Providing good nutrition is a proactive way to help your dog maintain a strong immune system. It’s certainly no guarantee he or she will not get cancer, but it helps in the fight. And maintaining good nutrition while a dog is fighting cancer will help in the battle against the disease.
We found this article by Simi (it’s long but worth the read) that might help you in deciding to broaden your dog’s diet, and what you’d be comfortable adding. As with everything The Puppy Up Foundation publishes, we encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Every dog’s digestive system is different, and different dogs will respond differently to each item below. For example, collies are known to have trouble digesting some foods, like rice, so that might be something you’d not want to add to their food.
As with anything, please check with your vet.
Dogs are mans’ best friend. They are loyal, loving and provide us with endless amounts of entertaining stories. While your dog may be only a part of your life, to them you are everything. You are their entire world. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to ensure the health and safety of your furry friend.
The pet food supermarket aisle is brimming with numerous brands of dog food, each claiming to be the healthiest option for your pooch. This may very well be the case, but there is a growing number of people who are opting out of feeding their dogs pellets.
These pellets are highly processed and could be the cause of obesity and cancer in your dog. Dog food is legally allowed to have something called 4-D meat in it. This is meat which has been taken from dead, diseased or even disabled animals. Added to this questionable meat is corn, which may be highly contaminated with pesticides, and grain swept up from the factory floor. Obviously, this is not the main component in all dog food brands and the general rule of thumb is, cheaper products generally utilize cheaper ingredients.
Products bought from your local vet may live up to their nutritional promise, but is it not safer to err on the side of caution? The option available to dog owners is none other than, human food. Here is a list of human food that will prove delicious and nutritious for your doggo.
Munching on a carrot is one of the healthiest snacks for a human. The same is true for dogs. These are some of the health benefits which carrots offer your canine pet. Dental health may never have crossed your mind, but keeping your dog’s mouth and teeth clean is very important. Some owners have even managed to get into the routine of brushing their dog’s teeth. If you are not of this group, then give them a carrot.
Chewing on the veggie will mechanically remove plaque from their teeth. Carrots prevent runny stool. The high fiber content of carrots will help bulk-up your dog’s stool, thus making messy and runny stool a thing of the past. Eyesight is improved due to the beta-carotene in carrots. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which is known to improve eyesight in humans and dogs alike. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for dogs and is always included in commercial dog food.
If you are preparing your dog’s food at home, you need to make sure this is included in their diet. Luckily, carrots are loaded with this vitamin. In the correct amount, vitamin A boosts the immune system and improves skin and coat health. It should be noted, however, that vitamin A in large quantities can be toxic. Consult your vet on the correct dosage of vitamin A, before tossing a bag of carrots your dog’s way. Carrots are low in fat and calories.
If your furry child in on the podgy side, this veggie provides a snack which is low in both fat and calories. Carrots are not easily digested by dogs. In order to make the most of carrots nutritional content, slightly boil them first.
In previous years eggs have been vilified due to their high cholesterol content. This myth has been recently dispelled, as the cholesterol in eggs is actually good cholesterol. With this new-found knowledge, it’s a good idea to let your pooch join you for breakfast this morning. Benefits of eggs include the following.
Amino acids are abundant in eggs. An egg contains everything needed for a chick to grow and thrive. This includes amino acids which are essential for protein production. This helps build muscle, strengthen hair and aids in tissue repair. They are also a good source of Calcium. Everyone knows that calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.
By grinding up the eggshells and feeding them to your dog, you will be ensuring the health of your doggie’s teeth and bones. Chemicals and colorants can be a concern here, so it is suggested that only organic eggs are bought or alternatively, boiling the egg shells first should sterilize them. Biotin is present in eggs. This vitamin aids in cellular growth and fatty acid metabolism. Eggs yolks are high in Biotin and will produce healthy skin and a soft luxurious coat in dogs.
Eggs can be highly beneficial to your dog’s health, but they should not be eaten excessively. Raw egg whites may inhibit digestion and cause a biotin deficiency. This could be avoided by cooking the eggs first, but this could also decrease their overall nutritional value. In order to avoid any digestive upsets, stick to feeding your pooch only several eggs a week. These should be a combination of cooked and raw. Eggs can prove to be a wonderfully healthy addition to your dog’s life, but they should be just that, an addition. Supplement your dog’s meals with eggs, do not make it their staple.
