Are you having a hard time convincing your dog to eat? Afraid the pet food you offer is just too bland? Or are you simply trying to add some nutrition to the mix? No matter the reason, you can’t go wrong with healthy & delicious natural dog food toppers!
Eggs are highly nutritious, and dogs love them! The American Heart Association recommends them, and they are chock full of both vitamins & minerals. One egg offers 7 grams of protein, lutein and zeaxanthin, iron, vitamin A, folate, vitamin B, D, E, K, calcium and zink. Eggs are known to help support healthy skin and promote a shiny coat. To boot! Eggs even help prevent macular degeneration, resulting in vision loss, something that is inevitable for most older dogs.
Protein is extremely important for a dog’s body to function, and most don’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, many popular pet foods are plant based and offer plant based proteins, along with too many carbs, while dogs are meant to thrive largely off of the amino acids found in animal proteins.
A Note on Plant Based Foods: Where dogs are omnivores, their bodies are designed to flourish off of essential amino acids (component of proteins) found most in Animal Meats or animal products, while difficult to find in plants. Where a plant based food may claim to offer ‘real meat’ or plenty of protein, ask yourself how much of this meat is actually in the food, and if this high protein content is the right kind of protein.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Disease fighting ingredients like these help insure your pet remains strong and healthy!
Not only is the main purpose of iron to carry oxygen throughout the body by way of the hemoglobin found in red blood cells, it also helps remove harmful carbon dioxide!
Vitamin A has an important role in strong immune system function, healthy vision, and proper organ function!
Calcium is important for much more than strong teeth & bones. Calcium is required for proper muscle control, healthy heart function, and blood circulation in the body. Your dog must find calcium in his or her diet; sufficient amounts aren’t created by the body.
Zink is used in cells found throughout the body, necessary for a healthy immune system to work properly. Zink plays roles in cell division (mitosis), wound healing, cell growth, and carbohydrate breakdown.
Sliced or Blended Banana Topper
Here’s another simple topping that your dog will absolutely devour! You might need to separate your pet’s food bowl, so he doesn’t gobble this up too quickly. Like eggs, bananas are chalked full of nutrition! Not only are they rich in both fiber and potassium, they can help prevent cardiovascular disorders and digestive problems.
- Promotes heart health
- Assists with digestion
Fresh Fruit Dog Food Topper
The majority of fruits are low in fat, sodium and carbs, while bursting with antioxidants and nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and foliate. As more unique toppings dogs don’t often see in their natural forms, fresh fruits are sure to peak your little one’s interest!
Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that help inhibit, or prevent, oxidation. Oxidation can create ‘free radicals’, creating or leading up to harmful chain reactions that can cause damage to cells in your dog’s body.
- Vitamin C
The benefits of supplementing Pumpkin in your dogs diet are numerous: natural pumpkin is a wonderful fiber source, provides an excellent source of vitamins, and helps support digestive function. A small amount (tablespoon) of pumpkin mixed in with your pet’s food can ease an upset stomach, a good choice if your dog has had constipation, diarrhea or gas. Oils in pumpkin seeds are thought to promote urinary health, and the fiber contained within works to support healthy digestion.
Be sure to use canned or freshly cooked organic pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie mix or raw pumpkin. The rumor you may have heard concerning most canned pumpkins being actually composed of squash is partially true (depending on how you look at it), only because pumpkin is considered a type of squash. Both squash and pumpkin belong to the same family.
- Beta Carotene (Vitamin A)
- Vitamin C
Those baby grains and legumes you see here are actually packed with nutrients, making them a wonderful and easy dog food topper for you to use!
Are All Grains ‘Bad’?
There is a huge ‘grain free’ craze among the dog food industry. Many people choose grain free foods, thinking they must be better, without actually knowing why. The truth is they aren’t necessarily bad in limited amounts.
Too many grains, along with an excess in various vegetables (like corn- see Ingredients and Nutrition under this popular dog food as an example), are often used as inexpensive ‘filler’ ingredients to make a cheaply made dog food seem like more than what it is. The main problems with this have to do with a lower amount of the right kind of amino acids a dog gets from animal meat, and too many carbohydrates. Again, unlike humans, a dog’s body doesn’t need carbohydrates as a main form of energy production, and too many can lead to excess weight gain or even diabetes.
Where yogurt is processed and you don’t want to go overboard, some are healthier, lacking unwanted things like sugary syrups or additives. Either regular (plain, unsweetened) or Greek yogurts are considered very nutritious, and they add an unusual flavor your dog will love! With yogurt, your pet will get extra protein calcium, and increases in beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Yogurt is a dairy product, made from a yogurt culture and milk. Where as many dogs do have an intolerance (not to be confused with a food allergy) to lactose, the sugar found in milk, many don’t. Some dogs may experience digestive upset, where others may experience only benefits. If your dog experiences diarrhea, vomiting, or general gassiness, it’s best to avoid dairy products.
- B vitamins
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis and heart disease