When it comes to feeding my dog, MaQ, I've put him on specific diet since the age of 1. Every day, twice daily, he gets red meat, cooked sushi rice with green beans, some cottage cheese and olive oil, and glucosamine pills. But I also like to give him a little nutrition boost, from time to time, now and again, since these staple powerhouse foods are not only good for us humans, but for your beloved pooch too! And who doesn't love sharing their food with their loved ones? Sharing is caring, remember?! Here is a list of five foods you should (and can) be feeding your dog - right now!
1. BERRY, BERRY, POWERFUL
Like myself, MaQ is a huge fan of any berry in the berry family. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. You name it, we love it all. I tend to make a lot of smoothies out of these berries as they're loaded in antioxidants and are loaded in fiber and vitamins as well. The phytochemicals in blueberries work the same way for your dog as they do for you. Ever hear how strawberries naturally whiten your teeth? It's absolutely true! Strawberries carry an enzyme that helps do this - for your fur babies too! Berries are powerful - they help fight free radicals in your dog.
2. IT'S ALL IN THE OILS, BABY
Twice a day, I give MaQ olive oil. First of all, it tastes great. Trust me when I say this, your dog will love you for it! The monounsaturated fats in olive oil actually encourage weight loss by breaking down the fatty cells, helping shed a couple pounds. It is also contains high levels of antioxidants, proving to arm your dog's immune system. Also a brain food, it has been shown to boost energy. And on top of being nutritious, olive oil gives your pooch the ultimate beauty treatment! Just like how we put oils in our hair to repair with moisture, you can do the same with you pet's coat or dry paws.
Coconut oil contains mainly of medium chain triglycerices (MCTs) which are loaded with lauric acid, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. The lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Just like olive oil, coconut oil also can help boost your dog's energy and aid in weight loss. On top of that, coconut oil can also improveany dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions. I even put a few scraping chunks in the freezer, like this organic coconut oil from Nutiva as a cooling treat during those hot, summer days.
Fish oil is also amazing for your dog. Benefits of the Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids help reduce joint discomfort, helps with shedding, decreases inflammation, adds moisture to dry, irritated skin, and even enhances your dog's appetite with an appealing fish flavor. I actually give MaQ this in capsules. He crunches them up in his mouth like Skittles, ha ha!
3. LEAFY GREENS
On top of 'eating your vegetables' like Sam from I Am Legend, MaQ occasionally gets some mint or parsley. He's not really a fan of it by itself, so I chop it up into his meals to diffuse that dragon breath of his. I'm telling you, he smells minty fresh afterward! Did you know that parsley is also good for preventative kidney health? We are all about getting rid of those toxins we carry in our bodies, both furry and non-furry!
I also like to give him some mixed greens, like a mesclun salad, which is filled with lots of fiber and vitamins/minerals. It can too help in digestion, even detoxifying the liver and urinary tract, though I don't give too much of it since he eats a ton of green beans daily.
4. POWDERED SPICES
When I talk to most dog owners, they're initially surprised I give MaQ turmeric. Also known as curcumin, turmeric boosts cardiovascular health and helps to treat memory disorders. It is also great for overweight dogs, because it boosts the metabolism and helps to speed up weight loss. It can also offer protection against certain ailments, including anemia, cancer, arthritis and stroke. Ground turmeric is easy to add into your pet’s daily diet. I just sprinkle some on MaQ's meals 3-4 times a week! He loves the pungent scent as well.
Got a dog who gets car sick like my baby? Well, look no further. Just put some ground ginger into his meal before your journey and they'll be nausea-free. Ginger ale or Vernor's work too, but I don't like to give him the carbonated drinks due to the sugar in them. The ground ginger is also helpful in absorption of food, and boosts the digestive system. It can even help boost circulation.
Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It can help fight sepsis and diabetes in your dog. Being that cinnamon is one of the best sources of antioxidants, it can even help to remove the aflatoxins that are found in your dog’s food. (Should you use kibble.)
5. RAW EGGS
Eggs are a nearly complete source of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), and contain lots of vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and fatty acids. You can feed the egg with the shell on, and the phosphorus and calcium are perfectly balanced, making the egg a nearly complete source of nutrition for your dog. I like to thoroughly clean the shells before giving it to MaQ. You can cook the eggs too. Tell me a dog who doesn't love scrambled eggs! :)
Remember, these foods should be used in moderation and as a supplement to your dog's diet. Every dog is different, so be sure to experiment with foods that are good for them. There's a ton of bad foods for dogs too, such as chocolate, grapes, avocado, a variety of nuts/seeds, onion, garlic, black pepper, and more.