SHARE THANKSGIVING BOUNTY WITH YOUR GREYHOUND - SUPERFOODS
Along with giving thanks at this time of year, there is an emphasis on food at the holidays. What foods would be good to share with your dog? Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and gut-health boosting friendly bacteria, here are ten human foods you can feel good about sharing with your dog!
Pumpkin has a lot of fiber in it. This is what makes it an excellent choice for digestive health in dogs. In addition to that, it is rich in vitamins, minerals carotenoids. It helps regulate their vision and protects the dog’s coat as well.
Pumpkin prevents many skin diseases as well as maintaining a smooth digestive tract. It is also great for urinary health and kidney problems. There is a lot of evidence regarding pumpkins preventing cancer due to its high content of antioxidants and healthy compounds. The best way to give pumpkin is to puree it and add a bit to their regular food. Or stuff a Kong with pumpkin mixed with a little peanut better. They will surely enjoy this healthy treat. If you use canned pumpkin, be sure it is not pumpkin pie filling, which has a lot of stuff you don’t want to feed your dog.
Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are at their peak in the fall. Sweet potatoes are one of the most delicious and chewy treats that dogs enjoy. They are flavorful and give an excellent chewing sensation as well. Sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene and manganese, as well as vitamins A, B6, and C, which help maintain the immune system and fight against skin diseases.
Sweet potatoes have all-natural sugars and are full of fiber, which aids the dog’s digestive system. Like pumpkin, there is evidence that sweet potatoes act as an agent against cancer, as well as other kinds of ailments that come as a dog ages. Give senior hounds chewable sweet potato treats or natural boiled sweet potatoes that are cut up into small pieces. Or slice and dehydrate for a healthy “jerky”.
Eggs are excellent for dogs, either as a treat or an addition to their diet. They’re a complete food source, including highly digestible protein and 100% bioavailable. Eggs are packed full of amino acids. These compounds are great for muscle and tissue health. Moreover, eggs have a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
They are an excellent option for keeping your Greyhound’s skin and coat healthy. In addition, it helps maintain their teeth and gums as well. Eggs also contain fatty acids that help regulate your pups’ immune system and metabolism. Eggs are a smoothening agent for dog stomachs and intestines. Do not feed raw eggs as there is a risk of your dog contracting salmonella. Moreover, raw egg whites can lead to a deficiency in biotin.
Bone broth is a super-charged health elixir. This nutrient packed broth is extremely bioavailable and has loads of benefits. It improves digestion and helps heal leaky gut, reduces inflammation and helps alleviate joint pain, strengthens bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and more. Furthermore, the glycine in bone broth helps detox the liver, and the collagen is great for skin and coat.
You can make bone broth yourself – it’s easy! Just throw the turkey carcass in the soup pot or crock pot, cover with two to three inches of water (add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar if you wish; it helps to extract the minerals in the bones) and then simmer for eight to 24 hours. The goal is to produce gelatin from the collagen-rich joints and to release trace minerals like calcium. At the end of the cooking time, the bones should be soft and slightly crumbly when pressed between your fingers. Remove the bones and discard—don’t give your dog cooked bones as they can splinter and damage the intestine. Now place the broth in the fridge to cool. After a couple of hours, a layer of fat will have collected on the top—scoop this off and discard. The remaining broth, jelly-like and delicious, is ready to be served to your dog! If you prefer to buy bone broth, be sure it is for dogs or low sodium.
Blueberries are a beneficial supplement for dogs and make a healthy treat. These berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals. Research has shown that the benefits to our dogs include lowering cholesterol and improving cardio to building stronger bones. Blueberries are great for their immune system as it provides a boost of energy — moreover, its fiber content aids with digestion and maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Furthermore, blueberries contain many vitamins that are great for coat, skin, nails, vision, and dental health.
Bonus for senior dogs: studies have found that adding antioxidants to your dog’s diet can help the aging brain! Serve blueberries either fresh, or freeze them for a nice cool crunch that the dogs can enjoy during summers. Or sprinkle over their regular food any time of year.
Small oily fish such as anchovies and sardines are brain food. Packed with Omega-3s, they also offer anti-inflammatory benefits, lubricate joints, and promote skin, coat and eye health. Small fish are also “cleaner” in that they haven’t had a chance to accumulate the toxins found in large fish like tuna. They are rich in healthy fatty acids and flavorful as well. Be careful of sodium with canned fish, and start small – maybe one sardine per day for a 70-lb dog.
Salmon (or salmon oil) is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids for dogs, supporting the immune system and improving your dog’s skin and coat. And some studies have shown that Omega-3s may help dogs with allergies. Only give your dog cooked salmon as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick. Also, make sure the fish is boneless, as fishbones can be a choking hazard. Canned salmon is fine too (watch the sodium) - the small soft bones in canned salmon are OK for your dog to eat.
Raw chicken wings, backs, necks, and feet have physical, nutritional and mental benefits for dogs. The gnawing and chewing prevent periodontal disease and improve oral health, while the minerals provided by animal bones are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Plus, chewing on raw bones is very engaging for dogs, providing lots of mental stimulation. Never feed your dog cooked bones, which tend to splinter. Store raw chicken in the freezer, and take out one treat at a time. You don’t have to thaw it – dogs like the frozen crunchiness just as well as the thawed chewiness.
Carrots are known for being a good source of beta-carotene, which can boost your dog’s vision, especially their night vision. They also contain vitamin A and help to keep the immune system robust. Carrots are a potent source of potassium and fiber that can be digested easily and help with your dog’s gastrointestinal health.
Carrots are not only packed full of nutrients but are also great chew toys for your dog. Frozen carrots are an excellent option for a dog’s dental health and teething puppies. You should add them to your dog’s diet if oral hygiene is a problem, as it is with many Greyhounds.
Not only is coconut a naturally sweet treat, the good fats in coconut oil have a host of health benefits, from improved digestion and immunity to providing a sleek and glossy coat. Plus, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids have been shown to improve brain function and decrease amyloid protein buildup that negatively affects brain health in older dogs. The plain unsweetened coconut meat is also full of dietary fiber and dogs go crazy for the fresh nutty taste.
Coconut oil is a superfood that has a whole host of benefits, including improved skin and coat condition, better digestion, and allergy reduction, thanks to antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Give orally on a spoon (most dogs love the taste) or add a spoonful to your dog’s dinner.
Apples are a super healthy treat for dogs, containing calcium, vitamin K, Vitamin C, and soluble fiber. Dogs can eat green apples as well as red and can eat the apple skin too. Just avoid feeding cores, as the seeds and stems are not good for dogs and can cause tummy upset. Frozen apple slices are a soothing treat for teething puppies, or for the older dog with a sore mouth.
Start with a high quality diet, which is key to a happy, healthy dog. These suggestions are meant as supplements to, not replacements for, a balanced canine diet. Introduce any new foods to your pup gradually, and notice if there are any adverse side-effects. Obviously, if there are, stop the new food immediately.
While superfoods are great to give to dogs, there is no magical ingredient or supplement or food, as not even superfoods will undo harm caused by excessive feeding, or poor quality kibble.
What is your dog’s favorite healthy treat? Please share in the comments below.