People Foods For Dogs: Superfood Edition

People Foods For Dogs:
People Foods For Dogs: Superfood Edition
Boost Your Dog's Health with these Superfoods!

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1. Coconut

Not only is coconut a naturally sweet treat, the good fats in coconut oil have a host of health benefits, from improved digestion and immunity to providing a sleek and glossy coat. Plus, coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids have been shown to improve brain function and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that negatively affects brain health in older dogs. The coconut meat is also chock full of dietary fiber and dogs go crazy for the fresh nutty taste! Try the Coconut Lovers Health Pack from CocoTherapy ($35, CocoTherapy.com). It includes a 16-oz. jar of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and a 6-oz. pack of Organic Coconut Chips.

Coconut oil dosage: start by giving 1/8 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight daily.

 

2. Flax Seed/Flax Seed Oil

Flax seed (ground or oil) is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, making it great for improving your dog’s skin and coat condition. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, supporting the joints, a healthy immune system, and healthy kidneys, and may help dogs with adrenal problems.

Flax seed hulls, loaded with fiber and containing an immune-system-bolstering antioxidant called SDG lignan at levels that are 20 times higher than the rest of the flaxseed, can also be added to your dog's diet as a source of dietary fibre, soaking up toxins and helping with both constipation and loose bowels.

Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. (Unground they won’t harm your dog but will pass right through without your dog seeing benefits.) Refrigerate flax seed oil to prevent it from going rancid. We like Sammy's Shiny Coat, 100 percent virgin, cold-pressed flax seed oil for pets (no filler!) from family owned Stengel Oils. (From $5, stengeloils.com)

Ground Flax Seed Dosage (serve half with breakfast and half with dinner):

  • Toy-sized dogs: start with 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon per day
     
  • Small dogs: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day
     
  • Medium-sized dogs: 1½ to 2 teaspoons per day
     
  • Large dogs: 2½ teaspoons to 1 tablespoon per day

 

3. Chia

An excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (it contains three times the amount found in salmon!), chia supports healthy development, joints, immune function, skin and coat, and more. A great source of fiber, it also helps prevent constipation. And it’s a stable energy source, helps dogs feel full, and offers diabetes support (soaked chia turns gelatinous and slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars, supporting healthy insulin function). Chia also contains more iron than raw spinach, more calcium than whole milk, and more magnesium than broccoli. To feed, either soak the seeds in a bit of water first or choose ground chia. Sprinkle on top or mix into your dog’s food. With no taste or scent, even picky dogs will happily/unwittingly eat chia. And unlike flax seed, chia stores well.

Dosage: 1 teaspoon for small dogs or 2 teaspoons for large, or 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.

 

4. Honey

Raw local honey, used for centuries as a versatile remedy, has many applications for our dogs. Upset stomach, diarrhea, minor stomach ulcers—feeding raw honey can help by soothing and coating the GI tract while honey’s natural antibacterial properties can help destroy harmful bacteria. And feeding raw honey to dogs with kennel cough can help soothe a sore throat and ease coughs. If your dog has seasonal allergies, try feeding raw honey. Raw local honey contains trace amounts of the pollens in the area, helping your dog adjust to the allergens gradually.

Honey can also be used topically too. Naturally antibacterial, honey can be used as a dressing for minor topical wounds by keeping the area moist and clean, promoting healing. Just spread a thick layer, lightly bandage, and use an Elizabethan collar to keep your dog from licking it off. Manuka honey, hailing from New Zealand, is even FDA approved for use on human burn patients!

 

5. Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-6 (linoleic acid) to Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) fatty acids. Your dog can’t produce these essential fatty acids and a good balance is crucial to overall good health and development. Hemp seeds are also high in an essential Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA), helpful in fighting cancer, reducing joint pain, and addressing skin and coat issues, like dry fur, dandruff, or atopic dermatitis.

Serving: if you cook your dog’s food, add it after cooking as hemp seed oil is a polyunsaturated fat and therefore unstable and you don’t want it to turn rancid. Also, if your dog is eating a chicken-based diet, flax seed oil is perhaps a better supplement choice as chicken, like hemp seed, is already quite high in polyunsaturated fats and linoleic acid.

 

6. Goat Milk

Goat milk, one of the most widely consumed milks in the world, has a host of nutritional benefits for your dog. Rich in omegas and medium chain triglycerides, it provides fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It’s also packed with protein and amino acids with high levels of digestible taurine. Plus, goat milk is easier to digest than cow milk thanks to its smaller fat globules and lower lactose levels. And it adds much needed moisture to a kibble diet and encourages picky eaters!!

In its raw form, goat milk has natural anti-inflammatory properties and the probiotics can improve digestion and help fight the yeast that can grow in and around your dog’s ears and paws.

Try Primal Pet Foods’ raw goat milk for dogs, enriched with superfood supplements turmeric (anti-inflammatory properties), cinnamon (antioxidants), and ginger (anti-nausea). (From $7, primalpetfoods.com)

 

Looking for more 'people foods' for dogs? Check out this list of 10 dog-approved 'people foods' that your pup will love!

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