3. Green beans
These veggies are perfect for dogs who are overweight and are in need of a healthy snack. They can be prepared in any way, but they must be served alone. Green beans that have added salt, spices, onions, garlic, or oil should not be given to your dog. It is best to keep it simple and green to ensure the health and safety of your pet. Green beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals, providing the following benefits.
Vitamin A, K, and C are all present in green beans. The benefits of Vitamin A have already been mentioned, but that is not the only vitamin which green beans offer. Vitamin K is vital for the blood clotting process. It will promote a healthy blood composition in dogs. Vitamin C aids in immune system support, thus ensuring a dog’s immunity. Iron is readily available in store-bought dog food and is essential for blood health. Iron combines with copper and protein to form red blood cells. These are responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. While iron is found in meats, fish, and liver it is also found in green beans.
Magnesium is involved in basically any movement your dog performs. This includes walking, breathing and even the beating of their heart. Processes which involve sodium, potassium, and calcium even require magnesium. The high content of this mineral in green beans makes them a perfect food in preventing a magnesium deficiency.
Green beans are a veritable cornucopia of essential vitamins and minerals. These beans will provide a healthy, low-fat alternative to dog biscuits. They can constitute up to 50% of your dog’s diet, but it is recommended to introduce the vegetable in small amounts then increase the portions as needed.
While this may seem like an unnecessarily expensive food to give your dog, it is only recommended at most twice a week. It should never be fed to your dog uncooked and should be served completely unseasoned. If salmon proves to be too pricey or hard to come by, it is not the only beneficial fish. Cold-water fish such as tuna or herring are both acceptable, as well as small amount of fish oil. Including these fishy delights in your dog’s diet will provide the following essential elements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Even people load themselves up on this oil, so it is very easy to see how it could be beneficial to your dog. This fatty acid will boost their immune system, reduce inflammation and keep their coat healthy and shiny. Salmon is a good source of protein. Due to the low-fat but high protein content of salmon, it is a very suitable protein source for dieting pooches. It is also a good substitute protein for dogs who may be allergic to other meats, such as chicken.
Salmon is generally included in high-end dog food product, thus reinforcing its super-food status. It can work wonders on your dog’s health, but intake should be strictly monitored. Dogs should only be given salmon in small portions and the quality of the fish ought to be checked beforehand. Poor quality salmon may contain a parasite which causes salmon poisoning disease. This disease is fatal and should be prevented at all costs.
Canned salmon is a suitable treat for the doggies but there must be absolutely no bones in it and only salmon canned in water is acceptable. If you are thinking of serving it to your dog fresh, ensure that there is no seasoning present.
This dairy product is a perfect treat for dogs for all seasons. The frozen variety could keep the pooches cool in summer, while normal yogurt can keep them regular and healthy. This treat is packed with calcium, just like milk. Yogurt is high in calcium and will promote teeth and bone health in your furry family member. Probiotics is a strain of good bacteria that are naturally occurring in mammal’s stomachs.
They aid in the digestion of food, fight off infections and are essential in vitamin and mineral production and utilization. Dogs and people lacking in probiotics tend to fall ill more than most and are likely to suffer from recurring bouts of diarrhea. Yogurt is loaded with probiotics. It is a natural treatment for patients who have either damaged or decreased amounts of this bacteria.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or has been unusually sick lately, then it may be time to introduce yogurt into their diet. Small dogs can be given 1 to 2 teaspoons, while medium dogs can have 1 to 2 tablespoons and big dogs up to 4 tablespoons. This can be given to your dog directly or can even be stirred into their normal food. While yogurt can be incredibly beneficial to your dog, not all varieties are suitable.
Any yogurt that has artificial sweeteners or added sugar, should definitely be avoided. It is best to stick with a reputable brand of plain yogurt. One should also be sure that the yogurt they are purchasing contains active live cultures. Yogurts that do not have this are almost useless. Cottage cheese is also suitable, but if it seems like your dog has difficulties digesting dairy then both should be avoided.
For those pet owners who are unable to feed their dogs fish, chicken is a perfectly healthy option. As with other human food which can be served to dogs, chicken should be served completely unseasoned. It is essential that there are no bones or chicken fat served. Cooked chicken bones are a choking hazard as they can break up and bock or even tear the windpipe or digestive tract. Chicken prepared in the correct way can offer the following health benefits.
