Fruits + Veggies {supplements to add to your dogs kibble and diet}

Fruits and Veggies

Admittedly, Asher eats really good food but, I don’t find dry dog kibble a complete meal…I mean something is missing. Even though Merrick makes great dry dog food and Honest Kitchen great dehydrated dog food. I enjoy feeding my dog fresh. Fresh fruits and veggies that I know aid in digestion and overall health of my favorite puppy. So what foods can you add to your dog’s diet? And what nutritional value do they hold?

Fruits:

Apple-  Apples contain a multitude of important vitamins and nutrients. In particular, Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Ida Red apples contain powerful antioxidants. As with most vegetables, organic apples are best for dogs; they contain one-third more antioxidants than regular apples.

Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C for dogs; in fact, one apple contains about 1,500 mg of vitamin C.

The skin of an apple contains high levels of vitamin A and pectin, a fiber that can improve digestion by strengthening intestinal muscles. Pectin also works to get rid of toxins in the intestinal tract and creates short-chain fatty acids that keep away dangerous bacteria.

If your dog doesn’t like eating apple slices, put apples in a food processor to make applesauce that you can use as a base for dog biscuits.

Banana-  Bananas are interesting because they are said to add natural acidophilus bacteria to the bowels although probably in small amounts only. Bananas are also a good source of potassium which benefits the muscular system. Their sweetness usually makes them a favourite of dogs.

Blueberry– Fruits that have a peel around them like blueberry are hard for your carnivore friend to break down. As a result, if you see the blueberries come out in your pet?s stools, you may want to slice them in half before feeding another time… or if you are like me, you just grab a handful, put them on the floor and let your dog eat them with joy… I don’t worry too much how well my dog will digest them because my dog simply love blueberries and that’s good enough for me. It is said though that blueberries are said to be a good source of silicon which is said to help rejuvenate the pancreas.

Veggies:

Sweet Potato- Sweet potatoes have much more nutrition than regular potatoes. They’re rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and are classified as an anti-diabetic food. They received this title because animal studies have found that sweet potatoes help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. They contain vitamin A which also protects against emphysema.
Sweet Potatoes are another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store. {I will be posting a blog on making your own Sweet Potato Chews later this week}

Carrots- are well known for promoting good vision, and in both humans and dogs, they nourish the optic nerve and promote good visual health.

In addition to their visual benefits, carrots are also a rich source of the provitamin beta carotene, a nutrient that can be converted into vitamin A. Beta carotenes are powerful antioxidants that can help to prevent cancer. Carrots also contain vitamin C, a nutrient that helps produce collagen in bones, muscle, cartilage and blood vessels so that iron can be absorbed by the body.

In addition to vitamins A and C, carrots are sources of vitamins D, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium and iron. These important vitamins and nutrients support the immune system and digestion.

Green Beans– Studies have also shown that green bean intake in animals can improve blood fat levels and protect against oxygen damage. Green beans also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which also contribute to the cardiovascular benefits of this vegetable.

Green beans are a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, and thiamin. Green beans also contain high concentrations of beta carotene.

These legumes promote bone health because they contain silicon, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, all essential nutrients in maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K helps maintain bone health because it triggers osteocalcin, a non-collagen protein in bones.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 10.31.44 AMBroccoli– Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables that dogs can eat. In addition to vitamins A, C, D and beta carotene, broccoli contains folic acid, fiber, chromium and calcium.

When you cook broccoli, indole, a cancer-fighting enzyme, is released. In fact, more than 33 cancer-preventing compounds are found in broccoli

Broccoli also contains several phytochemicals that stop carcinogens from forming and prevents them from attacking cells. They also build enzymes to breakdown carcinogens.

Broccoli is an excellent food for dogs because it is a low glycemic vegetable, meaning that it does not raise blood glucose levels. Broccoli converts to glucose very slowly, preventing the release of insulin that can lead to weight gain. Aside from broccoli’s nutrient-rich and cancer-fighting properties, it also features sulforphane, a compound that helps boost the immune system.

Although broccoli can be fed to a dog safely, give this vegetable to him in moderation, as it can reduce thyroid function when given in large quantities.

Celery- For dogs, celery is an excellent resource to improve heart health and reduce cancer rates. Celery is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, iron, and vitamins A, B and C. The phytochemical 3-n-butyl phthalide, which gives celery its signature taste and smell, is a powerful tumor-fighting agent.

Celery is reputed to reduce nervousness in animals and act as an acid neutralizer.

Celery contains phthalides, a cholesterol-lowering agent, and coumarin, a cancer-preventing force. Phthalides relax muscles around arteries and cause the vessels to dilate, reducing blood pressure. They also lower stress hormones that can cause blood vessels to constrict.

Pumpkin- Pumpkins aren’t just good for carving at Halloween; they’re also a healthy food to feed your dog. If your dog is prone to tummy trouble and experiences diarrhea or constipation, a diet that includes puréed pumpkin might improve his intestinal health. Pumpkin softens stool, which aids dogs who suffer from digestion problems. The fiber contained in pumpkin also absorbs water which helps alleviate diarrhea.

Pumpkin is such a rich source of fiber that you only need to add a few teaspoons to your dog’s daily diet to improve his intestinal health. If you dog is overweight, pumpkin is an excellent food to incorporate into his diet because it gives animals the feeling of being full while being a low-calorie food. Pumpkin also is loaded with vitamin A and anti-oxidants, provides anti-inflammatory benefits, helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes cardiovascular health.

I frequently make dog cookies with a pumpkin base. Asher begs in front of the oven as they cook.

And here are a few things to avoid adding to your doggies diet:

onions & other alliums, except garlic powder

chocolate

coffee/tea/caffeine

grapes/raisins

green potatoes

soy

large amounts of lactose

Avocados

Large amounts of any type of berry (seeds can cause intestinal blockages)


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