Food & Nutrition
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10 Super Foods For You and Your Dog


What makes a “super” food? Edibles that deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. Humans and dogs can share several common foods that are nutritionally dense, and pack a lot of healthful benefits into a serving. These super foods help people and their pets fight disease, boost energy and maintain good health in general. They make great additions to your dog’s diet—whether you feed packaged dog food or home cook meals—consider adding the nutritionally-packed components to compliment your dog’s eating regime. Be sure to introduce these foods gradually and with the proper proportions, and check with your veterinarian if your dog has any dietary or health concerns.


Kale is a supercharged leafy vegetable that contains an abundant amount of vitamins, including A, E, and C. It is a good source of antioxidants and helps the liver detoxify the body. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid in pets with certain types of bladder stones or kidney disease.

A great dog snack crunchy, naturally sweet and most dogs really like them. They are loaded with carotenoids, fiber, vitamin C and K (needed for blood clotting), as well as potassium. They have magnesium, manganese, most of the B vitamins and phosphorus, which is required for energy production, among other things.

Low in calories and high in soluble fiber, pumpkin helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. It is low in sodium and exceptionally high in carotenoids, potassium and vitamin C, and has some calcium and B vitamins. Canned organic pureed pumpkin can be found at food stores but be sure that it is pure and not a pie filling, so with no sugar or spices added.

Sweet Potatoes
These tuberous roots are rich in beta-carotene and boast 150% more antioxidants than blueberries. Sweet potatoes are also super high in heart-healthy vitamin A and packed with vitamin C to keep immunes system strong.

Oily fishes such as herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. (If your dog has any of these conditions, ask your vet if fish oil in capsule form might help too.) Fish are an excellent protein source, with many essential vitamins and minerals.


Dried edible seaweed is a Japanese staple. Often associated with sushi, nori is available in some supermarkets, especially those stocking Asian food items. It has protein, galactans (a soluble fiber), vitamins C, E and all the Bs, and minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, which have been investigated for their effects on regulating metabolism. Nori may have beneficial effects on fat metabolism, immune function and anti-tumor response. Make sure the nori/seaweed is low in sodium, amounts vary greatly in these products.

The seeds of this traditional grain from Mesoamerica have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and even protein. (Highly absorbent, they can help hydrate the body.) Chia seeds can be simply sprinkled on their meals.



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Submitted by Anonymous | February 26 2014 |

Please remember that not all nuts are safe. Macademia nuts are toxic to all dogs and hazelnuts can alter reproductive cycles and lactation. It might also have been a good idea to link to an article of foods that are dangerous to dogs so that readers don't think "red grapes/avocado are FABULOUS for me. So they MUST be good for my dog..."

Submitted by Jenny H | February 27 2014 |

Macadamia nuts are NOT toxic to dogs.

The evidence for people saying this is that after eating a whole pound (kilo?) of shelled macadamia nuts at one sitting (pinched off the table one presumes) a Dobermann lost control of her back legs for a day or two.

If any human ate that many macadamia nut in one sitting I suspect that they'd lose control of their bowels and possibly back legs at the same time. Nuts of any type are best eating in moderation.

(Speaking as a person with a plethora of macadamias growng on our property. I DO discourage the dogs from trying to shell the nuts by themselves, though. Broken teeth are more of a problem that the trots!)

Submitted by Susan Curtis | February 26 2014 |

Please make sure that you DO NOT give MACADAMIA NUTS to your dog. They are toxic to canines.

Submitted by Cheryl and Sophie | February 26 2014 |

Sophie loves all of these. Haven't tried nori on her tho, would be concerned re salt. She also loves mango, I share bits of natural unsulfered unsweetened mango. Kale in salads or cooked she loves.

Submitted by Nina Lewis | February 27 2014 |

Was gratified to see that I include many of the recommended super food into my dogs diets. I make a big stew as a topper (freeze extra in small containers until needed) to their cruchies which includes either minced and pieces of either fowl or beef and numerous fresh veg (dark greens, carrots, yams etc). I had not thought of including quinoa - I usually include a bit of organic brown rice to the mix but will now experiment with quinoa. Intolerances can be formed by serving the same ingredients over and over again - it is good to mix it up - now you have given me another alternative - thanks.

Submitted by Cheryl D | February 27 2014 |

Most forms of canned fish are loaded with methylmercury. Methylmercury is a form of mercury that is found in most freshwater and saltwater fish. Not healthy for people or dogs. Best to avoid it. Wild caught salmon from Alaska is safest fish to eat.

Submitted by Jenny H | February 27 2014 |

Though I have read that Kale and cabbage are best avoided or fed only occasionally. A dog will not get much out of raw carrot -- it is likely to pass through completely undigested.
I can only inveigle my dogs to consume carrot if it is juiced (raw) of well and truly mashed and mixed with meat, oil or youghurt so that they cannot pick out the lumps and discard them.

I do often add finely chopped parsley to their dinners -- good and free if you grow your own parsley. Pawpaws and Mangoes, oranges and apples and pineapple juice all go down well too when mixed with their meat food.

Submitted by Liz | February 28 2014 |

Kale and cabbage are safe. Dr. Susan Wynn, who literally wrote the textbook on canine nutrition, told me to include both in my dog's diet while she was undergoing chemo. My dog has been getting cooked chicken with a cooked veggie puree containing both kale and cabbage for over a year and she is healthier than ever!

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