As a fur parent, it can be difficult not to share food from the table with your fur kid. But let’s face it: most of us do. I mean who can resist a pup somewhat patiently waiting by your side, eyes glued to your meal with a hopeful puddle of drool forming beneath them. It’s torture!
Of course, the general opinion is to not share, because it is bad for them. But good news, we’re here to tell you that there are plenty of great “human” foods that you and your pet can both enjoy. And the better news? They are good for both of you! Superfoods are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals and other nutrients. Great for people, these superfoods will help your pet stay healthy and live longer too.
Below are twelve foods that you can start sharing right away. Superfoods to the rescue!
These powerful little berries give a great dose of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, plus manganese and fiber. Available year round either fresh or frozen, they are great treats for your and your pet, but it is best to introduce them into your pet’s diet slowly in small quantities, as too much can affect bowel movements.
Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential; gorging on this tasty fruit can adversely affect canine and human poops.
Sweet potatoes are among nature’s very best foods. They actually boast 150% more antioxidants than blueberries and are also high in vitamins A, C and B6 plus manganese, copper and iron and a great source of dietary fiber. Combined these nutrients aid in healing, help prevent cancer, fight the effects of aging and help with loose stools.
They can also save you some money if you prepare them yourself and replace your store bought treats!
Oily fishes like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful agents in the fight against arthritis and heart disease, help prevent skin problems and allergies, and have even been shown to improve behavior and intelligence.
A great treat for dogs, carrots are packed with vitamins A, K and C, and a powerful antioxidant punch. Carrots also aid vision, heart, and blood sugar levels. Cook them, freeze them or serve them raw. Whatever you and your pet prefers!
Another food that is great either raw or cooked, broccoli brings anti-cancer effects, aid in fighting infections, skin and heart nutrients and help excreting toxins to the table. Florets can be used as treats or it can be cooked and added into meals.
Kale is hard to beat when it comes to nutritional value per calorie. It is proven to reduce your and your pet’s risk of cancer, plus has those coveted antioxidants, plus a ton of fiber, calcium, vitamins A, E and C and helps prevent heart disease. However, it must be avoided for pets with certain types of bladder stones or kidney disease.
An excellent source of vitamins K and A, spinach is another superfood packed with antioxidants vital for immune system health. This super leafy green is also a wonderful source of dietary fiber.
Commonly thought of as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed closely related to spinach. It has caught on lately as a complete protein and its high levels of antioxidants and heart disease and cancer fighting agents. Easy to prepare, it can be used in a variety of recipes for pets.
Beans are rich sources of proteins and minerals that will help boost your pet’s immune system and help burn fat. Black beans, soybeans, and garbanzo beans are all superfoods that can be implemented into your pet’s diet.
You might not think of feeding kelp to a pet, but they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years in Asia. It has recently been brought to the forefront in the U.S. because of its many therapeutic properties, such as calcium, phosphorous, iodine, selenium and iron.
Kelp helps strengthen the immune system, reduce arthritis pain, improve thyroid function, control appetite and aid in weight loss and fight infections. It is most commonly used in powder form and added into recipes.
Another item great for sprinkling into meals, chia seeds offer fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and even protein. They can even aid in hydration due to their high absorbency.
That’s right–eggs! Nature’s perfect protein supports muscle strength and metabolism through its healthy portion of amino acids. If your pet can eat chicken, it can enjoy eggs too!
Flaxseed – add it in your oatmeal or mix it into your fur kid’s food and start seeing improvements in digestion, skin, cholesterol levels, and weight. This important superfood has been around for a while (6,000 years to be exact!) and has proven to improve diets of humans and animals, alike!
When it comes to your pet’s diet, the one of the best things you can do is lead by example and start incorporating these foods into your own diet. Then, share!