Chicken is a source of lean protein which will provide your dog with ample amounts of energy and sustenance. Omega 6 Fatty Acids, like omega 3, will ensure that your pooch has a healthy coat. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which are essential for all bodily functions. Specifically, chicken contains the amino acid glucosamine which is known to promote healthy bones.
Various Vitamin B’s are also found in chicken. Commercial dog food claims to contain vitamin B, but they do not disclose how fragile the source is. If these foods are left in the sun or are allowed to get too hot, the various Vitamin B’s are all but destroyed. This is not the case with chicken and as these vitamins aid in metabolism, maintain the nervous system and much more. Chicken is an invaluable source of many of the Vitamin B’s. Antioxidants boost your pest immune system, thus helping them fight off infections.
Chicken can be given to your dog as an additive to their regular food or even as a temporary replacement. It should not be served raw as there is a small risk of salmonella. A readily available chicken meal is chicken which has had the moisture in it reduced, therefore upping the protein content.
Like salmon, pumpkin is a superfood. It boasts an ample number of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These aid in the health of the urinary tract. Pumpkin seeds and skins both contain certain oils. These oils will help maintain the health of your dog’s urinary tract. Doggos who suffer from incontinence regarding urination could definitely use some pumpkin in their diet. Pumpkin also regulates digestion. This is as a result of a large amount of fiber in pumpkin. Fibre regulates digestion and adds bulk to stool, therefore reducing the incidents of diarrhea in your dog.
It even aids in weight loss. Pumpkin delivers all these nutrients but does not come with the added calories. By replacing some of your dog’s regular food with pumpkin, you could help your dog shed some of those unhealthy and bothersome pounds. It is known to be a natural deworming agent. Pumpkin seeds have an amino acid called cucurbatin. This has been seen to effectively rid both humans and dogs of certain parasites that thrive in the digestive tract.
Literally, the entire pumpkin can be given to your dog. The seeds can be ground up and sprinkled over their food and the rest can simply be cooked and fed to them directly. Pumpkin not only can improve your dog’s health, but it is also very tasty.
It should not be hard to convince your pooch to eat this, without the need for any added spices or oils. Small dogs can be fed 1 to 2 teaspoons a day, it is 1 to 2 tablespoons for medium dogs and up to 5 tablespoons for large dogs. For every 10 pounds that your dog weighs, it can be given a quarter of a teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds in their food on a daily basis.
8. Peanut Butter
This tasty spread should not only be included in your diet, but also in your dogs. If a healthy and organic product is bought it could prove to be an incredible new addition to your dog’s meals. Peanut butter contains a whole host of vitamins.
Vitamin E boosts the immune system, ensuring that your dog does not get sick. Vitamin B, is already known to be essential for a healthy coat and skin. The specific proteins and fats found in peanut butter are desirable because they do not negatively impact your canines heart. This treat will give them the nutrients needed for energy and growth, without the added unhealthy fats which accompany other protein sources.
Niacin is the name of a vitamin which forms part of the Vitamin B family. This vitamin family as a whole contributes to skin and coat health. In particular, this vitamin also promotes proper circulation. Giving your dog a tablespoon of peanut butter every now and again can be very beneficial, but there are a few things that need to be considered. Firstly, too much peanut butter can not only contribute to obesity, but it could lead to pancreatitis.
If you are unsure how much peanut butter to give your dog, your first call of port should be your vet. Another option is to simply follow the 10% rule. Here you limit your dog’s treats to only 10% of the total amount of food they eat. Peanut butter brands that are suitable for dogs are ones that have no sugar, no sodium, are low in fats and have absolutely no Xylitol. This replacement for sugar may not impact people much, but it is incredibly dangerous to dogs.
These days coconut and its various extracts are all the rage. People are cooking with it, eating it and even cleaning their teeth with it. This food may not traditionally be a western staple, but it sure has been wholeheartedly accepted as one now. While it is the biggest trend amongst human folk, it should be noted that it can offer the canine species with some spectacular benefits too.
Lauric acid is an easily digestible fatty acid that is found in large quantities in coconut meat itself. Because the whole molecule can be absorbed and does not need to be broken down, it is a very efficient source of energy. Lauric acid can also fight infections and viruses. These include influenza, Giardia, and ringworms, to name but a few. Lastly, this acid is an anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it can help speed up the healing process and can even relieve some of the discomforts of dogs who suffer from arthritis.
