Superfoods are a headline act when it comes to human nutrition, but what about dogs? Do they also have a role to play in canine nutrition? In a word, YES.
As a vet, one of the most important pieces of advice that I can give to a pet parent is the positive impact that the correct diet and lifestyle habits can have on their dog’s health and wellbeing. The bottom line is that proper canine nutrition can add years to your dog’s life so it’s well worth investing in the right diet from the get-go.
Good food is medicine
Mother nature really is an amazing provider because embedded in natural food sources are a whole host of essential minerals and elements needed to keep active dogs performing at their best and/or accelerate their recovery from illness.
Here’s just a couple of examples of how superfoods contribute to your dog’s health and wellbeing.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (found in chia seeds and nuts) increase skin sebum production. They are also naturally anti-inflammatory and add shine to your pet’s coat.
- Iodine rich foods like kelp help balance the thyroid. When the thyroid underperforms a condition called hypothyroidism can occur. Symptoms include weight gain, skin problems and sluggish behaviour.
The other essentials for a long and happy life include keeping a close eye on portion sizes and keeping your dog moving. If your pet needs to lose some excess weight then ask your Vet for advice, that’s what we are here for.
What to look out for when shopping for pet food
Here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind when you are scanning the back of any pet food you are considering buying.
Zoom in on the main ingredients listing
✅ are they free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives?
✅ do they include fruit and veges?
✅ do they contain prebiotics and probiotics?
✅ do they AVOID the use of corn, wheat or soy products
✅ do they contain minerals?
✅ are they locally sourced?
If it contains many words that you can’t pronounce or spell, then I would probably give it a miss or seek some advice from your local vet.
Dr Heidi Ward - McGrath BVSc