Health conscious dog-owners go to great lengths to make sure their pets are receiving the best nutrition from their diet. Some even cook their dog’s meals from scratch, so they know every ingredient that is getting included in the food.
A very easy way to improve your dogs’ daily diet even more is by including an extra healthy additive like a booster in the mix. Here is a list of natural `boosters’ that will enhance and supplement whatever your dogs are already eating:
• This orange root spice is a recent discovery in the Western world, but turmeric (Curcumin) has been used to flavor food and improve overall health for centuries in countries like India. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a great help for dogs suffering from arthritis and joint pains. Turmeric impedes the growth of cancer cells, treats gastrointestinal disorders and allergies, and helps keep the kidneys functioning at an optimal level.
Mix a sprinkle of raw turmeric in your dog’s food or boil with the rest of the ingredients if you’re cooking the meal at home. Be careful about staining though. Be prepared to wipe the mouth thoroughly afterwards, because turmeric will leave yellow/orange stains on your carpets and furnishings if you’re not careful.
• Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, this nutty-flavored seed is beneficial for the skin, and gives dogs a shiny coat. It is also a plentiful source of natural fiber and protein, and contains lignans (plant polyphenols) that improve cardiovascular health. Grind the flax seed to add to your dog’s food or use pressed, flax seed oil if you prefer. In case you’re choosing the oil, remember that it can turn rancid pretty quickly when it is opened and exposed to air.
• Commonly regarded as king of all natural oils, coconut is traditionally used as a cooking agent as well as an organic hair and beauty product. The oil is good for dogs too because it promotes healthy skin, digestion and healing. Older dogs benefit greatly from coconut oil before it helps ease joint aches and arthritis. To include in your pet’s diet, use 1/8 tsp for every 10 lb of body weight. As with any new ingredient, watch how your dog reacts to coconut oil before making it a daily habit.
• Chia (Salvia Hispanica) outperforms salmon with its Omega 3 fatty acid content, so they act as a wonderful booster in a dog diet. The high fiber content regularizes bowel movement, and if your pet is overweight, chia is a good addition to his/her meal. The seeds pack in a load of magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Promotes good eyesight, brain development and helps to control diabetes. To include in your pet’s diet, use 1/8 tsp for every 10 lb of body weight.
And as always with any meal plan change, check with your vet and be advised, just to err on the side of safety.