Just like us, our dogs are athletes that need to be fueled with good nutrition for optimal health. Last week during our Women & Dog Circle Canine Nutrition experience, Venessa Laudi, certified canine nutritionist and co-founder of Juno Whole Pet Foods, spoke with us about the benefits of real, whole foods for our dogs.
We learned about superfoods that are good for our dogs and the foods that are not. Venessa shared insights on supplements and gave us some simple homemade treat recipes. AND....there was a superstar guest dog cameo made by Skye - circle leader Corey McCusker's new puppy!!
Missed the Canine Nutrition Experience?
Watch the video >>
Read Venessa's Blog >>
Nutrition and Wellness Tips from Venessa Laudi, Certified Canine Nutritionist and Co-Founder Juno Whole Pet Foods
Top 4 Things to Live by For a Healthier Dog
Benefits of real food
1. It’s real food!
Commercial dry or canned pet food is subject to the same regulation as commercial animal feed. This means pet food companies can say “food” or “natural” ingredients on their labels, while actually using sub-par feed grade ingredients. Kibble is manufactured by a process called extrusion, which subjects the food to extremely high temperatures, killing off not only any pathogens but also all nutrients. To meet nutritional standards, synthetic vitamins and minerals are then sprayed onto it. To make it more palatable, animal fats and taste enhancers are also sprayed onto it. And to top it off, preservatives and artificial colours are also added to increase shelf life.
A gently cooked diet made of human-grade ingredients is subjected to stricter regulations and higher standards. No more guessing what might be in your dog’s meals; you know exactly what you are getting—real, whole foods that you could eat!
2. It can help your pet live longer.
Many commercial diets are packed with preservatives, low-quality proteins and high amounts of carbohydrates and fillers can contribute to poor quality coats, digestive issues, obesity, and sluggishness.
When compared to commercial kibble, a home-cooked style diet has been shown to extend a pet’s lifespan by an average of three years. By feeding fresh whole foods, you are nourishing your pup’s body, supporting improved digestion, weight management, and overall health.
3. Better Digestion
Food can either fuel disease or fight it. The low-quality ingredients found in most large pet foods have contributed to many issues that are all too common among our furry friends today. Issues like allergies, skin problems, diabetes, cancers, and digestive issues.
Our dogs haven’t adapted to digest highly processed foods, so these diets are destroying their GI systems, resulting in runny, loose stools and an inability to absorb the nutrients they need to thrive.
By feeding a fresh food diet, you ensure that your dog is being well nourished by only all-natural, highly digestible ingredients that are easily absorbed and used by the body. After switching to a gently cooked diet made with human-grade ingredients, most owners witness a healthier, shinier coat, increased energy, and improved digestion in their pups.
Superfood Ingredients For Your Dog
Superfood ingredients are great additions to your pet's bowl. I talk a lot about functional foods and eating foods that provide a nutritional purpose. When adding additional food to our pet's bowl make sure to stick to the 10% rule or else we can start to create an imbalance and that could be an issue. Adding a topper of fresh food from a gently-cooked company that provides complete and balanced meals is a great option for those wanting to substitute a bit more fresh food in their dog's bowl.
Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Turmeric For Dogs
#1 Pain Relief - Turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory and is an effective pain reliever and can help with conditions like arthritis.
# 2 Cancer Prevention - Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help with the prevention of cancer.
#3 Detoxification - Turmeric can help detoxify your dog’s body. It improves liver function that helps the liver to eliminate toxins in the body.
#4 Cardiovascular Health - Turmeric has many benefits for the heart! <3 It improves circulation and prevents blood clots, reduces inflammation, and the antioxidants found in turmeric boosts health by fighting free radical damage & can prevent many heart diseases.
#5 Brain Health - Turmeric improves blood flow which can protect the brain against aging. It also increases a protein that stimulates new brain cell production and it also helps get rid of bad proteins
Not-so-good Ingredients For Your Dog and Hidden Ingredients to Watch For
- BHA/BHT - has been identified as a carcinogen and numerous studies found to consistently produce certain types of tumours. BHT also found to have significant damage in both the liver and kidneys in rats
- Ethoxyquin & Propolyene Glycol - linked to liver issues and blood disease
- Xylitol - Added to peanut butters as a sweetener and extremely harmful to pets
Nutrients typically missing from homemade meals
Probiotics supplemented to your pets' diet can help restore your dog's microbiome, aid in digestion, improve behaviour, and much more.
Here are some of the tops benefits of adding a probiotic to your dog's diet:
✔️Helps improve digestion and gastrointestinal illnesses such as chronic diarrhea, sensitive tummies, IBS, colitis, or other GI issues by healing the gut and replenishing healthy gut bacteria
✔️Decreases the harmful side effects of antibiotics by restoring balance back to your pets intentional tract
✔️Improves your pets skin and coat health by assisting in the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients
✔️Assists in the removal of toxins in the body by enhancing the digestive process
✔️Minimizes allergy symptoms by strengthening and stabilizing the immune system
✔️Helps maintain and nourish proper gut flora by reducing the pH in the gut to help good bacteria thrive
Homemade Dog Treat Recipe
Golden Paste Recipe for Dogs
½ cup turmeric powder
1 cup water
⅓ cup raw, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil
2-3 tsp cracked black pepper
1. Mix the turmeric with 1 cup of water in a pan. Save the remaining water in case you need it to thin your paste a bit.
2. Stir the liquid on low/medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes. It should form a thick paste in this time. If the paste gets too thick, add a little more water. If the paste looks watery, add a little more turmeric and heat it for another couple of minutes.
3. Once your paste has thickened, add the pepper and oil and stir thoroughly.
4. Allow the mixture to cool.
5. Place it in a jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to 2 weeks.
Small dogs should start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day
Medium dogs can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day
Large dogs can start with 3/4 teaspoon per day
Check out the SWSCD Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate, and review programs, local community offerings, and businesses that will help you do your thing.
Start a group around a physical activity in your neighbourhood. Explore events. Check out our SWSCD Hub.
Look for stories, businesses and more on our Women and Dogs activity page.
Tell us about your favourite way to get yourself moving. Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active.