Food & Nutrition
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10 Super Foods For You and Your Dog


Commonly considered a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is actually a seed related to spinach. Quinoa is a complete protein supplying all eight of the essential amino acids and is a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and many phytochemicals.  One of the few vegetables sources of complete proteins, quinoa is a potent antioxidant and reducing the risk of diabetes.


Active cultures known as probiotics (necessary, friendly bacteria) help keep the bad bacteria away. Yogurt, which may improve gut function, contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions).


Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries, loaded with phytochemicals, are a great treat for your dog. The deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants, and the berries also supply vitamins C and E, manganese and fiber. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential; gorging on this tasty fruit can adversely affect canine and human bowel movements.

Besides these, there are also many simple, fresh and wholesome food items that dogs and humans can thrive on, including apples, green beans, papaya, leafy greens, liver and hearts, eggs, oats, bananas, wheat grass, cranberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, parsley, wheat germ and apple cider vinegar. For dogs, animal protein such as, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, goat, rabbit, pork, beef, fish and venison, should be an integral part of their meals.



Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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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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