The right foods can provide extra nutrients, boost immune function and provide a healthy source of fiber. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and anchovies are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help with heart disease, arthritis and other chronic diseases. Look for canned options that are packed in water rather than oil and avoid seasoned or salted varieties.
A healthy snack, blueberries provide a burst of antioxidants, as well as vitamins C and K. These help bolster the immune system, reduce cognitive decline and inflammation, and support bone growth. In addition, these little powerhouses contain a variety of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Try fresh or frozen blueberries as a treat, or mash them up and mix them into your dog’s food for a yummy smoothie. You can also use them as a topping on yogurt or seedless watermelon. Just remember that fruits and vegetables should make up only 10% of your pet’s diet, so be careful about serving too many.
Carrots offer a sweet treat for pups, but they’re also packed with nutrients. These orange veggies are high in beta-carotene, which dogs convert to vitamin A to help with eye and skin health. They’re also rich in fiber to promote regularity. You can feed carrots raw or cooked to your pet. However, if your dog has sensitive digestive tracts, it’s better to steam them before serving so they’re easy for your dog to chew and digest.
Other non-starchy veggies that are safe for dogs to eat include green beans (but be sure to remove all seeds and the rind of watermelon), broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower. Do you know why do dogs eat grass? These foods can be grated or chopped and then sprinkled on top of a dog’s food for a tasty and nutritious snack or treat.
This tasty fall gourd (yes, it’s technically a fruit) is low in calories and full of soluble fiber to aid in digestion. It’s also loaded with Vitamin A and potassium. Plus, ground pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, a possible anthelmintic that can help eliminate tapeworms. Canned or plain fresh pumpkin can be added to kibble or used as a treat stuffed into Kong-type food toys. Just make sure to avoid pumpkin pie filling that contains salts, sugars and spices, which can be harmful to dogs.
Pumpkin is around 90% water, so adding a small amount to your dog’s meal at mealtime will increase his hydration without him even knowing it! It is also high in Vitamin A and potassium, which promote healthy eyes and skin and coat.
Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus which helps strengthen your dog’s bones. It also contains riboflavin and Vitamin B12. It should be fed in moderation as some dogs are lactose intolerant and can have adverse reactions to dairy products. Ensure that you choose a low-fat, no added salt cheese to minimize sodium intake.
Cottage cheese is another low-fat option that is lower in lactose and high in protein and calcium. It can also provide probiotics and is often recommended by veterinarians as part of a bland diet mixed with rice when animals have gastrointestinal issues. Brie cheese is a rich, fatty cheese that can lead to stomach upset in some dogs. It can range from mild tummy aches to severe gas, vomiting and diarrhea.
Yes, dogs can eat eggs in moderation if they are cooked properly (no butter or oil). Eggs are high in protein, amino acids, and omega fatty acids. They also provide vitamins like A, B, and E, as well as choline, iron, folate, selenium, and riboflavin. Just be sure to use only egg whites (not the yolks) since they have a higher fat content and can cause gas in some dogs. Try using duck or quail eggs, which are smaller and have softer shells, for a more manageable portion size.
And don’t throw away the eggshells, which are high in calcium and other minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Just crush them up into a fine powder and sprinkle over your dog’s food for an extra nutrient boost.