We all want our dogs to live healthy and long lives. A large factor in making that happen is how and what we feed them.
The Internet has thousands of ways to switch up your dog’s meal routine, but many of them take a bunch of extra preparation, and/or aren’t recommended by experts.
Here are 6 simple and safe ways to boost your dog’s mealtime for optimal health.
1. Start with a quality kibble
You don’t need to buy the most expensive dog food available, but make sure you’re following some key guidelines from veterinarians. This includes avoiding grain-free dog food, as it has been linked to cases of dilated cardiomyopathy - a type of canine heart disease - that affects the heart muscle and could lead to congestive heart failure. Second, look for the phrase “[product name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles,” which is a statement that guarantees the dog food has been evaluated and met requirements to contain the minimum amount of all nutrients necessary for dogs. Always check with your vet to make sure they recommend the brand of dog food you’re serving.
2. Think twice about feeding raw
It seems like feeding your dog a completely raw diet is the newest craze. Many owners are skipping the dog kibble and feeding their dogs a diet of raw meat, eggs, produce, and supplements. While this may seem like the best option for your dog, you could be depriving your pup of essential nutrients. The FDA cited risks of feeding raw food to your dog - including increased bacteria levels, potential for disease for your dog and household, and nutrient deficiencies.
3. Add in pumpkin
Pumpkin is a great digestive aid for dogs, is high in antioxidants, and high in soluble fiber. Feed pumpkin puree that is free from additional ingredients or additives. You can add a spoonful to your dog’s kibble for added taste and nutrients. Check our ultimate guide on feeding pumpkin to your dogs to learn all about its benefits.
Is your dog itchy or smelly? Do they get ear infections often? Try adding in kefir. It’s similar to yogurt, but contains loads of probiotics and yeasts that can ward off bacteria, fungus, help with allergies, and add important vitamins and minerals to your dog’s diet. You can find kefir in the dairy section at most grocery stores!
5. Bone Broth
Not only will bone broth make your dog taste buds dance, but it helps add important hydration. Dog kibble is dehydrated food, so it’s essential to make sure your dog gets enough water during the day and at meal time. Bone broth can help increase their water intake, and aid in joint health and digestion. We love a bone broth that comes in power form, and can be mixed with water for a quick and easy kibble booster. If you choose a human-grade bone broth, make sure it is free from additives like onion, garlic, salt, and other spices, as these are harmful for your pup.
6. Hempseed Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are important in supporting brain, heart, eye, and joint health in dogs, and may lower the risk of heart disease. Hempseed oil contains tons of omega-3 fatty acids and can make a great kibble booster for your pup.
For recommendations specific to your dog, we suggest checking with your vet before adding supplements or ingredients to your dog’s mealtime.