Super foods truly do have superpowers. These nutrient-dense foods provide our bodies with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep our health in tip-top shape. But what about our dogs? We want our four-legged companions to live their best lives, too.
Here are 10 super foods that are safe for dogs.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in healthy saturated fats and can even help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
But this tropical oil is also healthy for dogs. Coconut oil can help improve your dog’s:
- Energy levels
- Immune system
But because coconut oil is high in fat, it’s important to feed it to your dog in moderation. Too much coconut oil can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea.
Pumpkin is high in fiber, which helps keep your dog’s digestive system healthy and regular. This orange vegetable is also low in sodium and high in:
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
Canned pureed pumpkin can be found in most grocery stores. Just make sure that it’s plain pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling (which has added sugar and spices).
Most dog owners try to avoid giving their dogs dairy products because they can cause digestive issues. However, kefir is a fermented milk product that’s rich in friendly bacteria you won’t find in plain yogurt.
Kefir also contains beneficial yeast which controls the growth of bad yeast in dogs.
Along with probiotics, this fermented milk drink also contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to dogs. Some studies have even shown that kefir can help fight E. coli and salmonella. This therapeutic drink has been shown to help with:
- Skin psoriasis
- Abdominal peptic issues,
- Gouty arthritis
- Weakening of bones
- Joint disease
- Leaky gut
Like with coconut oil, it’s important to feed your dog kefir in small amounts and in moderation. A daily serving of 1-2 tablespoons is all that’s needed for most dogs.
Naturally crunchy and sweet, carrots are a healthy treat for dogs. This orange vegetable is rich in fiber, carotenoids, vitamin K and vitamin C. It also contains potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, manganese and phosphorus.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a tuberous root that offers many health benefits to both dogs and humans. Orange in color, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and have 150% more antioxidants than blueberries.
Along with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A and vitamin C for a healthy immune system.
Eggs are the original super food. They contain the perfect balance of protein and amino acids.
Dogs also benefit from the nutrients in eggs. This food can help boost:
- Bone strength
- Eye health
- Heart health
- Brain function
Eggs are simple to feed, too. Some dog owners feed raw eggs (with or without the shell), while others prefer to serve cooked, plain eggs. If you choose to serve cooked eggs, make sure that you’re not using any spices. Your dog will be perfectly happy eating plain eggs.
An apple a day will keep the vet away. Apple slices are a healthy treat for dogs. Just make sure that you keep the core and pit away from your pup.
The tough skin and crispy texture of this fruit will clean your dog’s teeth while freshening his breath. This naturally sweet fruit is also packed with fiber and nutrients that help keep dogs regular and healthy.
8. Fatty Fish
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel offer a wealth of health benefits for dogs and humans. These fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which improve skin, coat and brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory effects which can help ease the pain of arthritis and other chronic conditions in dogs.
Fatty fish are an excellent source of protein, and they also contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Available in fresh or frozen form, blueberries are a true super food. These berries are rich in antioxidants that fight free radical damage. They're also a great source of phytochemicals.
Blueberries get their blue color from anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants. These berries are also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber and manganese.
Blueberries are a healthy treat for dogs, but it’s important to feed this fruit in small amounts and in moderation. Eating too many berries in one sitting can cause digestive issues.
10. Ginger and Turmeric
A powerful combination of spices, ginger and turmeric can help fight inflammation while improving digestion. While most spices are off the menu for dogs, these two are safe for dogs in small amounts and in moderation.
Along with soothing inflammation and digestion, ginger and turmeric can also help fight against cancer.
These 10 super foods are safe for your dog to eat, but we always recommend talking to your vet before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet.