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10 Ways to Liven up Your Dog’s Dinner

6. Salmon
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.) Salmon is also an excellent protein source, with many essential vitamins and minerals.* Pup Prep: When you’re cooking salmon steaks for yourself, toss a few extra on the barbie for your dog. Refrigerate or dehydrate the grilled chunks and serve them cold.

7. Nori
Dried edible seaweed (red algae species), a Japanese staple. Often associated with sushi, nori is available in some supermarkets, and certainly in those with 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. Pup Prep: Nori does not have a strong odor or flavor, and the paper-thin sheets can be torn and soaked in broth, then added to food, or just added dry. Puppy sushi, anyone?

8. Blueberries
Member of the Heath family and loaded with phytochemicals. Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries are a great treat for your dog. The deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants, and the berries also supply Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese and fiber. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here; as anyone who has ever gorged on this tasty fruit knows, the blueberry “trots” are most unpleasant (and you’re the one who will be cleaning up!). Be judicious. Pup Prep: Rinse and serve whole, or mash lightly.

9. Rosemary
Aromatic mint relative. Rosemary provides some fiber, iron and calcium in addition to several phytochemicals thought to improve immune function and act as anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Pup Prep: Wash a sprig of fresh rosemary and add the minced needles (leaves) to foods.

10. Swiss Chard
A pretty veggie known as a “green.” Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and has tons of nutrients, which are best maintained by blanching and not boiling the leaves and stalks to mush. (Some feel that, in order to lap up any leeched nutrients, the water in which chard is blanched should be consumed too.) Blanching sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Chard’s nutrients have the potential to maintain bone health, blood vessel integrity, eye health and immune function and benefit optimal muscle function and energy production. Pup Prep: Offer your dog some blanched, chopped chard enhanced with a bit of olive oil; if you’re lucky, your best friend will want the blanching water too!

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the levels of mercury and industrial chemicals that end up in fish, both fresh- and saltwater; updates regarding contamination are readily available.

The Bark is the award-winning magazine of modern dog culture—it speaks to the committed dog enthusiast—and is the indispensable guide to life with dogs, showing readers how to live smartly and rewardingly with their canine companions. Bark is the recognized expert on the social/cultural world of dogs in America, and what they mean to us. Click here for your FREE issue.

Read more: Dogs, Pets, , ,

By Roschelle Heuberger, PhD, The Bark

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1:53PM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

apples and pears , as long as you take the pips out the dogs love them

3:05AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

Thanks, I had not thought about some of these.have to try.

6:04AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Thank you.

8:38AM PST on Feb 13, 2014

My dog is crazy about seaweed and dried bananas when going hiking-THANKS

12:31AM PST on Jan 13, 2014

Hi Deborah ~thanks for your comments.Nice to hear from you.Your GSD cerainly looks good on it! I am thinking of trying sweet potatoes and will check what other veg Boxers can eat and we will all try them with dinner.
I had one of my Boxers get Liver Cancer which they are prone to and we kept him going feeding him cooked best salmon and chicken breasts and rice for nearly a year .
I am sure years ago the food was more natural and you didn't have to worry about it coming in from goodness knows where full of water and goodness knows what else!The price we pay for cheaper food!

4:05PM PST on Jan 12, 2014

Arlene M. -- I cook for my German Shepherd Dog, too. Rice, meat, and squash (pumpkin or butternut or acorn). He also gets a dollop of yogurt with each meal. They do not need sugar or all the other chemicals that are in fruit yogurt. I couldn't believe it, but he loves plain yogurt! Licks it up first, then eats the rest. He's not overweight, but I give him low-fat. He had a lot of digestive issues (GSDs often do) but now he's healthy and has a shiny coat. Good for you for taking care of your pup!

3:25PM PST on Jan 12, 2014

I feed my Boxer dogs yoghurt three times a day with their meals and usually use a good quality mango and papaya brand but am becoming worried at how much sugar and fat there are in them.
If you want a fat free one there is an alarming percentage of sugar in them and the only low fat, low sugar ones are usually plain.As a general rule is it better to have low fat or low sugar?
I feed Chicken and rice dry food formulated by a local vet with a small amount of their chicken and rice meat plus the yoghurt, and any cooked veg from our meals such as carrot parsnip peas potato in small amounts.
I used to feed cooked brown long rain rice and less dry food for my previous dogs and they loved it but my daughter insists that they need nothing other than the dried food and when her dog comes to stay with us he definitely knows that our dogs get better tasting food than he does, which I find sad, but I stick to her instructions.
We are now being told that sugar is the new tobacco and should be drastically cut out of our
diet but you need to check everything you eat for the low sugar brands.
What is Stevia and is it better than sugar~it's not readily available in supermarkets here in the UK but can be obtained from Amazon.
I would appreciate anyone who is kind enough to reply~thank you!
As a last thought we have had Boxer dogs for 40+ years and the one who lived the longest (14) was fed a mixer biscuit with tinned dogfood or our cooked meat and a good proportion of what ever veg w

10:47AM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:18PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Thanks for the great ideas!

10:50PM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

Thank You

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