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10 (More) Easy Pieces to Liven Up Your Dog’s Meals

6. Cranberries
An excellent source of Vitamin C, fiber and manganese. Cranberries also contain Vitamin K and phytochemicals thought to inhibit the ability of bad bacteria to stick to and infect the urinary tract. In addition, there may be benefits for blood vessel health and antioxidant protection. Pup Prep: Cranberries are very sour. To offset their tartness, combine them with a sweeter fruit, such as a banana or ripe papaya, for a healthful treat.

7. Sardines
A terrific protein source. Sardines contain appreciable amounts of the amino acid tryptophan as well as Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B-12 (a hard-to-come-by B vitamin that is essential for cell function). A good source of selenium, calcium and phosphorus as well as Vitamin D, Vitamin B-3 (niacin) and Vitamin A in its preformed state, sardines are a great addition to any doggie diet. Pup Prep: Choose a low-sodium, water-packed variety and mash well, checking for and removing obvious bones, which can lodge in the esophagus or splinter and cause dangerous tears in the gut.

8. Wheat Grass
Also known as pet grass or cat grass. The young grass of the wheat plant (though it doesn’t have the same composition as wheat), it has chlorophyll, fiber, Vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium as well as some protein and carotenoids. Wheat grass is also purported to decrease constipation and help with upset stomachs. Pup Prep: Buy or grow a pot of wheat grass and make it available to your dog. Many dogs eat grass, and wheat grass is an improvement over the potentially herbicide-laden, contaminated grass growing along the curb.

9. Turnip Greens
Unfamiliar to many humans and dogs alike. Turnip greens are an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, carotenoids, most B vitamins, fiber and manganese. They are also a good source of calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, and provide a complement of antioxidants. A caveat: Turnip greens are bitter and contain appreciable amounts of oxalates that can bind minerals as well as goitrogens, which may interfere with thyroid function in susceptible individuals. Pup Prep: To minimize these effects and maximize palatability, saute or blanch. Most recipes call for sauteing, which maintains the greens’ nutritional density and increases the odds that your dog (and you) will eat these healthful veggies.

10. Nutritional Yeast
Grown on mineral-enriched molasses and used as a food supplement. This inactive yeast is high in protein, B vitamins and chromium and several minerals as well. Protein is needed for muscle and cell growth, B vitamins are essential for energy metabolism and enzyme function, and chromium is important for insulin release and action, which allows carbohydrates and other fuels to be taken up by the cells and used or stored. Pup Prep: Don’t overdo it, as too much chromium can be detrimental. Use 1 teaspoon for a small dog, 2 tsp. for a medium dog and 1 tbsp. for a large dog. Mix it with food and introduce it slowly.

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4:20PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Thanks, the only thing my boy wants is my beer!

10:42AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

My two love bananas and pumpkin. Annabelle, who can get to anything edible, will open doors, push breakfast room chairs to reach a banana. Bailey, her sister will pick green beans or peas of any kind from my garden and eat them. It is hard on the plants. I think the crunch appeals. She will pick tomatoes, the occasional eggplant to carry around the yard and when my apples develop fragrance, she picks those from the low limbs to eat. (I garden without pesticides.)

1:48PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

thanks for posting this.

1:17AM PST on Nov 11, 2010

one of my dogs would rather have a head lettuce then a steak. The other...well hes much likke a kid, if it has any vegs in it he will pick out all the meat. I have to sneak them in. Lol.

3:07PM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

Too bad that articles like this aren't offered in a print version. Then I could put them in the kitchen and add what I need to the shopping list!

1:25AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010


9:32AM PST on Mar 7, 2010

i think sweet potatoes are okay to give to dogs.

6:17PM PST on Feb 17, 2010

this isnt applicable with my dogs..the only theyll eat on your list is the sardines..but they do eat mangoes and fried bananas...

3:31PM PST on Jan 1, 2010

Good sugestions!

7:54AM PST on Dec 30, 2009

my dogs don`t eat the meals if i add any vegetables.they`re 2 rescued street dogs that probably ate anything they got.but since they`re with me they will only eat meat.

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