In the past few years, the term “superfood” has found its way into the mainstream. But what, exactly, makes a food “super?”
Simply put, superfoods are any health-boosting, nutrient-rich foods. Many superfoods contain a combination of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids. As society becomes increasingly health-conscious, many of us enjoy finding ways to incorporate nutrient-rich superfoods into our diets with acai bowls and green smoothies.
As we know, not all human foods are safe for canine consumption. That said, there are plenty of superfoods that are safe and healthy for humans and dogs alike. Read on to learn about some of our favorite superfoods for dogs!
Berries aren’t just tasty—they’re healthy! For example, blueberries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals. Plus, they’re great for promoting urinary tract health and cognitive function. Strawberries and blackberries are also high in fiber, low in sugar, and full of vitamins.
You can give your dog fresh or frozen berries that are whole, cut, crushed, or pureed. Just make sure they’re washed and free of stems and leaves. And remember: as with any food, moderation is key.
Salmon is a popular superfood for both humans and dogs, and with good reason: it’s packed with omega-3’s to support skin, coat, joints, and brain health. Other fish such as anchovies, sardines, herrings, and mackerel are also great for dogs. Plus, they’re full of high-quality protein.
Feed your dog some of his favorite fish as a snack or food topper, making sure there’s no added salt or unhealthy oils.
Alternatively, Fido can get his fish fix from Pet Honesty’s Salmon & Fish Oil Pack, made up of Anti-Scratch Salmon Oil and Wild-Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil (made with sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herrings).
Bone broth is high in protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Not only it is incredibly tasty, but this nutrient-rich broth is also great for joint and gut health.
Make your own bone broth from raw bones or leftover bone-in meats, or buy it at the store. Your dog may enjoy drinking a bowl of bone broth, or you may opt to mix it in with his regular food for added flavor and health benefits.
Carrots offer several benefits for dogs: they’re full of beta-carotene for immune support, eye health, and skin and coat health. They also contain fiber to help with digestion. Plus, chewing carrots is great for your dog’s dental health!
Give your dog a whole frozen carrot as a healthy chew toy, or cut a fresh carrot into bite-sized chunks as a smaller treat. You can also steam or boil carrots, perhaps even pureeing them as a tasty meal topper.
Like carrots, pumpkins are full of immune-boosting beta-carotene. Pumpkins also contain a significant amount of fiber, which is great for digestion. In fact, Pet Honesty’s Digestive Probiotics Chews contain pumpkin as a key base ingredient.
If your pooch tends to be a picky eater, you can try enticing him to eat by topping his food with pureed pumpkin. If you use canned pumpkin, just make sure it’s 100% pumpkin—NOT pumpkin pie mix. You could also roast some pumpkin seeds (without salt) for a tasty snack, or even grind them up and add them to his regular food.
Packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3’s, it’s easy to see why chia seeds are considered to be a superfood for dogs and humans. Because they can help your dog to feel fuller for longer periods of time, chia seeds are also great for weight management.
Soak some chia seeds in water or wet food so they can absorb and expand, creating a pudding-like texture. Or, simply sprinkle dry chia seeds on top of your pup’s food. Keep in mind that a little bit of chia seeds goes a long way, so moderation is key—about ¼ teaspoon of chia seeds per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.
It’s no surprise that leafy greens are healthy. Dark-colored greens such as spinach and kale tend to be extra rich in nutrients such as antioxidants, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins, and fiber.
Make sure to rinse veggies well before feeding them to your dog. They can be served raw or steamed/sautéed, plain or mixed in with food. It all depends on your pup’s preferences!
Eggs are full of protein, amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins, and can keep your dog’s coat looking sleek and shiny. They’re also incredibly easy to digest, which is especially helpful for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Some pet owners feed their dogs raw eggs, but we recommend staying on the safe side by scrambling or hard-boiling eggs before feeding them to your pet.
Ginger & Turmeric
Ginger and turmeric are both superfoods for dogs that happen to be relatives and full of anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is potent, so we recommend mixing less than ¾ teaspoon at a time into your dog’s food. As far as turmeric goes, one easy way to serve it to your dog is with Pet Honesty’s Turmeric Joint Health Chews.
With its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, it’s no surprise that coconut oil is considered to be a superfood for dogs. Coconut oil is good for skin and coat health, digestion, weight loss, nutrient absorption, and dental hygiene, among others. Plus, it can act as an insect repellent as it makes it more difficult for pests to latch onto the skin (as used in Pet Honesty’s Flea & Tick Defense Chews).
You can give coconut oil to your dog orally (less than one teaspoon per day) or topically, depending on his needs. You may even opt to cook some of the above-mentioned superfoods for dogs in coconut oil for added health benefits.
Keep in mind that every dog is different. For example, a superfood that’s great for one dog may result in an allergic reaction for another. To be safe, talk to your vet before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.