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As we get more conscious about the food we put in our bodies, it is only natural for us to translate this mindset to our pet’s diet. Apart from the type of food or protein your dog consumes, pet parents may opt to supplement meals with additional nutrients such as vitamins.
Supplements are usually sold in powder form, occasionally in capsules. But - did you know that there are substitutes for these supplements? These are entirely natural and considered superfoods for your pet that you can get from any local grocery store.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you. Here are three ingredients you can add to your furkid’s bowl for its next meal!
Filled with fibre, vitamins, minerals and more phytocompounds, seeds provide your pup extra boost that it wouldn’t normally get in its usual dog food. The proper preparation method for this ingredient would be to sprout it first and then grind it, unless it is already part of your fresh commercial diet.
For dog food prepared based on the BARF diet model, it is recommended to include seeds as 2% of the diet. This assists with digestion and immune system modulation as well as providing many hard to find minerals and vitamins.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are the two most important seeds in dog food. Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients such as zinc, iron and potassium - all essential for the growth of a healthy dog. On the other hand, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and copper. Dogs on a fresh diet, this one’s for you, many fresh and home cooked diets lack the presence of Vitamin E; hence this would be a great option to supplement this nutrient.
But if you’re looking to spice things up, try chia or flax seeds. The former helps boost your pet’s immune system, while the latter bumps up the amount of fibre your dog absorbs. Both seeds are good as anti-inflammatories if your pup is recovering from minor wounds or injuries.
Like humans, dogs also need plenty of calcium and protein to build stronger bones and teeth. However, compared to store-bought supplements, calcium derived from eggshells are better for absorption. Studies have shown that the difference in absorption is up to 64% more!
The best part? We will most likely have access to eggshells at least once a week. So you can save the eggshells from the sunny-side ups your family has for breakfast or the raw egg you plop into your dog’s food —all-natural and awesome stuff.
Before adding this to your pup’s food, grind the eggshells to aid digestion and absorption of the nutrient.
Natural Plant Oils
For the health junkies out there, you would have heard how beneficial it is to incorporate different oils such as coconut, flax, avocado or walnut oil into your diet. But, of course, this includes your dog’s food too! Some benefits include eliminating odour, glossier coat and better skin condition. It also energises your pup and improves their thyroid health.
Although it is safe to feed your dog these oils, there are potential reactions to take note of, such as diarrhoea and itching. Seek professional advice for the right amount of oils to feed your dog as some will be a better choice based on the protein in your dog’s diet. If your dog has pancreatitis, consider not to add on oil.
Depending on the size of your dog, you can start with a quarter to one teaspoon daily for small dogs to one tablespoon for big dogs. However, do keep in mind to limit your dog’s intake of oil to once per day if they are obese. Coconut oils are exceptionally high in fat and will likely cause weight gain if used irresponsibly.
Adding specific ingredients to dog food may benefit your pup, but noting the feeding guidelines and possible side effects is essential. If you are looking for a concoction of your pup’s usual protein and these booster ingredients, try PetCubes’ Fresh Pet Food which already contains the majority of these nutritional powerhouses!
Formulated by Dr Francis Cabana, your pup will reap the benefits of these ingredients while enjoying its daily meals.
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