This article is contributed by guest author Johnny Bonds (Writer).
10 Disease-Fighting Foods for Your Dog
Anyone who has a canine member of the family knows how important a dog’s health is, especially as dogs live longer and in better conditions. Our health and that of our beloved pets depend considerably on our individual immune system and its response to infections and disease in general.
Is quality commercial dog food, water, a warm bed, affection, and daily exercise enough? These are certainly a step in the right direction but boosting your dog’s immune system can be a step further in the fight against disease.
The immune system builds itself thanks to several important influences like the environment, genetic predisposition, exercise, and nutrition, with nutrition playing a leading role daily.
Is Quality Dog Food Sufficient in the Fight Against Disease?
While good quality commercial dog food is certainly an important basis, it probably does not provide every nutrient your dog needs, especially dry foods that may often contain fillers like cereals or grains.
In the correct amounts, fruits and vegetables can go a long way in providing your dog with multiple benefits in terms of vitamins and minerals that will boost the immune system. This can be crucial when you have a growing puppy without a fully developed immune system or a senior dog that is somewhat weakened by age.
Blueberries, flaxseed, and oatmeal are some of the top immune-boosting foods. But are they relevant and efficacious for canines? What are the foods that can aid your pooch in resisting disease?
10 Super Disease-Fighting Foods to Include in Your Dog’s Diet
According to the dog food experts at Pet Food Sherpa, “There is no magic formula when it comes to warding off disease, but your pooch’s general health will aid the immune system. So, the idea of integrating your dog’s diet with foods known to be beneficial, can in some measure provide your pet with a boost.”
While research evidence is not yet sufficient about foods with canine-specific benefits, some foods can be integrated into your pet’s diet that are worthy of attention. Before adding foods, do consult your veterinarian.
That chimpanzees love bananas is no secret, but these are a healthy treat for your pooch as well. A natural source of copper, fiber, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B and C, bananas are a favorite while ensuring a strong immune system and aiding in bowel movements. Because they have higher sugar content, limit them to a couple of times a week.
Blueberries are known to be super nutritious with very high levels of antioxidants to protect cells from damage. They support good urinary tract health, just like cranberries, and thanks to that lovely blue color contain anti-inflammatory anthocyanins. Other berries that contain anthocyanins include blackberries, acai berries, and strawberries. All of these berries are high in fiber, low in sugar and calories, and contain vitamins.
Broccoli provides vitamin C with a high dose of fiber, and it also is low in calories and fat. This lovely green vegetable contains calcium, iron, and potassium, all minerals essential to overall health and fighting disease. Serve it raw cut into bite-size pieces.
Like other orange vegetables and fruits, carrots contain beta-carotene for the immune system, vision, and skin health. They contain quite a bit of fiber which will aid the digestive tract and are low-calorie. They offer the extra benefit of helping to keep gums and teeth clean through chewing warding off dental issues.
Celery is a super healthy food that is low in calories while being a source of calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. It will help with doggie breath and teeth care. If your dog loves to chew, all the better, give him or her a stalk to nibble on.
Cantaloupe contains lots of water for hydration and is rich in vitamins A, C, fiber, folic acid, potassium, and beta-carotene. With antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a great diet addition for overall health. And don’t forget watermelon with its water content and lycopene that have been shown to lower the risk of some cancers.
Mushrooms have PSPs or polysaccharopeptide that research indicates may have properties that combat tumors. Beware of the many poisonous types of mushrooms and do consult your vet before adding them to your pooch’s diet.
Pumpkin is full of beta-carotene, which will boost the immune system, eye health, and coat and skin health. It is also rich in soluble fiber, which can help in loose stools or constipation. Finally, it contains lots of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E as well as a dose of both calcium and iron. Several tablespoons of cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin without sugar can be added to your pet’s dinner.
High fiber in your dog’s diet can be beneficial, and apart from legumes like lentils or oatmeal, seeds, such as chia, flax, or psyllium are an alternative that can be added to your pooch’s dinner. Fiber helps your dog feel full and will aid canines with a tendency to be overweight lose those extra pounds. Obesity is related to a variety of diseases including diabetes, joint problems, liver, and respiratory disease.
Long respected for medicinal properties, turmeric has several names such as Indian saffron and Curcuma longa. This spice contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that appears to be stronger than vitamin E used to protect the body from free radicals. A turmeric infusion can be used as a tonic for your dog and can be given daily.
The Bottom Line
Colorful vegetables and fruits are packed full of vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system of our canine family members. Not only will your pooch enjoy a tasty fresh treat, but you’ll be aiding in the fight against disease in your beloved pet.