You want your dog to live a long, healthy life. Most dogs, especially if they’re kibble-fed dogs, have nutritional deficiencies. Providing supplements can fill the nutritional gaps, promoting overall health and wellness. Even if you would like to continue feeding kibble, adding supplements and food toppers can promote overall well-being. With that being said, what are good supplements to add to dog food? And, what is the best food to feed your dog to maintain optimal health?
Providing the Best Dog Food
If you take a quick glance at your dog’s food bag, pet parents will notice a list of ingredients that is barely recognizable. Most of them you may not even know. What’s worse is what’s hidden within the beautifully marketed bags pet food companies use to glamorize their products.
The majority of commercial dog foods, like kibble, contain up to 70% carbohydrates. Dogs lack the enzyme amylase, which breaks down carbohydrates, which results in impaired health and wellness. Instead of providing commercial kibble, consider offering your dog fresh foods in the form of a raw or homemade dog food diet.
To determine how many carbs are in your dog’s food, you can use a simple calculation. Take a look at the guaranteed analysis on the label. Start at 100 and subtract the amount of fat, protein, moisture, and ash. What’s left is the carb content of the kibble. If you aren’t sure how much ash is in the food, you can ask the manufacturer. The ash amount is not required to be on the label.
The Importance of Variety in Your Dog’s Diet
Think about this for a moment. Consider how you would feel if you ate fast food every day for your entire life versus eating fresh, whole foods daily. You can even think about how you feel after eating fast food for a few days after eating healthy. Or, what about eating the same exact food on a daily basis? You wouldn’t be eating a balanced diet. You would probably be missing out on some vitamins, minerals, and other components necessary for optimal health and wellness.
Your dog is the same. When fed kibble, they are basically being fed fast food on a daily basis, except with only one item on the menu. You can provide dog supplements, but without a good diet, or at least adding variety, the problems will continue to arise.
Making a Homemade Bowl for Your Dog
Whether you choose to lightly cook your dog’s food or make a raw bowl, your dog can benefit. Feeding a homemade dog food diet to dogs has been growing in popularity among dog owners. Some potential benefits include:
- Promoting skin health and coat health: Homemade dog food diets provide essential fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
- Improved digestion: Supports the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, supports colon health, and assists in the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients
- Increased energy: Helps support energy production at a cellular level
- Skin Allergies: May help with occasional or seasonal allergies and helps maintain normal histamine levels
- Dental health: Chewing on raw bones and meat can help build and maintain bones and teeth and helps keep your animal’s teeth healthy and clean
What are Good Supplements to Add to Dog Food?
You’re wondering, “what are good supplements to add to dog food?” Knowing the answer to this question involves looking into both food-based supplements and regular supplement types. Some nutrients can be gained easier from traditional dog supplements, whereas others can be provided through food. Let’s get into the answer to “What are good supplements to add to dog food?”
Incorporating Fatty Fish for Omegas
Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for supporting a healthy inflammatory response. Most essential fatty acids are destroyed in your dog’s kibble during processing. Even if your dog’s kibble does claim to have the appropriate amount of omega 3 fatty acids, they can become rancid quickly. Once they oxidize or become rancid, they are no longer useful to your dog’s health and well-being.
Although fish oil is a common recommendation, whole fatty fish are a healthier addition to your dog’s bowl. Fish oil often oxidizes before it even hits the shelf, rendering it useless or even harmful to your dog’s health. Fresh foods are recommended over fish oil.
Feeding small fish is recommended to avoid the mercury that large fish accumulate over time. Small fish can be fed raw and include anchovies and sardines. If you grab them in a can, make sure they are contained in water rather than oil. They can be added as a topper to your dog’s kibble or as the seafood component of a raw or homemade dog food diet.
The best dog vitamins come sometimes from fresh foods, like fresh fish, for example. If you don’t want to feed your dog fish, you can elect to feed meat or organs from grass-fed cattle. Grass-fed cattle have higher concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. It also contains vitamin E, vitamin K2, and beta-carotene which can be helpful.