Anti-oxidants found in the coconut’s meat and oil which will boost your dog’s immune system. Oils present in coconuts can either be ingested or rubbed onto your dog’s skin, the results are basically the same. Coconut oil will improve the overall health of your dog’s skin and will improve the texture and quality of his fur coat.
Coconut is completely non-toxic to dogs. The meat or oils can be added to their food or served as a separate treat. It will improve their health and even the water will aid in hydration, as it has high levels of electrolytes. For every 10 pounds that your dog weighs, it is allowed 1 tablespoon of coconut oil daily.
This cereal is actually abundant in store-bought dog food. It is, therefore, a healthy option for all dogs, even ones that are sensitive to grain, and can be very easily prepared at home. Oatmeal can be beneficial in the following ways.
It is a good source of carbohydrates. Not only is oatmeal not a highly processed carbohydrate but it is not robust. Certain dogs can be quite sensitive to other grains due too their high gluten content, this is not the case here. Oats serve as a perfect substitute for dogs who otherwise cannot eat other grains. Linoleic acid is an Omega 6 fatty acid found in coconuts and, as mentioned previously, is key in the maintenance of healthy skin.
It has already been clarified that fiber aids in the regulation of your pup’s digestive processes, but the soluble fiber in oatmeal has other beneficial qualities. This being that soluble fiber is able to regulate the level of glucose in your dog’s blood. This is a vital step in preventing diabetes.
Pantothenic acid is another type of vitamin B which may prove essential for dogs with a nervous disposition. Commonly known as vitamin B5, it is useful in the metabolism of vitamins and is vital in the processes which convert protein, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. It can also help to decreases the incidents of anxiety and depression in dogs.
Oatmeal should be prepared and served in the simplest way possible. There should be no added sugar, butter or artificial sweeteners. Oats can act as a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, but it should not replace it. You can either add a spoonful to your dog’s food or serve them a cup for breakfast once a week.
11. Certain Berries
These include blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The three of these berries host tons of health benefits but they are the only ones which should be fed to your pooch. Others such as cherries, holly berries, juniper berries and mistletoes berries not only contain pits, which are a choking hazards, but they may also have chemicals which could prove disastrous to your pup’s health.
All three berries contain loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants have the incredible ability to combat free radicals. The action of free radicals is a natural process which slowly degrades membranes, proteins, and DNA. They are largely responsible for the aging process. While antioxidants cannot possibly stop this process, they will ensure that your pooch does not age rapidly or unhealthily.
Blueberries have phytochemicals. While these boast no nutritional value, their impact on certain processes gives them value. Phytochemicals have been known to prevent cancer in pets. Phenolic acid is a particular one which is found in blueberries and reduces the damaging effects of carcinogens. There is a special enzyme in strawberries. This enzyme will maintain the oral hygiene of your pet and can whiten their teeth.
Vitamin C is vital to human survival, but it has a surprising effect on dogs. Yes, it boosts the immune system, but it can also act as a calming agent. According to certain studies done, when a dog is stressed it runs through a large amount of vitamin C. Stocking your pet up on berries could help rebuild these stores. Berries contain a fair amount of naturally occurring sugar, and therefore should not be excessively fed to your dog. They do however make for a tasty treat.
This tropical fruit could be the perfect summer treat for your furry loved one. Like most fruit, it is stocked with all the essential vitamins and minerals, plus it is absolutely delicious. Pineapples most notable nutrients are the following.
Thiamine, otherwise known as Vitamin B1, is quite necessary for your dog’s bodily functions. It helps your dog break down and utilize carbohydrates, ensures regular and normal growth, and regulates the activity and conduction of nerve impulses. Riboflavin, which is also part of the Vitamin B family. This is vitamin B2. It, like other vitamin B’s, is sensitive to light. This means that even if it is in your local pet stores’ dog food, the chances of your pet actually digesting it is quite slim. Vitamin B2 is a coenzyme. This means that it is vital to the function of other enzymes. In this case, the processes which it affects are the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins for energy.
It may seem odd to think of the fact that the body needs metals, but it does. The same is true for dogs. Consuming adequate amounts of copper will ensure that the correct amount of iron is absorbed, bone and connective tissue is formed, red blood cells mature, antioxidants function correctly and your dog’s hair will have the correct pigmentation.
