I’m always looking for healthy foods to supplement their kibble, especially when they are under the weather with upset stomach, bad breath, or when they just seem to be less active.
All the superfoods listed here are not only great for your pooch but they are good for you too! But keep in mind, not all human foods are safe for dogs, so stay clear of garlic, onions, raisins and chocolate — just to name a few. They contain compounds that can destroy canine blood cells and cause doggies’ hearts to palpitate.
Apparently, Macadamia nuts are especially bad for dogs — in fact they are considered poisonous, so take care next time you’re making a batch of macadamia white chocolate chip cookies! By the way, here’s the complete list of foods poisonous to dogs, just in case.
Is your best friend a picky eater? Try add a cooked, scrambled egg to their dry food. Eggs are a super source of protein (plus many other vital nutrients) and are easy for dogs to digest. They also happen to contain all the essential amino acids responsible for building protein and muscle mass.
Eggs are inexpensive, especially if you buy them in bulk. Don’t add any spice or salt, plain preparations only, and don’t go raw (harmful bacteria and food pathogens might be present).
Not great at cooking eggs? No worries, baking eggs is an easy, no-mess way to cook and calm your hungry cujo. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Scramble 4 eggs in a bowl and pour into 4 of the cups. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until the egg is firm. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Once the remainder is completely cool, store in the fridge for up to three days for other doggie meals or treats, or freeze in zipper lock bags for up to 6 months.
Plain Canned Sweet Potato and Pumpkin
Oh no, you’ve just discovered that your pups has the runs! Call the doc, but in the meanwhile, reach into your pantry and give them a teaspoon right from the can whenever tummy troubles start. Store left-overs in tablespoon amounts in zipper lock snack bags. Label them with a sharpie and store in your freezer for up to 6 months.
Both pumpkin and sweet potato are bursting with fiber, a nutrient that every healthy dog needs for proper digestion and optimal gut function, and both are high in beta carotene, important for immune function for humans and dogs alike. You can also try these great homemade doggie treats that use pumpkin and wheat — although some dogs can’t do wheat, so just substitute oat flour instead.
Kale Dog Treats
Like pumpkin and sweet potato, kale is very high in beta carotene, but it also contains unique fibers that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and the removal of fat from your digestive system — so it makes for a great homemade dog treat.
It also happens to be very low in calories, only 33 per 1/2 cup, which make it the perfect slimming snack if your best friend is looking a bit chubby! Apparently, over half the dogs (and cats) in the US are obese, so check in with your vet to make sure your dog is a healthy weight. I give my dogs raw kale leaves to chew on since bulldogs tend to be less picky.
But for picky canine diners, you can puree kale and add it to your scrambles before you cook them. Or smear torn kale leaves with 1/8 teaspoon of peanut butter. According to vet nutritionists, giving your dog good quality treats like kale, apples, and pumpkin can improve their breath.
Plain, Unsweetened Yogurt
Yogurt, a trusted home remedy for dogs, is a good source of probiotics — helpful live bacteria (like acidophilus) that both humans and dogs need for healthy digestion.
Helpful bacteria also keep your dog’s intestines in balance, and help ward off bad bacteria by replenishing good cultures that might have been killed during use of antibiotics. If you know that your tail wagger is sensitive to dairy, ask your vet about dairy-free probiotic pills. Yogurt also contains a good dose of protein and calcium. Choose full-fat plain yogurt, as low-fat or 0% fat yogurts can have additives that may harm your dog.
Bowel regularity is a big deal for doggies (and their owners)! Cooking high fiber oats is a great way to give grain-sensitive dogs the fiber they need. Oats tend to be safe for dogs who have food allergies as well. And bathing your pup in an oatmeal bath is a great way to sooth scratching.
For snacks and meals, cook up a batch of plain quick oats and allow to cool slightly. Add one tablespoon of the oats to the food they already enjoy. For a yummy dog treat, mash 1 tablespoon cooked oats with 1 tablespoon banana or canned pumpkin.