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Are you wondering if you should add something fresh to your dog’s kibble? Find out how to fill in the gaps in your dog’s diet and which fresh foods are best for him!

The benefits of feeding fresh food

Putting a scoop of pet food in your dog’s bowl is a breeze, but taking a few extra minutes to add a few fresh ingredients can have great benefits for your dog! Here’s how adding human food to your dog’s food can improve his well-being:

Filling in the gaps in your diet

Unfortunately, many kibbles use grains and fillers to fill their formulas, leaving only minimal amounts of key nutrients with each bite. Finding a balanced diet with protein-rich, nutrient-dense dry food or wet dog food can help reduce these imbalances, but you may still want to add a nutrient supplement to your dog’s diet! For example, you can give your dog with joint problems fresh fish for dinner to provide him with an extra dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Seducing picky eaters

Wondering what to add to dry food for picky eaters? Do you have a dog that suffers from a lack of appetite? There are many mouth-watering and nutritious fresh foods that you can add to dog food for them to eat with excitement! You can add some of your favorite fresh ingredients as a garnish or use a liquid like bone broth or goat’s milk to make the whole dinner sassy and delicious.

Add variety

Just like humans, including a variety of foods in your diet contributes to body and mental health! Although there is nothing wrong with having a staple food that covers all the nutritional bases, adding fresh food gives a boost of vitamins and minerals while causing a taste excitement and helping to prevent your best friend from getting bored with your food.

Great long-term health benefits

A 2005 study from Purdue University showed that fresh vegetables added to a dog’s diet only 3 times a week reduced the risk of developing a type of bladder cancer by more than 70%! There is a lot more research on how feeding your dogs and cats with fresh food can help with other conditions, but there is clear evidence that supports the benefits of fresh food for good health in the coming years.

Fresh food for your dog’s diet

It’s always a good idea to look for new foods to add to your pet’s diet to make sure they are suitable for dogs with allergies or other nutritional needs. The best supplements for your dog’s food are just as unique as your dog! This List will help you get started with some favorite ingredients of veterinarians that offer great health benefits and are beneficial for most dogs:

Cold Cuts

Raw, freeze-dried or dehydrated meats can increase the protein content of your dog’s dinner while containing other important nutrients.

Muscle meat, including chicken, turkey and lean beef (good sources of protein)
Offal such as hearts, guts, stomachs and small amounts of beef liver (rich in B vitamins, zinc and iron)
Fresh fish or canned fish in water (sardines, salmon and smelt have the most omega-3 per ounce)
Bone Broth (adds calcium, selenium and magnesium, as well as moisture and flavor)

Vegetables

Vegetables are a good source of fiber and a variety of vitamins! Most dogs do not chew their food enough to break down the hard cell walls of plants and retain all their nutritional value. Therefore, it is better to puree raw vegetables, lightly steam them or dry roast them to make their nutrients accessible.

Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, arugula, turnip greens and collard greens (rich in kaempferol, are believed to improve cognitive health and reduce the risk of cancer)
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts (rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant believed to reduce the risk of cancer)
Pumpkin and sweet potato (high in fiber and low in fat for healthy digestion)
Mushrooms such as Shiitake, lion’s mane, Chaga and Reishi (rich in beta-glucans that support the immune system)

Fruit

The fruits are easy to digest and can be given raw to your dog. Although they are often a good source of moisture and antioxidants, they can also be high in sugar and should be fed in small quantities.

Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries (superfoods rich in antioxidants and vitamins)
Apples (rich in antioxidant catechins)
Watermelon, grapefruit, mango and papaya (rich in antioxidant lycopene)

Dairy products

While many common dairy products are high in fat and can cause digestive problems, there are a few that can be great natural sources of probiotics! They are a delicious and safe filling for dog food that transforms dry kibble into something wonderfully cheeky. Use a light hand to avoid excess fat and calories — a little goes a long way with these ingredients.

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Pure Kefir
  • Goat’s milk

Whatever human food you want to share with your dog, it must be simple and unseasoned! If you want to expand your puppy’s menu, look at which seasonal fruits and vegetables are suitable for dogs.

Tips to make it easier to eat fresh food

Adding fresh food to your pet’s diet may seem daunting, but it can be surprisingly easy. Try these techniques to make adding fresh food to your dog’s meals an easy part of your Routine:

Start small

Feeding fresh food is not all or nothing! You don’t need to commit to a complete raw food diet on the first day. In fact, you shouldn’t make too many changes to your pet’s balanced, expertly formulated diet. Check with your veterinarian to find out your pet’s individual needs, but a good estimate is that less than 15% of his total daily calories should come from added foods, while the remaining 85% should come from his staple foods.

You also don’t need to feed fresh food every day, so don’t be discouraged if you miss days. Adding fresh ingredients a few days a week can make a difference to your dog’s health!

Meal preparation

Planning supplements to your dog’s food in advance can reduce daily hassles. Try to prepare a Portion of vegetable puree at the beginning of the week to add to your dog’s kibble every day. You can pre-portion and freeze ingredients such as diced or minced meat in large quantities. All it takes is to put a Portion in the refrigerator in the morning and it should be thawed in time for your dog’s dinner.

Use what you have

No need to create a new shopping list just for your dog! Keep it simple by using the dog-safe ingredients you have on hand. This strategy can actually help reduce food waste, because you can give your dog the Brussels sprouts that your human family doesn’t want to eat before they go bad!

We all want the best for our pets, and that certainly includes their food. If a little more time in the kitchen can help our dogs live a long and happy life, we are ready to put on our aprons and get to work!

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