Healthy Kibble Additions
Add these powerhouse foods to your dog’s dinner for a wellness boost—and a happy pup!
No matter what species you are, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods is vital for health and longevity. This includes our dogs. Factors that age a human’s cells and cause disease also do the same for dogs, so it’s only natural that your dog will also benefit from eating food that is less processed.
If you’re feeding kibble, fear not. It’s easy to add whole, fresh foods that provide a variety of antioxidants, omegas, and diverse proteins to your dog’s diet, increasing nutritional value.
Healthy Kibble Additions
When it comes to giving kibble a healthy boost, you can’t beat these foods.
► No brainer: meat! Dogs are in fact omnivorous but have a natural carnivorous bias, meaning their ideal diet is primarily meat. If you eat meat, so long as it isn’t full of fat or spiced, save some for your furry family member.
1. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods help support a healthier gut microbiome, which leads to a stronger immune system, decreased inflammation, and increased metabolites that actually turn your dog’s food into vitamins.
One of my favourites is raw kefir. I haven’t met a dog yet who didn’t lick their bowl clean.
► Start off with a tablespoon per 10 pounds of bodyweight. Make sure you’re getting kefir that isn’t flavoured!
Fermented vegetables are also a great addition but go slow. Some dogs just don’t like the taste while other dogs love them, so you need to start slowly to see. You also want to introduce slowly to see how your dog digests it.
I like to add fermented greens. You can often find these in the frozen food section at your pet store. Other great options are sauerkraut and fermented beans. Carrots are okay, just be careful because they’re high in sugar. This is particularly important for dogs with yeast. Stay away from added salt, sugar, and spices, and, of course, no onions.
► To feed, simply add a teaspoon or so to your pet’s food a few times a week.
Sardines may be little, but they pack a punch! First off, they’re full of omega-3 fatty acids, which support skin, joint, immune, and heart health. They also contain vitamins B12 and D, calcium, coenzyme Q10, minerals (niacin, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus), and protein.
You can serve fresh, frozen, or canned sardines. If you choose canned, make sure they’re in spring water, without salt, and not oil or hot sauce or with any type of seasonings.
► You can add a tin of sardines a few times a week for variety!
Photo Mohamed Ghazy/bigstock.com
Eggs are one of the most complete and nutritious foods on the planet! They’re a powerhouse, packed with vital nutrition, including protein, essential amino and fatty acids, vitamins, folate, iron, selenium, antioxidants, taurine, zinc, and riboflavin, all of which provide an array of health benefits for dogs.
“Your dog can eat an entire egg—shell and all. In fact, the shell and the thin membrane on the inside of the shell are packed full of nutrients.”
Your dog can eat an entire egg—shell and all. In fact, the shell and the thin membrane on the inside of the shell are packed full of nutrients. When you crack the egg, gently peel back that thin eggshell membrane and add that to food, and then dry out the shells and crush them into a powder and sprinkle on top (just make sure you only feed shells from organic eggs. Eggs you get from the grocery store are often washed in disinfectant).
► Add an egg to your pet’s bowl once or twice a week. If you’re not comfortable with raw, lightly cook eggs (no oil or butter) before serving.
4. Fruits & Veggies
These foods speak for themselves. The more diverse, the better. Different fruits are packed with antioxidants, vital vitamins and minerals, and polyphenols.
Stay away from onions, grapes, and tomatoes, and keep peppers and carrots in moderation.
Remember to keep fruits and veggies at around a max of 10 percent of your dog’s diet.
5. Bone Broth
I love bone broth, especially for senior dogs, because of the collagen it contains. All that collagen in the broth helps support healthy joints! It’s also beneficial for skin health, digestion, detoxing the liver, and it’s just generally full of healthy nutrition. An added bonus is that bone broth is hearty, but gentle, and is ideal for pups with an upset stomach, or as a reintroduction to food after a bout of diarrhea.
You can buy ready-made bone broth or make it yourself. If you buy one, make sure it’s for dogs. To make it, place a few bones in the crockpot with some water and apple cider vinegar and you’re off to the races! Find a recipe at moderndogmagazine.com/bone-broth.
To feed, just spoon a tablespoon or two on top of your dog’s regular food. Bone broth can be added to every meal.
When I look at health and wellness, mental health and joy are equally at the top of my list. Adding additional yummy foods can not only exponentially enhance your dog’s health, but the joy they get from not having to eat the same thing every day speaks volumes. And remember, when your dog is happy, all those happy hormones multiply in the body, providing vitality you can’t find anywhere else!
► Bone broth, ready to serve! Give your dog’s dinner a boost with the Pork Bone Broth from Primal Pet Foods! Organic ingredients like collagen-rich broth, carrots, butternut squash, and turmeric help support joint health, digestion, and liver health. (from $10, primalpetfoods.com)