Whether you are an experienced dog owner or a newbie to the puppy world, choosing the right food and treats for your dog can make all the difference to their health, happiness, and wellbeing. As 90% of our dog’s diet is made up of their main meals, we must try and ensure their doggy dinners are well-balanced, nutritious and contain pawfuls of ingredients great for their health.
From joint and muscle support to improving digestion, giving your dog a little boost with those found in our 5-a-day can work wonders and ensure your four-legged friend is happy and healthy for as long as pawsible. So, to narrow down just what foods are delightful for your dog, feast your eyes on our top 15 ingredients great for your furry friend.
Fleshy, flavourful, and fantastically colourful, this rich and vibrant fruit (yes, according to botanists’ pumpkin is a fruit not a vegetable) containing heaps of vitamins that help support your dog’s immune system – great for fighting off those winter bugs and helping to keep coughs and colds at bay.
Want to improve your dog’s coat? Pumpkin is a superb source of Vitamin E helping to maintain a natural chine, thick fur, and smooth and supple skin. During winter months, your dog’s skin can easily dry out so adding extra Vitamin E to their diet can help avoid any unwanted skin irritations caused by dry and chapped skin.
Just like its offspring pumpkin, squash (the main family pumpkins derive from) is loaded with vitamins to support your dog’s digestive, immune and skin health. Butternut squash, a squash that many of us are most familiar with, is a great topper for your dog’s food as it packs the same filling power as potatoes without the harshness on digestion.
Fed raw, mashed or roasted, your dog can enjoy the sweetness of this vibrant veggie, but we recommend feeding in raw slices as it acts as both a nutritious treat and a delightful dental chew.
When it comes to leafy greens, there is none quite like kale for ensuring a healthy heart. Containing 1.5mg of iron per 100g, this green goodness is a fantastic way of keeping your dog’s ticker in tip-top shape. As a natural antioxidant, kale can help with detoxifying the liver, prevent damage to cells and help in prolonging the ageing process meaning your pooch is youthful and active as ever.
Curly kale is the most common and best form of kale to give to your dog. Roasting kale in the oven (which causes it to crisp) can be a tasty topper on your dog’s daily dinners.
Rice is a staple ingredient in many of our diets, but brown or wild rice can actually help your dog’s health in more ways than one. Rich in B vitamins, rice can help maintain a healthy heart and metabolism ensuring your canine’s cardiovascular system is working exactly as it should.
Got an upset tummy? Rice is a great way to ease stomach irritation and firm stools after GI problems. It is also a great way to keep your dog fuller for longer helping to reduce the likelihood of weight gain or obesity.
When it comes to fruits, there is nothing like berries to keep your dog’s health in tip-top shape. With the likes of cranberries and blueberries packed with antioxidants to flush out any unwanted nastiness, a handful of berries topping your dog’s food or treats made with berries are a great source of Vitamin C to keep your dog feeling as healthy as ever before.
Want to give your dog a delicious healthy treat with a difference? Try adding a few tablespoons of fat-free Greek yoghurt and a handful of blueberries onto a slow feeder and watch your dog woof for more as they feast on this fruity and flavoursome treat.
As the world becomes more and more plant-based, supermarket shelves are beginning to fill with natural oils that are lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol and better for the health of us and our pets. When it comes to natural healthy oils, being low in saturated fat and high in Omega 3 and 6 ensures they are the healthiest alternative out there.
When used in conjunction with health boosting ingredients and given in small quantities, the following oils harness a plethora of brilliant benefits for your pooch:
Coconut Oil – Packed with MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides) which are digested much easier than the fats in your dog’s usual food. MCTs are transported to the liver, transforming them into ketones, helping detox and aid digestion in your dog’s body. Coconut oil is full of lauric acid which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties so superb for senior dogs who may be suffering from arthritis or any musculoskeletal problems.
Sunflower Oil – Full of Omega 3, Sunflower oil is a great way of keeping your dog’s coat looking and feeling incredible. Containing linoleic acid, an acid fundamental for all animals for skin and immune health, this plant-based oil can help keep coats glossy and shiny and skin free from itches and irritations. For dogs prone to itchy skin, especially during the winter months, sunflower oil is a great addition to your dog’s diet, keeping skin soft and supple.
