If you are going to feed your dog(s) "people" food, shouldn't you feed them something that is actually good for them?
We've compiled a list of six healthy, easily obtainable items that can be found straight from your markets shelves or from your local farmers market and can be added to your usual dogs meal. Remember, most dogs will eat just about anything but can be surprisingly fussy about new foods being added to their bowls. Start with small portions and see how it goes.
(Just a side note, we like to buy from our local farmers market. We always buy from those farmers that are chemical-free so that we are not ingesting harmful pesticides. Most of these will not be available at your farmers market but it is always fun to peruse the other fruits and veggies with your two-leggers.)
Here we go!
They are high in potassium, which is great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as regulating the acidity of body fluids, full of fiber, which is a handle remedy for diarrhea or constipation, loaded with magnesium, which is important for energy and protein building, along with lots of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) which helps metabolize proteins and regulates blood cell function. That means more oxygen to the brain and muscles. They also contain Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that protects cells and builds cartilage. So mush a banana into your kibble but just a side note, the compounds in bananas that give them their distinct banana smell are offensive to some dogs. Try sharing a bite with your two-legger first to see if you are okay with the scent.
2. SWEET POTATO
Sweet! We love these guys! They are loaded with nutrients such as Vitamin C and carotenoids along with other antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are full of pyridoxine, potassium, fiber and magnesium, and are also good sources of copper, iron and manganese. Boil them first and then mash them up with a little safflower or olive oil. Don't worry about the oils. They are not harmful and in actuality, dogs need fats and handle them better than humans do.
Ruta-who? We can honestly say that we have never tried these jewels yet. They should be peeled, boiled and mashed just like the yummy sweet potato. Don't forget the oil with these turnip-looking beauties. They have high levels of Vitamin C, potassium and carotenoids which will aid eye health. They are also important to immune systems along with containing phytochemicals which are known to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases associated with aging. Rutabaga... who would have thought?
Moving on to #4
Only the yummiest creation ever (at least in our book)! We love yogurt! Loaded with probiotics, it improves our gut functions. It contains a number of nutrients like protein, calcium, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and iodine, along with riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Just a dollop will do. Sometimes when we have to take medicine, it is hidden in a dollop of yogurt. Makes the medicine taste much better!
5. FLAX SEEDS
These little seeds pack a punch! They are known for their alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content which benefits our coats, skin, bone and brain function. This is why we are soooooo smart! They are high in fiber and lignans which may be beneficial for insulin action. Other benefits are that they are a great source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, pyridoxine, magnesium and B vitamin folate. Use either a teaspoon of flax seed oil or grind the seeds up and add them to any meal for a nutty goodness.
(Whew. This is a long post for us. Our paws are getting tired.)
Yep! Just as good for dogs as it is for humans. Salmon is loaded with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids - wonderful for our skin, coat and brains as well as helping to limit arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. A few pieces of cooked salmon added to any meal is awesome! Dogs also like to eat it cold or dehydrated like jerky. If you are suffering from arthritis, ask your vet if fish oil in capsule form daily might help.
We hope we have given you a lot of great information. Next time your people cook, ask them to share their good food with you. Be healthy and be happy!