I have been hearing the word, “superfood” everywhere! Mama told me that it is a word people use to describe food that has superior health benefits, such as yoghurt, peanut butter and coconut oil. But is it really true?
The fact is, even though these foods sound nutritious and you feel good about feeding them, it may not mean that they are good for your dog’s health.
MOST DOGS DO NOT NEED ADD-ONS TO THEIR MEALS
If your furkid is already getting enough nutrients from its standard diet, feeding it extra may do more harm than good. Too much of certain foods can cause problems, ranging from minor to severe; such as digestive issues, obesity and kidney stones. What’s more, according to my vet, Dr Jean-Paul Ly from The Animal Recovery Centre, allergic pets like me should avoid dairy products like yoghurt, as they are often a trigger for allergies.
When mama fed me kibbles in the past, she never had to give me supplements because quality commercial dog food should meet a dog’s daily nutritional requirements. She only started giving me fruits because she felt sorry for making me eat the same dry kibbles everyday. Now, she adds calcium and Life Extension’s dog mix to supplement my home cooked meal.
SUPERFOOD IS NOT A SCIENTIFIC TERM
After consulting several vets, the consensus was that superfood is a new marketing term that is not scientifically recognised. It may be true that some of these foods generally provide health benefits, but it also depends on your dog’s current health condition, age and diet. A dog with diabetes may need a different diet from a healthy puppy. Hence, it is always best for furparents to consult a vet before making adjustments to their dog’s diet.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS FOR DOGS
So is there anything that your pup can eat to improve its overall health? Dr Brian Loon from Amber Vet shared with mama: “I would generally recommend omega-3 oil supplements, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties to dogs and cats with ageing, arthritis, heart, kidney or allergic skin conditions. Also, probiotic supplements can be helpful for dogs and cats with allergic skin and gastrointestinal conditions, and foods containing antioxidants, such as blueberries and cranberries are healthy treats (in limited amounts) for senior pets.” Dr Ly also told mama that papaya is the best fruit to give a dog because it contains most of its required nutrients.
At the end of the day, it is best for furparents to make sure that the meals they feed are deemed by the vet or animal nutritionist as safe, complete, and balanced.