The Benefits of Adding Fresh, Whole Foods
Yes, your dog can benefit from the addition of fresh food!
Fresh, whole foods are becoming increasingly popular for our pets as we continue to learn about their many benefits. I am often asked what I feed my dogs or which fresh whole foods I would recommend for dogs...here is my list. Note: I do not add each of these to my dogs food every day but rather rotate through them over a period of time.
Eggs and Quail Eggs
Did you know that consuming eggs - shell and all - are nearly a complete source of nutrition for dogs? Eggs can not be the only source of nutrition, but can be added regularly to your dogs diet. When fed raw, eggs can be greatly beneficial. If you are afraid to feed raw, you can cook eggs but cooking will destroy many of the egg’s nutrients.
Goat’s Milk and Kefir
Known as the “universal milk”, Goat milk is the most digestible milk available due to the small size of its molecules. Goat’s milk is also an option known to be better tolerated than cow’s milk. Raw goat’s milk has naturally occurring probiotics, and all the benefits that probiotics have to offer. Goat’s milk is great for digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties and can be a great addition to the diet for dogs with Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, Kidney Stones, Diabetes and more.
Kefir, otherwise known as the “grain of life” is a fermented food, super-charged with probiotics and beneficial yeasts. Fermented milk and dairy have been consumed for thousands of years, but we’ve only recently begun to understand their benefits in fighting modern chronic illnesses such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, colitis, intestinal pathogens and even brain disorders.
Benefits of kefir include anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (helps with candidiasis), IBD, allergies, not to mention it’s filled with vitamins and minerals.
Sardines and Mussels
With so much attention on taurine, many pet owners are looking for ways to supplement with foods known for their naturally occuring taurine content and sardines and mussels are just that - an excellent source of taurine. They’re also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential for good health.
Sardines are a small, short lived fish which means that they have less time to accumulate toxins in their bodies, and they don’t eat larger, older fish that have time to accumulate toxins. So they are relatively “clean” fish.
One of my favourite things about bone broth is that it adds much needed hydration to your dog’s diet. This is especially important for dogs that eat dry, dehydrated, or freeze dried diets. Water is ESSENTIAL for good health, and most dogs and cats don’t drink enough. Bone broth also promotes healthy digestion, helps repair leaky gut, helps the liver detox, and is great for joint health.
Fresh Vegetables & Fruit
Pureed raw veggies can be a great addition for their antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in addition to cancer fighting properties. Fresh, raw fruits and veggies contain phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, proteins, lipids, fiber, enzymes and moisture. Phytonutrients are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and even anti-parasitic! We like pureed veggies as they are more easily digested and utilized.
Fermentation is when a microorganism (like yeast or bacteria) breaks down a food. This process makes foods extremely bio-available (easily absorbed). Fermented foods are loaded with beneficial bacteria which support a healthy gut, strengthening the immune system.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid with some amazing benefits and uses which include skin and coat health, better gut health and better brain function, Coconut oil can also help repel ticks and mosquitoes, can expel parasites, and even be used as a toothpaste. Rub into dry, cracked paws to heal and moisturize.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I use apple cider vinegar - just a splash mixed in with their food as it helps with digestion. With so many dogs affected by allergy symptoms, Benedryl is often used, but few know that it can upset the acidity in the stomach which may contribute to acid reflux/regurgitation. Apple cider vinegar can help to better balance stomach PH, offering better digestion of food which in turn can help prevent acid reflux.