Is it time to add something new to your dog’s food? Learn how to fill in the gaps in your dog’s diet and what fresh foods they prefer!
Fresh Foods: Benefits of Feeding Fresh Foods
Adding fresh ingredients to your dog’s food is a simple task. How adding human food to the dog’s diet can benefit their health:
Filling the Gaps of Their Diet
Many kibbles are made with grains and fillers, which leave minimal nutrients per bite. You can reduce these imbalances by feeding your dog a diet rich in protein, nutrient-dense kibbles, or wet food. However, you may still want to add an extra boost to their diet. You could, for example, give your dog who has joint pain a small amount of fish to their meal as an additional dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Tempt Picky Eaters
What can you add to dog food to make it more appealing to picky eaters? Does your dog have a low appetite? You can add a variety of healthy fresh foods to your dog’s food to get them to eat it enthusiastically! Add some of their favorite ingredients or a liquid, such as bone broth or goat milk, to make it delicious.
As with people, a variety of food in the diet is good for physical and mental well-being! There’s nothing wrong if you have a diet based on the basic nutritional requirements. However, adding some fresh foods can boost your friend’s vitamins and minerals. They also add flavor and prevent them from getting bored.
Big Long-Term Health Benefits
A Purdue University 2005 study found that adding fresh vegetables to a dog’s diet three times a week decreased their risk of developing a type of bladder carcinoma by more than 70%! More research is needed to determine how fresh food can benefit other health conditions. However, there are strong proofs to back up the benefits of feeding your dog or cat fresh food.
Fresh Foods for Your Dog’s Diet
Research any new food you plan to add to your dog’s diet to ensure it’s suitable for any dogs with allergies. The best supplements for your dog’s diet are as individual as yours. This list includes some of the best ingredients recommended by vets that are good for dogs and offer health benefits.
You can increase your dog’s protein intake by adding raw, freeze-dried, or dehydrated meats to his dinner. These types of hearts also provide other essential nutrients.
- Muscle meats such as chicken, turkey, and lean beef are good protein sources.
- Organ meats such as hearts, tripes, gizzards, and small quantities of beef liver are high in B vitamins, Zinc, and Iron.
- Fresh or canned fish (sardines and salmon have the highest omega-3 per ounce).
- Bone broth (added calcium, magnesium, selenium, and moisture as well as flavor)
Vegetables contain fiber and many vitamins. Most dogs do not break down the rigid cell walls in plants and don’t get the total nutritional value. It is best to dry roast, lightly steam, or puree any raw vegetables.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, kale (high in kaempferol), turnip, collard, and arugula (kaempferol is thought to improve cognition and reduce cancer risks).
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, and cauliflower (high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that is believed to reduce the risk of cancer)
- Sweet potato and pumpkin (high fiber, low fat, and good for digestion).
- Mushrooms include shiitake (high beta-glucans supporting the immune system), lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Reishi.
Fruits can be given to your dog in raw form. Although they contain antioxidants and moisture, fruits can be high in sugar and should only be given in small quantities.
- Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries (superfoods rich in antioxidants and vitamins).
- Apples are high in antioxidant catechins.
- Watermelon (high antioxidant lycopene), grapefruit, papaya, and mangoes
Even though many dairy products contain a lot of fat and may cause digestive issues, a few are excellent sources of natural probiotics. These ingredients are a delicious and healthy way to add flavor to dry dog food. To avoid excessive fat and calories, use a light touch. A few of these ingredients go a very long way.
- Plain yogurt
- Plain kefir
- Goat milk
To expand your pup’s menu, check out which seasonal fruits and vegetables are dog-safe. You can expand your dog’s diet by choosing seasonal fruit and vegetables that are safe for dogs.
How to Feed Fresh Food to Your Dog
Adding fresh food to your pet’s diet may seem daunting, but adding it is pretty simple. Use these tips to make adding some fresh food to your dog’s meal easy.
Fresh food is not all or nothing. It’s not necessary to start a raw-food diet from the first day. You shouldn’t change your pet’s balanced, expertly-formulated diet too much. Consult your veterinarian for the specific needs of your pet. However, a good rule of thumb is that at most 15% should be added to their diet.
Don’t worry if you don’t feed your dog fresh food every single day. A few fresh ingredients a week will make a big difference in your dog’s health.
If you plan ahead, it is easier to add food to your dog’s diet. You can prepare a batch of pureed veggies at the beginning of the week to be added to your dog’s food daily. You can freeze ingredients such as diced meat or ground beef in bulk. You can thaw a portion of meat in your fridge the following day.
Utilize What You Have
It’s okay to create a separate grocery list for your dog. Use the ingredients that are safe for dogs. This can help you reduce food waste by feeding your dog the Brussels sprouts your family won’t eat.
All pet owners want to give their pets the best, including their food. We’re willing to put on our aprons if more time in the kitchen will help our dogs have a happy, long life.