Superfoods for Dogs

Diets sometimes need some help. Even with the proper nutrition, it's important to get vitamins and minerals for your body. Our dogs also need additional nutrients and fiber to complete their daily intake.

Commercial dog foods usually make up a combination of crude proteins from both animal and plant sources. You can definitely give your dog a basic, healthful diet through the correct brands of either dry kibble or wet canned food, but supplements will have to come from other foods. Try to feed your dog a combination of both wet and dry food as the variety offers respective benefits. Dry food is good for your pet's bones and bodily systems, while wet food is helpful for the joints and fur. However, make sure you know the ingredients going into your brand of choice, as not all dog food brands were created equal.

Getting your pup essential vitamins and other nutrients means thinking outside the bag. Several foods right in your grocery store make a great addition to your dog's diet. Changing what your dog eats, or supplementing his meals, may also aid in treating environmental ailments commonly experienced by dogs like allergies.

Offer these superfoods as part of your dog's meal or as a reward:

Carrots have beta carotene and essential vitamins A, C, and K. Carrots are great for your dog’s heart, eyes, teeth and respiratory system.

Sweet potatoes also contain high levels of beta carotene for your dog’s coat, immune system, and digestion. The darker the potato, the more nutrients it has.

Blueberries contain essential antioxidants and fiber. These aid in digestion, moderate blood sugar, and help condition the nervous system.

Spinach is great for the bones and heart and is especially known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Salmon has fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6. Fish oil helps with the skin and coat of your dog.

Cook vegetables so they're easy for your dog to consume. Boiling carrots with some water will soften them enough for serving to your pup, while peeling and microwaving will have the same effect on sweet potatoes. Some dogs will enjoy eating vegetables raw, too!

Be careful of what natural foods you feed your pet. Some fruits and vegetables contain toxins that are harmful for dogs, so be sure to do your homework on any foods you may wish to give your dogs. Though several of the superfoods mentioned are good for humans, too, not all people superfoods are beneficial for your pet.

Grapes and raisins are also thought to contain antioxidants, but don't feed them to your pets. Dogs can't digest either the fruit or its dried version, as it causes illness in the form of vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes ranging to serious adrenal failure.

Want to offer more at mealtime to your pet? Check out the following infographic for naturally-occurring superfoods to add to your dog's diet:

Superfoods for Dogs