10 superfoods for dogs from your own kitchen

Staying healthy and fit is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. The growing popularity of natural pet foods and homemade treats suggests that pet owners are becoming more aware of what’s healthy for their animal pals. Globally, the organic and natural pet food market has grown into a $22.8 billion industry.

Using research from various studies and internet resources, Native Pet has compiled a list of 10 superfoods found in most kitchens that can also serve as healthy snacks for dogs and their people.

In the United States, according to the latest available data from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, pet owners in the United States spent more than $118 billion on their pets in 2020, and the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group, estimates even more growth has taken place in 2021, with the industry reaching $123 billion. The APPA found that dog owners spend an average of about $287 per year on pet food.

But not all foods are the same. Sometimes dogs need a little something extra to maintain a healthy diet. “Superfoods,” or nutrient-dense foods, have grown in popularity in the 21st century, with the global market expected to reach around $215 billion by 2027, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence.

Although there is no scientific definition of a superfood, they are generally believed to promote health or prevent disease due to high levels of antioxidants, fiber or other nutritional benefits, according to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit American academic medical center. These foods can supplement a nutrient-poor diet or serve as a delicious treat. However, even with nutritious “superfoods”, moderation is key. The 10% rule, which states treats should be no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories, is a good rule to follow.

Read on to discover 10 superfoods from your own kitchen that dogs can enjoy.

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Blueberries

These deliciously juicy berries are rich in minerals and vitamins, low in calories and high in fibre. They also have one of the highest levels of antioxidants among most commonly consumed fruits in the United States.

Blueberries are great treats but should be in moderation. The amount that dog owners give their pets depends on the size of the dog. For small dogs, 10 blueberries is an appropriate amount. Larger dogs may have more, but the 10% rule should be followed.

Because blueberries are so small, a large dog can easily eat too many of them. They often tend to swallow food without chewing, which can lead to stomach pain or create a choking hazard. If the berries are swallowed or frozen, small dogs can also choke. Hand feeding can slow them down and help prevent choking.

A dog reacts to a bowl of bone broth

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bone broth

Humans enjoy bone broth, and it’s also gaining popularity in the canine world. This nutrient-rich broth is an excellent source of collagen, a protein found in the connective tissues of animal bones that helps regenerate skin, hair, joints and leaky gut. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, glycine and glucosamine.

A healthy serving of bone broth is 1 ounce of broth per 10 pounds of a dog’s body weight. For example, a single serving for a 100 pound dog is 10 ounces, and your pet can have up to two servings per day. Dog owners can serve it as an afternoon snack or pour it over the dog’s meal.

A golden retriever with a carrot

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Carrots

Carrots are low-fat, low-calorie treats that are high in vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, among other vitamins. Like other vegetables and fruits, they contain natural sugar, and too much sugar can lead to obesity and tooth decay. They also contain high levels of fiber which, if introduced too quickly, can cause stomach upset.

Dog owners are advised to introduce this treat slowly and provide plenty of drinking water. Carrots, like other treats, should make up less than 10% of your pup’s daily calorie intake. A medium-sized dog can safely eat two or three baby carrots a day. These carrots should be cleaned and peeled to remove any dirt or pesticides, and they should be cut into bite-size pieces to reduce the risk of choking.

Chia seeds in a bowl

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Chia seeds

Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the world. These tiny seeds are packed with many beneficial nutrients. Dogs only need a small amount: 1/4 teaspoon per day per 10 pounds of body weight is a healthy serving for a fido.

The mild taste and smell of chia seeds make them appealing to even picky eaters. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber, and are a good source of several essential minerals. These seeds promote brain function, help dogs develop strong, healthy bones, reduce inflammation, and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

coconut oil

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coconut oil

Like blueberries and chia seeds, coconut oil has become a popular superfood for humans. Still, there’s some controversy over whether that’s all it claims to be.

In dogs, coconut oil may increase energy levels, aid digestion, reduce allergic reactions, and improve dog skin. Coconut oil should be given to dogs once or twice daily with meals, and the size of the dog should determine the amount given.

Vets suggest a starting dose of 1/4 teaspoon for small dogs and 1 tablespoon for large dogs. After two weeks, if your dog tolerates it well, it can be increased to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds. The wonderful thing about coconut oil is its adaptability. Since it can be taken orally, dog owners don’t have to worry about dogs licking themselves off after applying it.

A pet owner cuts cucumber for his dog

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Cucumbers

Cucumbers contain vitamins A and K, potassium and magnesium, all of which are essential components of a healthy canine diet. Cucumbers can help eliminate bad breath in dogs and keep their bones, kidneys and liver strong and healthy.

They are also low-calorie vegetables made up of 95% water. A cup of chopped cucumbers contains about 16 calories, making them a great option for dogs who need to lose weight. While feeding your dog cucumbers is perfectly safe, it’s best to stick to the 10% rule to avoid upsetting the digestive system. This crunchy vegetable is a tasty and hydrating summer treat after a vigorous walk.

A dog eating a boiled egg from a bowl

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Eggs

Eggs are one of the most nutrient dense foods available. They are packed with amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins and are an excellent source of nutrients for dogs, although the source of the egg makes a difference. Eggs from free-range or pasture-raised hens are healthier and rich in vitamins and minerals.

Eggs are easy to digest, which is helpful for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and they can help keep dogs’ coats shiny and smooth. Large dogs can have one whole egg per day, while small dogs should be limited to one small egg per week and no more than a quarter egg per day. There are certain restrictions on egg consumption for dogs with pre-existing health conditions like acute pancreatitis or diabetes. It is best to have it performed by a veterinarian before feeding your dog eggs.

A dog eating table fish

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Fish (cooked)

Fish can be a nutritious addition to a dog’s diet, but only certain types of fish are healthy for dogs. Fish can be an excellent source of easily digestible protein for dogs, especially those with a tendency to stomach upsets. It is also a great alternative for dogs with allergies or intolerances to common pet food ingredients such as chicken.

Because it’s relatively low in saturated fat, it’s a great option for dogs on a weight-loss diet, and it’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and keep skin and coat healthy. healthy. Fish contains vitamins and minerals that boost dogs’ immune systems and may contribute to joint health. But be careful: the fish must be cooked without oil or additional seasoning.

Green beans

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Green beans

Green beans are not only safe for dogs, veterinarians also recommend them as a nutritious snack. They’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals like protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. They’re the perfect snack to keep a dog fit. they are full of fiber and low in calories.

The “green bean diet” is a healthy trend that helps dog owners keep their dogs healthy by replacing 10% of dog food with green beans. Every other day, they increase the amount by 10% until half of the dog’s dry food has been replaced with green beans. Dogs can be fed chopped, steamed or raw green beans as long as they are plain.

A dog and a pumpkin

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Pumpkin

Pumpkin is rich in fiber and vital micronutrients, making it an exceptionally healthy snack. Pumpkin contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium. Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid cucurbitine, which paralyzes and eliminates parasites in your dog’s digestive tract.

Pumpkin is a natural stomach soother and helps eliminate excess water in the digestive tract. Adding pumpkin is also a healthy way to boost a dog’s diet without adding a lot of calories. Adding 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to a large dog’s diet is enough to avoid adding too much fiber while still meeting the dog’s nutritional needs. For small dogs, the maximum amount should be 1/2 teaspoon per day.

This story originally appeared on Native Pet and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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