It’s likely that both you and your dog will over-indulge in December (and why not?!) with the obligatory healthy-eating kick in January to help us shed those festive pounds. Healthy eating isn’t only about weight loss, however, it’s also about packing your body with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you fighting fit. Pet health experts Bob Martin are on hand to share a list of healthy foods that are ‘super’ for both you and your four-legged friend.
The nutrient-rich foods below will promote fitness and vitality, support your immune system and maintain general health and wellbeing. With any addition to your dog’s diet, be sure to introduce these foods gradually and in proper portions, running them past your vet first if your dog has any specific dietary or health issues.
Carrots are loved by most dogs and luckily you may even have some left over from Christmas dinner. Naturally sweet and crunchy, they’re packed with fibre, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and a range of other vitamins to support your pooch’s health and wellbeing.
The old wives’ tale of ‘carrots help you see in the dark’ isn’t a complete work of fiction. Carrots contain carotenoid compounds that studies have found are beneficial for healthy eyes and vision. What’s more they’re often seen as ‘nature’s toothbrush’, as they’re great for helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean too!
Bursting with omega-3 fatty acids, oily fish such as salmon or mackerel is great for dogs. Omega-3s can do wonders for their skin and coat, whilst also supporting brain function. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects to help alleviate arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. Fish are also an excellent protein source, containing a range of essential vitamins and minerals. If you are feeding your dog salmon however, ensure it’s cooked, as raw/smoked salmon carries a greater risk of bacteria that could upset your dog’s stomach.
Halloween might be a distant memory by now, but Pumpkin is a superfood that can be enjoyed all year round. Eating fibre-rich pumpkins can help humans and canines maintain a healthy digestive tract, whilst being packed with a range different vitamins and minerals including calcium and potassium. If you’re buying tinned pumpkin however, ensure there’s no sugar or spices as these aren’t good for your dog.
This supercharged leafy green contains bucketloads of vitamins, including A, E, and C. Kale is also a good source of antioxidants. If you’re not a big fan of Kale, spinach is very similar and has many of the same health-boosting benefits. Kale contain Polyphenols, which are another family of antioxidants found in a range of different fruits, vegetables and herbs, including the final two superfoods on our list.
Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries are a great treat for you and your dog all year round. As with most things in life however, moderation is key. Over-feeding your dog blueberries can upset their sensitive tummies and it’ll be you having to clean up after them, so be careful not to overdo it.
Blueberries are extremely popular in regions like Scandinavia, with people in Sweden even known to make blueberry soup, which can apparently be ‘enjoyed’ either hot or cold. Whilst we’re not sure about the whole soup idea, blueberries are undoubtedly good for our canine companions as they are often used to supplement the diets of sled dogs. Now you can’t get a much better endorsement than that.
Anyone who’s ever cooked with turmeric knows the struggle of getting the golden yellowy stain off your hands (or clothes depending how messy you are in the kitchen). That inconvenience aside, turmeric is an undoubted superfood as it’s packed with curcumin, which has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Various studies have shown the benefits of curcumin supplements in dogs with signs of osteoarthritis, helping to reduce inflammation. It can be tricky to get turmeric (and some of the other superfoods listed) into your dog’s diet, so there are certain shortcuts that you can take.
As we get older, healthy eating won’t always be enough and we sometimes need that extra bit of help from a cod liver oil capsule or a glucosamine tablet to help keep those joint mobile; the same goes for our four-legged friends.
Various nutritional supplements can be bought to essentially ‘supplement’ your dog’s diet, with Bob Martin’s sister brand Vetzyme offering a range of helpful products to support in the areas of Joints & Mobility, Calming & Anxiety, Health & Wellbeing and Skin & Coat.
What superfood does your dog love to eat?
Share some of your favourite superfoods in the comments below. For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, head over to bobmartin.co.uk Feeling social? Follow us to fleadom on Facebook (@BobMartinUK) and Instagram (@bobmartinpets).