Pineapples are wonderfully sweet. While this will make it a much-anticipated treat for your dog, it should be given in moderation. You should not feed them the outer skin or hard inner core. This is because these could result in choking. If you are keen to give the hairy hoppers a summer treat, limit it to a few soft cubes, maybe once or twice a week.
13. Green Peas
These gluten-free legumes are a wondrous addition to dog food. They can be given to the pups in any way, as long as there are no additives, sugar or salt present. Here are a few reasons to add these little green delights to your pet’s food bowl.
Lutein belongs to the anti-oxidant group. It has been mentioned that anti-oxidants combat free radicals, but it was not mentioned where. Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant found in green peas. This means, that it specifically aids in preventing the damage of retinas and lens’ by free radicals. The retinas and lens’ in your dog’s eyes are especially susceptible to this kind of damage. It is due to the fact that dog’s eyes are more exposed to light than your average human.
Green peas have a very high protein and carbohydrate content but do not come with the added gluten. This will be a welcomed bonus to pet owners who have dogs with sensitive stomachs. By giving them peas instead of other gluten ridden carbohydrates, you will have a pet who is active and has a healthy digestive system. Some of the vitamins which are found in peas include, Vitamin A, B1, B6, K, and C.
Overall, these will result in a pupper who has healthy bones, teeth, skin, fur, and blood. Green peas are also high in fiber. Food which has high fiber contents regulate digestion. This has the added benefits of keeping your dog’s cholesterol at a healthy level and it prevents excessive weight gain. This British staple is commonly found in commercial dog food. With the listed benefits above, it is very easy to see why. If you are going the homemade route, don’t forget to add this veggie.
14. Sweet potatoes and Potatoes
Both of these are safe and healthy for your dog to eat. As with every other human food on this list, they should not have any seasoning or additives. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family, and therefore should NEVER be fed to your dog raw. Sweet potatoes and potatoes can be boiled or baked to provide your dog with the following vitamins and minerals.
Manganese is specifically found in sweet potatoes. It is essential in the energy production and usage processes. It aids in the utilization of proteins and carbohydrates and contributes to the enzymes which are responsible for energy production. Even good pet food has small amounts of manganese in them. Sweet potatoes are an easy, tasty way to get this mineral into your dog’s body.
Potassium is synonymous with bananas. But the yellow fruit is not the only one that can boast high potassium levels. There are sufficient amounts of potassium in potatoes. The ion is a vital intracellular component, this means that is it found in abundance inside the cell. It is necessary for the regulation of muscle cells and neurons, and it ensures the correct balance of fluids in your pet’s body. Vitamin A, C, and B6 are all vitamins found in potatoes, which will protect the eyesight, immune system, fur and skin of your dog.
Potatoes may be good for dogs, but only if they are given to them in moderation. Dogs are not built the same way as humans. They are more suited to deriving energy from animal sources as opposed to plant sources. But that doesn’t mean to say that canines don’t benefit from a veggie every now and again. Sweet potatoes are the healthier option, so attempt to include it sparingly in their diet.
Rice is known to alleviate the symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs, but that is not its only use. Rice is actually one of the human foods which can be given to dogs on a daily basis. It is a good source of carbohydrates, and it is not encumbered by fats, cholesterol or sodium. Rice can offer your dog the following benefits.
The digestion of starch only begins once it has reached the stomach. This is a complex carbohydrate present in rice, and thus will leave your dog feeling fuller due to the increased absorption time. This is particularly attractive to dog owners with pups who are overweight. Insoluble fiber is found in brown rice and can actually help protect your doggie from cancer. Neurotransmitter nutrients are also naturally occurring in brown rice and can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Iron is a vital component in red blood cells and is therefore required in adequate amounts in order to prevent anemia. Iron is abundant in meat, but most meat comes with fat. Rice does not. Niacin is Vitamin B3 and is present in all rice. It is central in enzymatic and hormonal control. Niacin is used in the production of estrogen and testosterone and it regulates nervous system activity and digestion. While a vitamin D deficiency in dogs has not been documented much, it is vital for correct bone growth and formation.
Giving your dog rice will provide them with stores of this vitamin, in case of an emergency. Due to the low amounts of sodium in rice, it is a very beneficial food for dogs who suffer from high blood pressure. Cooked rice can be fed to your dog every day but not in excessively large quantities. With this diet, a dog must also be given adequate amounts of water to prevent constipation.