Adding Green Tripe as a Probiotic
Green tripe is the stomach lining of ruminants, like cattle. Grass-fed tripe is recommended and will appear green; grain-fed tripe will appear brown in color. Green tripe is full of natural probiotics, also known as beneficial bacteria or good bacteria, that promote gut health.
The benefits of feeding green tripe include:
- Promoting gut health through incorporation of digestive enzymes
- Provides nutritional support for healthy immune function
- Provides natural nutrients that support optimal functioning of joints and connective tissue
- Supports normal detoxification processes
Dogs only need a small piece to promote the benefits of this natural supplement. If your dog experiences diarrhea, this means they have been provided too much. Simply lower the amount you are providing. This can be added to a homemade dog food or a raw diet, or added as a topper to your dog’s dry food diet.
Dog Supplements for Digestive Health
Earth Buddy offers two gut health supplements to improve normal bowel function in the digestive system. They contain full spectrum hemp extract and bovine colostrum. The bovine colostrum is from the mother cow within 24 hours following giving birth. The colostrum and hemp extract provide healthy fats, immunoglobulins, cannabinoids, and terpenes, among other beneficial compounds.
Benefits of Earth Buddy’s Gut Health supplements include:
- Balances the animal’s intestinal microflora
- Helps maintain proper gut pH
- Helps maintain healthy gut flora in the digestive tract
- Helps support proper digestion and bowel health
- Nourishes natural gut bacteria
Nutrients derived from colostrum have also been shown to help support the growth of muscle, skin, collagen, bone, cartilage and nerve tissue.
Dog Supplements for Improved Hip and Joint Health
Some dogs, especially senior dogs, experience problems with mobility and need a boost to improve their joint health. Mobility Hemp Extract has been developed using a large amount of cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) to support healthy joint function. CBDa is chosen over traditional CBD in joint supplements due to being more bioavailable for joint stiffness.
Benefits of CBDa for joint health include:
- Helps support joint flexibility and mobility
- Eases joint stiffness due to normal daily exercise and activity
- Helps maintain healthy bone and joint function
- Helps maintain proper joint nutrition
- Provides nutritional support for connective tissue
Allergy and Immune Supplements for Dogs
Earth Buddy offers a mushroom blend tincture as well as a mushroom blend powder for allergy and immune support. Both mushroom blends contain the following mushrooms: agarikon, cordyceps, lion’s mane, reishi, and turkey tail.
In addition to the mushroom blend, the mushroom tincture also contains elderberry. Elderberry contains antioxidants like quercetin and vitamin C. Quercetin is known to promote healthy inflammatory responses and normal histamine function. Both blends can be added to your dog’s food for added benefits.
These blends may help with the following:
- Supporting a balanced immune system response
- Promotes healthy digestion processes
- Helps reduce effects of normally induced environmental stress
- Contains antioxidants to eliminate free radicals
- Helps support normal respiratory function and health
- Helps maintain normal histamine levels
- Promotes skin and coat health
Earth Buddy’s product is unique due to its inclusion of both the fruiting body and mycelium. This provides your dog with a full-spectrum mushroom product. These products have been triple extracted and third party tested for purity and potency.
Glutathione for Cellular Health Benefits
Glutathione supports and promotes long-term health in dogs of all ages. It’s also recommended for dogs seven years or older to support and maintain proper body functions and an overall good quality of life.
Earth Buddy’s Maxx Life Glutathione combines liposomal Glutathione Complex, Immune Support Complex, and Hemp Essence Trinity and is a daily supplement used to maintain the optimal health of pets as they age.
Additional benefits include:
- Enhances the physical and mental well-being of dogs
- Helps support cognitive function
- Promotes the body’s innate resistance to pathogens
- Helps support liver function
- Promotes a healthy immune response
- Helps skin and coat health
Checking Your Dog’s Health
A fecal microbiome test and a hair tissue mineral analysis test can be useful for dog owners interested in determining if your dog is missing any essential vitamins and minerals, or nutrients. They provide a comprehensive look at your dog’s diet checking not only vitamins and minerals, but also other aspects of your dog’s health. They may also show deficiencies if there are any, allowing you to best determine which dog food supplements would be helpful.
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