Do you know what’s in your dog’s food? If you make food for your pup yourself, you definitely do. There are plenty of health benefits to making your own dog food with natural ingredients instead of relying on processed dog food that might contain filler or harmful products that you may not be aware of. Always ask your vet before changing your dog’s diet and ask about appropriate portions. Here are ten things you should be adding to your dog’s food for major health benefits.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a ton of benefits for your pup, including actually making your dog smarter. Coconut oil has MCTs, which were shown in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition to improve cognitive ability in dogs after just one month when added to their diet. Coconut oil improves skin health, digestive function, immune function, and metabolic function among tons of other health benefits.
Blueberries are full of powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage that can lead to conditions like cancer. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and in laboratory tests, they’ve been shown to kill and prevent many forms of cancer.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your dog’s skin and coat. It’s especially helpful for dogs with allergies or dry, itchy skin. Fatty acids reduce inflammation and shrink tumors, slowing the growth of cancer. In fact, it’s often recommended for dogs who have cancer, as well as skin conditions.
Turmeric has a multitude of health benefits and can treat or prevent a number of conditions. The circumin and other anti-inflammatory compounds found in turmeric slow cell damage and inhibit enzymes that cause swelling and pain. It’s great for treating arthritis, and its antioxidant properties prevent cancer. Turmeric has so many health benefits, it’s a must for your dog’s food.
Kefir is a probiotic that can stimulate the production of chemicals in the body that fight cancer. Probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s gut, which can prevent the onset of allergies, stop bad bacteria from growing in the gastrointestinal tract, and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Kefir is great for gastrointestinal health.
6. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle contains substances that fight cancer by stopping cancer cells from dividing and reducing their life span. They also reduce the blood supply to tumors. Milk thistle is great for fighting allergies by cleansing the liver of harmful toxins, reducing the production of histamines that cause allergic reactions. It is often given to pets with hepatitis and other liver infections.
7. Green-lipped Mussel
Green-lipped mussel (GLM) extract contains glucosamine sulphate, which is used in the treatment of arthritis. It can help strengthen joints, reduce pain, and promote cartilage growth. GLM also contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, enzymes, and other nutrients. It can be used to treat skin inflammation, Lyme disease, and gastrointestinal disorders among other conditions.
Quercetin is a flavanoid, a compound in plants that givse fruits and veggies their colorful pigments. Quercetin has antioxidant, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces itching and is used to treat asthma and respiratory issues because it reduces inflammation. Quercetin also has cancer preventing qualities. It is a supplement that comes in pill or capsule form.
Pomegranate contains punicalagins, which have strong antioxidant properties. In fact, pomegranate has the most antioxidant properties of almost all fruits. It protects dogs from heart and kidney disease, as well as having benefits for the nervous and skeletal systems.
Different parts of the pumpkin provide lots of health benefits. Pumpkin seeds contain oils that promote urinary tract health, and they’re especially helpful for dogs with urinary incontinence. Natural canned pumpkin is a great source of fiber that helps digestive health, and it is often used to cure constipation in dogs. It’s high in water content, which provides a fresh, hydrating treat, as well.
A big wag of the tail to Rodney Habib and Planet Paws for compiling a lot of this information on their Facebook pages! What other things do you add to your dog’s food for health benefits? Let us know in the comments below!