Adding whole, fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to your dog’s diet has super benefits. Not only will your dog consider it an exciting addition to his everyday diet, he will benefit from the excellent nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and dogs just love the natural sweetness and goodness.
Once they’re introduced to their flavor, just watch their noses perk up when you bring them out in the kitchen. Brandy, one of our Under the Weather pets, was so crazy over strawberries, she stole her owner’s toast with strawberry jam. She was also caught stealing carrot skin shavings from the garbage and fresh beans right out of the garden!
Many dogs love them raw and whole, but their digestive systems are not designed to fully digest fruits and vegetables. So if it seems to be a problem, boiling, steaming or processing them in a food processor will help dogs digest these foods properly and absorb the nutrients more efficiently.
- Blueberries are packed full of nutrition! They are best known for their powerful antioxidants which help fight free radicals and disease. Blueberries are rich in vitamins K and C, manganese and fiber. Best served fresh or frozen.
- Carrots are another antioxidant rich food and a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. They are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, K, C, E, B6 and B1, potassium, folate, and the list continues. Carrots are also rich in beta-carotene and enhance the color and pigment of a dog’s fur. While our blog photo shows a dog eating the carrot whole, you would want to chop them into small pieces or grate them over your dog’s food to ensure maximum nutrient absorption. Boiling carrots is another way to prepare them for your dog.
- Spinach is another superfood well known to humans, especially if you grew up with Popeye! But it’s also very healthy for dogs as it’s full of iron, zinc, niacin, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamins K, B6 and A and much, much more. Spinach provides powerful antioxidants and beta-carotene, helping fight disease and strengthen the body’s cells. Blanch, steam or shred raw spinach.
- Kale is becoming ever popular as one of the best salad greens to use. It is known for helping to prevent cancer and is full of antioxidants. Its dense leafy goodness contains beta-carotene, calcium, vitamins C and K, lutein, zeaxanthin and so on. Kale also has anti-inflammatory properties and is a fantastic addition to your dog’s diet. Prepare kale the same way you would spinach.
- Apples are packed full of nutritional goodness. But be sure to just feed the apple meat! NEVER feed the apple seeds or core to your dog. This can cause toxicity due to the cyanide found in the seeds. Apples are full of phytonutrients, calcium, fiber, vitamins A and C, folate, potassium and magnesium. Feed them raw with the skin for a yummy treat.
- Sweet Potato is ideal for dogs in need of some healthy fiber to firm up their stool. They are also an excellent addition to a bland diet program for sick pets. Sweet potato is rich in beta-carotene and excellent for intensifying the pigment in a dog’s fur. They are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins K, C, E and A, folate, potassium and calcium. Best served cut into cubes and boiled.
Your dog’s health will benefit long term by rotating these superfoods into their daily diets. These superfoods will provide them with a steady source of extra nutrition that will keep them strong and better able to fight disease. Bon appetite … bow wow style!
This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather™, provider of products for sick pets. Our Chicken & Rice bland diet offers a quick and convenient solution when dogs experience digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Keep a few bags of this freeze dried formula on hand for peace of mind!
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