Beyond making the important decision to feed our dogs high quality food, there are several things we can add into our dog's food bowl that can make a significant difference in their health for a variety of reasons. These "dietary powerhouses" are ingredients every single dog should get with their food to help promote disease resistance, longevity and vibrancy of life.
In this article, I want to discuss 3 of the most important things any pet parent can give to their dog.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in any diet, because they are necessary for optimal function of your dog's body. The three types include ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The majority of ALA comes from plants, where DHA and EPA come mostly from animal sources.
Omega fatty acids are HIGHLY beneficial for a variety of reasons. They promote a healthy, lustrous coat. They nourish the brain, and promote healthy brain function. They also are vitally important in the growth and development of puppies and young dogs, while also being equally vital for maintaining health in seniors. Studies (1, 2, 3, 4) have shown that omega fatty acids help fight age related mental decline.
A recent study has shown that omega fatty acids play a role in the prevention and treatment of lymphoma in dogs! You can read that study here. More studies have been done regarding the role of omega fatty acids in cancer prevention: 5, 6, 7, 8.
Dosage: 150 mg per 10lbs of body weight.
The gut's microbiome is the collection of bacteria found within your dog's digestive tract. A healthy gut microbiome means your dog's digestive tract is full of beneficial bacteria that play multiple important roles in the health of your dog. Beneficial bacteria can even help extend your dog's life by years!
A healthy gut microbiome will contain all of the bacteria essential to optimal digestion and absorption of the food your dog eats, but it also acts as the first line of defense against any ingested pathogens (9, 10). The gut microbiome can even have an effect on the brain (that study is here)!
So how do you help nourish your dog's beneficial bacteria? By feeding high quality pre- and probiotics! Prebiotics are essentially food for the beneficial bacteria, and the probiotics are the bacteria themselves! Make sure you choose a probiotic formulated for dogs, as human probiotics are not nearly are beneficial, and rotate brands so that your dog can get the benefit of a wide variety of bacteria species!
Dosage: Follow instructions per product guidelines.
There are over 5000 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies proving that the amazing benefits of turmeric are real. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties (11, 12) and can help prevent and fight cancer (13, 14, 15)! Turmeric can improve brain function (16) and promote a healthy heart (17) while fighting against the negative effects of aging (18, 19).
Turmeric is 100% safe for dogs, and is highly beneficial in fighting MANY diseases (2o).
Dosage: 1/4 of a teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight.