I know that I share a lot of articles and posts about commercial dog foods and how bad they can be. And if you are like me, you wonder what you should be feeding your dogs instead. I also realize that it seems like a daunting task to add other foods to your dog’s kibble. You don’t want to feed them something they shouldn’t have. You don’t want to throw the balance off of the food.
Well, without getting too awfully technical, I have some suggestions on different items you can add to your dog’s kibble and the health benefits they offer.
Mussels are a high-protein that is highly bioavailable. That means that the body is able to utilize and absorb the nutrients that help build body tissues. Mussels are naturally rich in omega fatty acids which have natural anti-inflammatory properties for joints, skin, nerves and more. They are a great source of vitamins & minerals. They contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, and selenium. They are a low calorie option and as a whole food protein are actually better than meat meals.
You will want to make sure they are fresh or frozen.
You can serve a 40 pound dog 1-2 mussels each day.
Sardines packed in olive oil or water are a great source of protein which is needed for proper muscle and connective tissue development. It is a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids and inhibits the formation of tumors and prevents cancer from metastasizing. It is great for aging brains and for relieving allergies. Sardines are also a great source of vitamin B12 for a healthy heart.
If you are concerned about toxins in fish, sardines have a short lifespan and do not have time to absorb many toxins. You definitely want to avoid sardines packed in soy, corn, safflower, or other omega-6 rich oils.
You can serve a 40 pound dog a 1/4 of a can of sardines 1-2 times per week. Be sure to keep them stored in the fridge and don’t use them if they have been stored for more than a week.
Coconut oil can act like a canine toothpaste with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It helps the body use omega-3 fatty acids more efficiently and increases the omega-3 concentrations in the brain.
You will want to make sure that you are serving Organic, expeller pressed coconut oil. Some coconut oil can be extracted using hexane, which is a petroleum product made of crude oil, which is really bad.
You will want to serve a 1/2 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight daily to your dog.
Broccoli, Kale Or Brussel Sprouts:
Broccoli is loaded with cancer fighting compounds. Kale removes toxins from the body and is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant too. Brussel Sprouts have disease fighting enzymes and chlorophyll which blocks the effects of toxins found in pet food. Studies have found that adding vegetables to kibble just 3 days a week can decrease the risk of cancer by 90%!!
Boiling cruciferous vegetables for just 9 minutes can damage the phytochemicals by 60%. To prepare, just chop, grind or steam them.
Serve a teaspoon with your dogs kibble at each feeding and gradually increase the amount as your dog becomes accustomed to it.
Something to keep in mind when you are adding different foods to your dogs kibble is that dogs have different tastes. They need time to get used to different foods. They may not like some of the foods you are adding. But don’t give up! Keep trying different things. They need variety in their diets, just like us. Can you imagine eating the same food for every meal every day of your life?! Ugh! Not me.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these are just suggestions on foods to try. It is NOT a complete list of things you can add to your dogs food. You should do a little research on your own too.
And I want to know how it goes!! I want to hear how your dogs react to the new additions. Sometimes the looks on their faces are priceless – I want to see those pictures! I have one dog that I experimented with adding raw meat to his bowl. He was less than thrilled, which surprised me. I was expecting him to be so excited. But the look on his face said, “What is this? What are you trying to feed me?” It was hilarious! That guy likes his food cooked. I just had to keep trying different things with him.