Superfoods are health-promoting natural foods that provide our pets with a whole range of benefits to boost their overall well-being. While our pet cats and pet dogs cannot eat everything that we humans can, there are some human superfoods that provide all-natural nutrition and health benefits! Regardless of your pet’s diet – be it dry food, raw, or home-cooked – adding these human superfoods into your cat and dog’s daily diet can pack on loads of nutrition and boost their health in many ways! Just one thing to note, is that cats and dogs are carnivorous and still need a meat-based diet every day. These superfoods should be used as additional ingredients to add into their food
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds may be small, but they sure pack a huge power punch! Containing more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other natural source out there (yes, even more than salmon!), Chia seeds keeps your cats and dogs’ skin and coat smooth and soft. Chia seeds are also a great source of fibre to support a healthy digestive tract, and optimizes the absorption of nutrients by your pet’s body. And the reason why we think Chia seeds are the best superfood to share with your pets – Chia seeds are pretty much tasteless, which is great news for all the picky eaters out there! To feed your cats and dogs Chia seeds, soak a tablespoon in water until a transparent film membrane forms around it and add it into your cat or dog’s food bowl!
2. Coconut Oil
Not all oil is bad – coconut oil is a wonderful addition to your pet’s food as it provides loads of benefits to your pets! Consuming coconut oil helps to regulate your pet’s thyroid and reduce the risk of thyroid diseases in your dogs and cats; it also helps to improve the fat-burning process and therefore aids with weight management. Simply by adding one tablespoon of coconut oil into your pet’s everyday meal, you can boost his or her immunity to optimal levels and strengthens their ability to prevent bacterial and viral infections! For cat owners, coconut oil also helps to reduce shedding and hairballs!
If your pet has raw skin or hot spots, you can even apply some coconut oil on those areas to soothe the affected area. Applying coconut oil on your cat and dogs also improves their fur coat to make it flossier, smoother and softer! If you feed your dog home-cooked food, use coconut oil as your choice of cooking oil – your dog’s meals will definitely smell great!
Not only are cranberries delicious, they also help to boost your dog and cat’s immunity and digestion! Often nicknamed ‘superberries’, cranberries can be considered among the best superfoods for cats as they promote good kidney and urinary health – and can prevent urinary tract infections in our precious pets. Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants and anti-cancer agents; removing toxins within the body, strengthens the immune system, and providing joint support.
One lesser known superfood that humans can and should share with their pet cats and pet dogs is spirulina. Spirulina is a type of microscopic algae which is greenish in colour, and contains immensely high levels of plant-source protein. Adding one teaspoon of spirulina powder into your pet’s food increases resistance against diseases and infections while improving digestive health. That’s not all! Spirulina is also serves as a natural detox and helps to cleanse your pet’s body of toxins accumulated inside. Don’t be surprised to notice that your dog or cat’s poop turns slightly greenish and soft during the first one to two weeks of adding spirulina to your pet’s diet – it means that the superfood is working and detoxifying the body!
Even though cats and dogs are carnivores, you can add in some veggies into their meals in moderation! Broccoli is a rich source of dietary fiber, and helps to regulate your pet’s digestive system and reduce the likelihood of constipation. Broccoli also helps to reduce inflammation, and is a great source of antioxidants which improves immunity! For cats that don’t enjoy drinking water, broccoli is a good way to help with clearing of bowels. The broccoli should be steamed till fully cooked), and depending on your pet’s ability to chew, broccoli is a versatile ingredient as it can be steamed and mashed into small bits, or stir-fried and served with a crisp texture!
The next time you prepare your dog or cat’s meal, why not try adding in some of these superfoods into their food? Do take note that while these ingredients provide your pets with many health benefits, they should be taken in moderation! Also, if it’s the first time you’re giving your pets these superfoods, start with small quantities as a huge influx of these ingredients could potentially cause a stomachache if your pet is not used to the new food. While your pets may not immediately get used to the taste of these superfoods – just remember that what’s the yummiest may not necessarily be the healthiest (don’t us humans enjoy fried foods and sweets that may not always be the best for our health?)! Because these superfoods are 100% natural, they would eventually be palatable for both dogs and cats, it just takes some patience and some time! Most importantly, these superfoods cannot be used to substitute your pet’s daily diet – but should instead supplement their regular meaty daily diets!