Superfoods are something that is nutrient-dense and has a range of great health benefits. There are some great superfoods you can feed your dog as a way to keep them happy and healthy. Even if you already feed them the best dry dog food, raw dog food or even homemade dog food, adding in some superfoods can be a great way to ensure they are getting a well-rounded diet.
While you may be aware of superfoods that are good for human consumption, which ones are suitable for your pup? From protein-packed fish to anti-inflammatory fruit and veg, there are plenty of foods that we consider super in our diets that would also be a great superfood for your dog too.
So if you’re looking to improve your dog’s diet this year, then you don’t have to look far for the foods with the most health benefits. We’ve listed the top five superfoods you should feed your dog below.
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1. Apples: Best for teeth
Apples are not only a delicious sweet treat for your pups, but they’re great for their teeth too. Allowing them to chomp on this fruit will protect their dental health and freshen their breath. On top of that, apples are packed full of vitamins that will protect your dog’s immune system and ward off disease. Be sure to give them chopped up apples without the seeds to avoid choking hazards.
2. Kale: Best for antioxidants
We all know leafy greens are good for humans, but did you know they are an incredibly powerful superfood for your dog too? Leafy greens, particularly the dark ones like kale and spinach, have anti-inflammatory properties and are packed full of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, and tons of fiber which helps with their digestive system too. It has been said that increasing leafy greens such as kale in your dog’s diet can stave off diseases such as cancer and reduce their risk by a considerable amount.
Just remember, when buying kale from a supermarket it’s best to go organic and then always rinse thoroughly to remove pesticides and any other harsh chemicals that may have been used on the food. Dogs can eat kale raw or you may wish to cook some up to serve with their dinner.
3. Eggs: Best for protein
A cooked breakfast for your pup may sound very fancy, but if you want a quick way to get some protein in their diet, whipping up some eggs is an easy way to do so. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein, and dogs will lap them up! Eggs contain amino acids and essential fatty acids too that have a wealth of benefits to your dog’s health both inside and out. Whip up some scrambled eggs for your pooch, especially during the winter and if they’ve not been well, as they’re easy to digest and will warm them up too.
4. Pumpkin: Best for digestion
One way to determine your dog’s health is by their toilet habits. If they’re not regular, then they may need some more fiber in their diet, and pumpkins are a great source of this. Pumpkin can assist with your dog’s digestive system and ensure their stomach is healthy. Just like other root vegetables, pumpkin can assist with immune health, eye health, and their skin and coat too.
If you buy a whole pumpkin, then you’ll need to cook it first and you can either add it into their food or serve it as a side dish. However, if you’d like to save time, you can always buy canned pumpkin, but be sure to check the label to ensure it’s 100% pumpkin with no added sugars or preservatives.
You can also feed your dog the pumpkin seeds, but these should be kept as a treat because they can have the opposite effect on digestion and may cause diarrhea if too many are consumed at once.
5. Sardines: Best for vitamins
Dog’s love fish! Sardines are particularly good for active dogs as they contain tons of omega-3, vitamin D, B12, and more. They can support your dog’s heart, brain, and joint health in the same way they do for humans, and they’re a source of protein too.
Sardines are one of the best superfoods for your dog, particularly older dogs, as they can help with mobility, movement, and joint issues.
When feeding your dog sardines, do so in moderation. While they have a variety of health benefits, sardines are around 25 calories each, pretty much all of which is fat and protein. This is great for keeping your dog fighting fit, but too many can lead to weight gain. Keep them for an occasional snack or an addition to meal times every now and then. It’s also best to opt for tinned sardines in water rather than oil, and without any added salt.
Choosing the right superfoods for your dog
Those are just a few of the top superfoods you can feed your dog. You don't have to feed them everything on the list, but rather tailor your dog's diet to their individual needs and likes.
There are plenty more such as berries, that are full of antioxidants, coconut oil, turmeric and ginger; all of which are beneficial superfoods to include in a doggy diet.
Remember, do not assume that any superfoods for humans are automatically superfoods for dogs. If you’d like more guidance on what dogs can and can't eat, then you can read our vet’s guide on what human food can dogs eat? to see what foods to avoid.
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Sarah is a freelance writer and marketer, covering a variety of topics from lifestyle and fitness to sustainability and travel. When she’s not writing for PetsRadar or other websites, she can be found looking after her pet chickens or relaxing with a cuppa and a cute doggo snoozing on her lap!