When we think “eat healthy,” we typically think of how it applies to us…people! We know when we put nutritious foods into our bodies, we feel better. We have great energy, focus and concentration, sleep better, can manage our weight, have a strong immune system…but all of that applies to dogs, too!
Meet my dog Maddie. She’s a 4 year old French Bulldog who had to have emergency surgery New Year’s Eve night or good chance she wouldn’t be able to walk again.
She has a condition many small dogs like her are prone to called Intervertebral Disk Disease, which can cause pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.
The surgeon told us initially she had to be confined to her crate for 4 weeks of strict crate-rest to start with. BUT after just 10 days, when we brought her into get her staples removed from her spine, she no longer had to be confined to her crate and could even go on walks!
To help speed up Maddie’s healing time, I used the power of real, whole foods.
I whipped her up a ‘superfood blend’ (image below) in my blender using foods that have been shown to naturally help reduce inflammation and support healing like broccoli, sardines, spinach, blueberries, coconut oil, flax seeds, turmeric, and bone broth.
I put a few spoonfuls of that in her dog food every day to give her body nutrients to do its healing (hopefully) even faster…and it really seemed to help!
It served as a great reminder and example that what we put in our bodies, AND our pet’s bodies, MATTERS!
Food has the power to help keep us happy and healthy, protect, prevent, and even fight disease, but other foods/ingredients have the power to cause harm or promote disease.
I’ve seen people become a lot more aware of the dog food they’re giving their pups, but also check the ingredient list on treats.
Many contain laundry lists of ingredients that include preservatives and chemicals that are not doing your dog’s body any favors. So why not use real, whole foods as treats instead (they’re cheaper too!)? 🙂
Of course it’s important to double check with your vet to make sure what you’re giving your dog is safe (see), but there are TONS of overlap foods that work great for both people and dogs for not only healing, but supporting overall health too!
Here are some of Maddie’s favorites:
- Maddie comes running from wherever she is in the house when I open the jar of coconut oil to use for cooking!
- Great for people and pups because of its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, it support digestion, strengthens the immune system, and helps with skin/coat health
- I always give Maddie a piece when I add a banana to my morning smoothie!
- It’s a really good source of vitamin c, fiber, and potassium, and way to help replenish electrolytes
Broccoli and Cauliflower
- This is a perfect one for using scraps from your own cooking as you chop broccoli or cauliflower to eat for yourself. Both of my dogs love eating the broccoli stalks or we call them “bones”
- They’re loaded with antioxidants, reduce inflammation and are great for oral health. Broccoli also supports bone health too.
Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrots, Butternut Squash
- My mom slices sweet potatoes thin, and dehydrates them, and uses as dog chew treats. The pups love them! You can also use canned pumpkin or cut them into chunks and steam to soften. I store the pieces in the fridge to use as treats.
- Shown to protect against heart disease and promote eye health
- One of my and Maddie’s favorites, it’s found in all grocery stores, you just peel outer layer. It’s delicious for adding a crunch to stir frys, salads, dipping in guacamole, and it makes great taco shells!
- Jicama supports digestion, nervous system, and stabilizes blood sugar
What are some fruits of veggies your dog loves? Comment below!