Flaxseed Oil – Made from the seeds from the flax plant, these tiny grains are often referred to as linseeds and promise a range of benefits for your furry friend such as improved coat and digestive health. When given in processed or ground form, these seeds are not just safe but extremely beneficial to your pet’s overall health.
Olive Oil – Known for its fat-busting powers, Olive oil is a great supplement for those on a weight-loss or weight-management programme. Stuffed with antioxidants and vitamin E to support a lush-looking coat and an improved immune system, this is one oil. Your dog surely cannot live without it.
Storming the health food market in recent years, it would be hard to find any plant-based pro who doesn’t have these special seeds stored in their pantry. Healthy for both humans and our dogs, these seeds have now been considered a superfood with the likes of berries, avocado and leafy greens.
Chia seeds can help maintain healthy brain function in your pet. The omega 3s work by strengthening parts of the brain responsible for neurotransmitters that aid in memory and learning making it a great treat for puppies and working dogs.
Does your dog suffer from diabetes? Chia seeds naturally regulate insulin functions and glucose tolerance making them a staple part of any diabetic or prediabetic dog out there.
This glorious grain most definitely had to make our list as it is one of the oldest ingredients proven to help keep ourselves and our pets healthy, happy, and wholesome. Used as a weight loss supplement since 500AD, yes that early, its high fibre content (11mg) per 100g provides pawfuls of filling power keeping you and your pooch fuller for longer.
For dogs with a sensitive stomach, particularly to grains like white rice and oats, quinoa is a fantastic alternative as it is completely gluten-free and can be used to settle even the most troublesome tummies.
It also contains all nine of the amino acids required for healthy muscle growth making it a great plant-based protein source for your pet.
We’ve all heard the phrase an apple a day can keep the doctor away. However, did you know that apples can help keep the doggy dentist at bay for your four-legged friend? Green apples are a wonderful way of managing your dog’s oral health in between those brush days when their breath gets a little stinker than normal.
Providing both a healthy dose of vitamins and aiding digestion, apples contain a substance known as Malic acid which aids your dog’s saliva production reducing the likelihood of bad breath and nasty oral odours.
Crisp, crunchy, and juicy beyond belief, crunching on apples slices help massage your dog’s gums, natural clean teeth ultimately helping to fight off plaque and tartar reducing the likelihood of those dreaded doggy dentist visits.
Whether you have a golden oldie or playful pup in your home, banana is a fantastic fruit to feed your four-legged friend. Containing pawfuls of potassium, which is fundamental in managing muscle growth and health, bananas can help support your pup’s natural growth or keep your senior dogs moving around just like their younger years.
Naturally high in fibre, bananas can support dogs who maybe suffering with gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and diarrhoea helping to ensure their digestive system is working exactly as it should.
Is your dog on grain-free or hypoallergenic food but still feeling hungry? Adding a little sweet potato to their food can provide extra filling power without the unwanted calories of white potatoes or rice (ingredients used as bulking agents in your dog’s regular food).
Sweet potato has become a go-to ingredient in the pet food world for those with sensitive stomachs, allergies and intolerances to regular foods that used wheat and grain products – the common culprits in the problems mentioned above. Low in fat, calories and fabulously flavourful, sweet potato is one of the best ingredients for dogs with sensitive tummies and those who like their treat a little sweeter to taste.
As one of the most popular ingredients to storm the pet food industry within the last 10 years, peanut butter has sent our canine companions into a flavour frenzy. Packed into our best-selling dental chews and healthy bites, peanut butter’s Omega oils and protein power makes it a tasty treat your furry friend will come back for time and time again.
Considering transitioning your dog to a plant-based diet? Peanut butter contains around 25% protein levels - making it one of the highest plant-based protein-rich foods. Adding a few teaspoons to your dog’s diet can help them gain the necessary protein amounts without the need of adding meat or poultry to their diets.
Top Tip! When purchasing peanut butter for your pooch – ensure you invest in Xylitol-free options as these are the safest and healthiest option for your furry friend as Xylitol (an artificial sweetener is highly toxic and will cause severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms if ingested).
Investing in Ingredients
Maintaining a nutritious and natural diet for your dog is the key to a healthy, happy, and wholesome life. So, to take the trauma out of investing in this incredible ingredient at the local supermarket – our range of Soopa snacks contains heaps of them in simple, affordable, and natural ways. Wanting to include our top 15 ingredients in your dog’s diet – head to our range of healthy bites and dental chews and see for yourself just how incredible these ingredients can be.