If you have followed us here at My Pet Nutritionist for any length of time you’ll know that we’re all about the fresh feeding of pets. But did you know that even if you can’t commit to a 100% fresh food diet, you can still add some powerhouse ingredients to your dog’s existing diet to reap some rewards?
We thought we’d share some great additions that are super-easy to add to your dog’s diet.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Top of the list for a reason. Green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, watercress and broccoli. In green leafy vegetables you will find vitamins A, C, E and K along with many of the B-vitamins. These vegetables also contain carotenoids. Carotenoids act as an antioxidant, deactivating free-radicals and limiting the damage they can cause.
Green leafy vegetables also contain a rich source of folate, this is after all, where the name came from. Folate comes from the Latin folium, because it was first found in leaves!
Folate functions as a coenzyme in many processes in the body. It is needed to make DNA and other genetic material and is essential in cell division. In short, it helps tissues grow and makes cells work. Folate is also involved in neurotransmitter synthesis, so it is implicated in mood and subsequently behaviour too! Being water-soluble, there is a high turnover in the body so we need to replenish this trusty vitamin regularly!
One particular study showed a reduced rate of bladder cancer when leafy veg was added to the dog’s diet!
So, lightly steam your leafy greens and add them to that bowl!
Mushrooms have been seen to be:
But which ones to feed?
Reishi mushrooms are adored for their immunomodulating benefits.
Maiitike mushrooms have been used for their antibacterial function.
Cordyceps have been seen to inhibit inflammatory responses throughout the body.
If you are looking to add mushrooms to the bowl, cook them fully, lightly sauteed is fine. If you are looking to use them therapeutically, then please feel free to get in touch for advice and guidance.
There’s a reason eggs are the protein reference. They contain the full essential amino acid profile.
Eggs contain essential lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements including vitamin A, iron, vitamin B12, riboflavin, choline, zinc and calcium.
Egg proteins are distributed equally between egg white and egg yolk, whilst lipids, vitamins and minerals are essentially concentrated in the egg yolk. The yolk is a rich source of linoleic acid and as we know, LA is abundant in the epidermis of the skin, so eggs are a great source of food to support skin health.
There are also a range of proteins found in the egg that exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic activity. Avidin is seen to target bacteria, lysozyme is seen to target bacteria, virus and fungi, and cystatin targets the above with parasites included!
Where you source your eggs from is essential, free-range birds produce more nutrient dense eggs than caged. Free-rearing results in much higher levels of tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol and lutein content. The anti-microbial function of the egg white is also modulated when hens are exposed to environmental microbes.
So, if you want to add egg to the bowl, source free-range and organic. You can feed raw or cooked, and the egg shell is perfectly safe to feed too!
Hemp Seeds (milled)
Hemp seeds are incredibly popular for good reason! They possess a perfect ratio of omega 6:3!
Hemp seeds contain an Omega 6 fatty acid called GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and research shows that GLA can support production of various prostaglandins and leukotrienes (the compounds that influence inflammation and pain). Some of the prostaglandins and leukotrienes can increase symptoms, while others decrease them. Taking GLA helps support the favoured prostaglandins and leukotrienes, helping to reduce inflammation and disease associated with inflammation such as skin disorders, reproductive issues, arthritis and more!
Not only that but hemp seeds are a great source of:
- vitamin E
They are also a good source of B vitamins, including:
- vitamin B6
- folate (B9)
These fresh food additions are generally tolerated by most dogs, when fed in moderation. Start slow, and only introduce one new food at a time.
If you would like any more support in what to offer in your dog’s diet, then please check out our services!
Thanks for reading,