Offering your dog a bowl of kibble does not have to be boring. Adding superfoods and moisture to their meals will make you feel good that you are improving their health. Your dog will be over the moon with excitement to discover the fresh foods!
You don’t have to search far to enhance their bowl. You may even have these items in your refrigerator or pantry now. Sharing your food with your dog is one of the best things you can do. Just remember the forbidden foods to never feed (no onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, xylitol, caffeine, macadamia nuts).
The kibble making process is pretty harsh. From the extrusion process to the drying, moisture is severely removed and lacking. Most bags of kibble contain 10-12% moisture max. A canned food will contain at least 75 to 80% moisture and a raw meat diet will also contain at least 70% moisture. To help your dogs vital organs like the kidney and bladder stay hydrated and flushed, reconstituting their dry kibble with bone broth, goat milk or even steeping some herbal tea like chamomile or reishi mushroom will do wonders. Dogs enjoy the taste of them all!
- Fruits and Vegetables
Your bag of kibble may show beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables. But did you know that most may only contain less than 1% of them in the bag? That would mean only one blueberry basically makes it into the bag. Heat processing can destroy many of the important antioxidants and nutrients that fruits and vegetables contain. By adding them fresh to your dogs bowl daily, you will help to improve their health. Decrease the amount of kibble you serve by 25% to make room for the fresh additions. The best fruits to add are raspberries, blackberries, blueberries which are all low sugar and packed with antioxidants. Great vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, parsley, celery, cilantro and fennel! Whenever you can, choose organic fruits, celery, spinach, cucumbers and herbs as these usually contain the highest levels of pesticide residues.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid
You may see omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids listed on the Nutritional Analysis on your bag of kibble, however these oils are extremely volatile and can go rancid very quickly. Each time you open the bag, air comes in and oxidizes the fats. The longer you have the bag sitting around, the more the oils break down and go rancid. To slow the degradation, you can keep your dog food in the freezer. In order to keep your dogs skin, coat, brain and heart healthy and reduce inflammation, add the essential fatty acids at feeding time. Some of the best sources of omega-3 fats are sardines, canned salmon, krill, anchovies and mussels. There are good quality oils out there and you can feed sardines, mussels and canned salmon straight!
You don’t need a big budget to improve your dogs bowl of food and all of these are easily sourced. Have fun adding some fresh, functional foods to your dogs meals and feel good knowing you are improving their health!