted seeds.
There are actually several different forms of melon that are considered safe for your dog to eat as well as being classed as a superfood.
That being said, watermelon tends to be the favorite among dogs which is advantageous because it is rich in antioxidants, fiber, amino acids and it is packed full of vitamins too.
Watermelon, as most melons are, also has an incredibly high water content which helps to flush out toxins from the liver and kidneys.
Before you feed melon of any form to your dog, you need to make sure that it is free from seeds which can cause blockages in the intestines. They should also be fed in small amounts because they can clean out the intestines and cause diarrhea.
In The End
While superfoods have been proven to be beneficial to add to both your and your dog’s diet, it is important to point out that they aren’t miracle workers.
They can definitely help to boost your dog’s health and well-being, but you cannot expect them to do so overnight. You also need to ensure that you are meeting all of your dog’s nutritional needs, which does include things like carbs, grains, and proteins too.
When introducing any new food into your dog’s diet, it is important to do so slowly, you don’t want to overpower your dog’s system, and you will also need to keep an eye out for any reactions because dogs can also suffer from allergies too.