“Super food” is a term that is thrown around quite bit these days. Its purpose is help promote health in a dog by way of his nutrition. But what is a super food and what qualifies as one?
Super foods are defined as foods that are nutrient-rich and considered to provide exceptional benefits for well-being and health. Though the common thought is that “super-foods” are just for humans, they are applicable to a dog’s health as well. In fact, many of the foods that fall into this category are the same for a dog as they are for humans.
What are the benefits of feeding your dog this type of nutrition?
Because of the benefit of this sustenance, they are a great supplement and very complimentary to your dog’s diet. This holds true regardless of whether you feed you dog packaged food or culinary home cooked cuisine.
It is important to note however, that just like other types of additions or changes to your pooch’s food, it should be introduced in gradual amounts. This will allow you dog to adjust to the new food. You as his dog mama can then see how his body, mind and mental capacity handles that nutrition. Portion control in another key factor when starting this type of dietary feeding.
Even more so important is to check with your vet to make sure he doesn’t have any concerns with feeding your four-legged kid in this manner.
What are the qualifications that are necessary for a food to be considered a Superfood?
So what makes an ingredient in your pup’s meal, qualify it to fall under the super-food category? Here is the list.
WARNING!!! Before going further there is one thing that you as a dog parent need to know about including these ingredients in your dog’s diet. Their effectiveness, when incorporating this regime into your four-legged friend’s diet, is greatly minimized if the rest of his nutrition consumption is filled with processed kibble and treats made with the use of chemicals and artificial colors.
It is true that adding super-foods into his diet will still provide some health benefits. However, it is definitely not as effective when it is combined with a diet filled with highly processed meals.
Kudos to fur baby moms and dads who already have their canine friend eating a healthy diet made of whole foods. Those types of meals are made of food that is either:
One way to help you decide on your approach to feeding your dog is to look at his food as if it is his medicine. Having these ingredients in his food contributes to a long and healthy life. Isn’t that what we want for our precious pups?
Now, having said all of that. Here is our list of the 7 best superfoods to improve the health of your senior dog.
Consumption of certain oils provide huge benefits to your dog’s health. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for helping to reduce inflammation in your senior canine, which can include heart and joint disease and allergies. It also helps with the one thing we dog parents hate to hear most when we talk about our beloved pets…cancer.
Oils that come from fish and even sardines, are a great resource to give your pooch. However, there are other options too. Walnut oil, flaxseed and chia seed oil, as well as coconut oil are other alternatives to the oils that come from fish.
One thing to pay attention to when it comes to fish oil is that it can turn rancid. You’ll want to make sure you are on top of how long the oil has been on your shelf.
Another tip that will benefit your pup when it comes consumption of this ingredient, is to rotate the oils so that his meal is balanced completely.
As funny as it may sound, regularity with pooping is important for senior dogs. Fiber is an important part of their diet in order to ensure that regularity exists.
Oats is a great resource of soluble fiber. Plus, not only do they keep your mature canine regular, they can help your 4-legged kiddo maintain a good weight because, by incorporating this ingredient into his nutrition plan, he will stay full for a longer period of time.
Oats are also a very versatile food. They can be included as a simple add-on to your dog’s diet, or be used when making your fur baby his favorite treat.
It’s important not to diminish the benefit of this additive by adding sugar to it. If the taste of the oats is not desirable to the dog, then simply make it using an organic chicken or vegetable stock.
If you really want to rev it up and get your dog’s mouth watering, or even get him to drool, soak the oats in a bone broth. That will make for a tasty snack that also just happens to be super healthy too.
Now, here is an element of nutrition that you’ll definitely want to include in your dog’s diet!
Sweet potatoes are vegetables that have a high fiber content. Most dogs find them very appetizing and filling.
There are several options in which you can prepare them to be editable. You can bake, boil, or steam them. (You can also dehydrate them for a delicious treat that is also very healthy.)
One limitation of this nutriment is that is has a low protein content. So, you’ll need to serve it with eggs, (which is also considered a super food that we will get to later), or a lean poultry item.
These potatoes are much healthier than their white and red spud counter parts.
This tater is chock full of vitamins such as the ones below, among others:
Pumpkin is a whole food that is easy on a sensitive and delicate stomach. It is one of the better sources of fiber which assist with a digestive system of good health. A healthy portion of this food helps to ensure a continuous movement through his GI (digestive) tract. Healthy digestion is a necessity for our pups whose muzzle looks as if he was playing in the snow all day, every day.
Pumpkin also has great versatility. You can use it in a myriad of ways including mashing it up and putting it on your dog’s food. You could also make your pup’s favorite treat with it.
A puree is also available in cans. Your dog may adjust to the taste of the ingredient, if you mix the puree into his food, beginning with small portions.
An apple is another fiber abundant food with an additional advantage of cleaning your pooch’s teeth. Not to mention, the added bonus of freshening his breath, which some dog parents might find extremely helpful.
Making sure your dog’s teeth and gums are healthy is another important responsibility for a canine mom or dad. Maintaining clean teeth prevents oral pain and organ damage. That’s because the bacteria from the plaque could go into a dog’s bloodstream and make its way to his liver, kidneys and heart. This occurrence causes your pet a good amount of pain.
Like sweet potatoes, apples are a great source of vitamin A and C. Copious amounts of phytonutrients are also included with this fruit. (Phytonutrients is a just a creative word for the natural chemicals that plants have in them.)
Dogs enjoy this treat with the skin on which is great because the skin is where those phytonutrients are stored. However, be sure that there aren’t any seeds in the apple bite you give him. Those are toxic for your pup.
If you prefer to integrate apples into your pooch’s meals, in addition to or rather than, using them as a treat; here is a good recipe for you.
Shred the apples and combine them with some shredded cooked turkey breast, chia seeds and rice. This dinner is filled with the nutrients your canine needs in a day’s serving of food.
This ingredient is an excellent source of a protein that is easily digestible. It is also a good source of selenium, which is an essential mineral, and riboflavin, a soluble vitamin.
Eggs may be a solution for some canines who have upset stomachs. Eating them can provide a little boost in protein.
A lot of dogs find eggs to be very tasty and they can eat them both in raw or cooked form. However, some research indicates that there may be a potential for a deficiency in biotin if they are eaten raw.
If you prefer to dish out an egg to your canine, try boiling or scrambling it along with some coconut oil. Adding extra salt is not necessarily a good idea. Although, there are other spice options that can be used that do provide benefits as an immunity boost.
It may be surprising, but kefir is another superfood that provides significant benefits for your mature fur baby. You may be asking what kefir is in the first place. In simple terms, it is just milk that has fermented. Many commonly refer to is as sour milk.
Some experts may recommend yogurt instead of kefir. However, kefir offers a number of major strains of bacteria that are friendly to your dog’s health. These bacteria cannot be found in the yogurt that these experts are recommending. This nutrient also carries yeasts that are friendly, helping to manage the overgrowth of it in your dog.
Some similarities between kefir and yogurt are that both include an abundance of minerals and large diversity of probiotics.
Additionally, a handful of studies have shown that kefir may fight off E. Coli and salmonella. Others have shown it has the ability to reduce risks of some types of cancer.
Kiefer has been shown to help with many things such as:
If you desired to get kefir into your dog’s nutrition regime, here is a little guidance to help you begin.
(The weights are only ranges to describe the size of your dog.)
So now you know what some of the best foods are for your canine companion.
Now, would it help to see a recipe with those ingredients in them?
Take a look at this…
You’ll need the following ingredients:
If you want more delicious and healthy dog recipes you can make at home yourself, take a look at these.