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5 Supplements for Dogs Found in Any Kitchen


ginger-1191945_960_720Food has long been considered medicine in many cultures, but only recently have physicians and veterinarians begun to study the effects of foods on humans and dogs in the United States.  Some of the best cures for common canine ailments are likely already in your kitchen cupboard.  Five of the best foods for dogs – and their uses – are described below.

This bright yellow spice has been shown slow down the proliferation of cancer cells in both humans and dogs.  The effect is so powerful that when used in conjunction with chemotherapy cancer cell growth can be stopped completely.  Turmeric also has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in pets, as well.  One way to provide turmeric to your pet is through a paste, which can be made by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil with ½ cup of turmeric powder.  After the water and turmeric have fully mixed, add 1.5 teaspoons black pepper and 5 tablespoons olive or coconut oil and combine.  Feed your pet ¼ – ½ teaspoon of the paste at every meal.

Coconut Oil
Another “superfood,” coconut oil has been prescribed to pets for ailments including arthritis, allergies, obesity, infections, and diabetes.  The secret weapon of coconut oil is medium chain triglycerides, which contain an abundance of healthy acids, such as lauric, capric, myristic, and oleic acids.  These compounds improve digestion, decrease pain, and can even repair cartilage between joints.  The suggested dosage for your dog is 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight, but owners should start with half the dosage in order to avoid an upset stomach.

Unflavored Gelatin
Gelatin is composed of glycine and collagen, which are components of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.  Dogs that are suffering from arthritis can benefit from the addition of gelatin in their diets to help stimulate cartilage growth and reduce the pain and inflammation associated with this degenerative disease.  Look for plain, unflavored gelatin that contains no additional ingredients or sweeteners.  Feed 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin per 10 lbs of dog’s body weight daily.

The flesh from this squash is high in fiber, low in calories, and contains numerous vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for a dog’s digestive tract.  Pumpkin also has the ability to clear up common stomach ailments, such as stopping diarrhea and getting things moving for a constipated pet.  Pumpkin is a great supplement for overweight dogs because it keeps them feeling full without additional calories.  Simply replace ¼ cup of normal food with ¼ cup of plain, pureed pumpkin.  Another use is for the natural expression of anal glands.  The next time your dog does a telltale scoot across the carpet, incorporate pumpkin into its diet.

Plain Yogurt
Probiotics – the good bacteria found in the digestive tract – are important for helping a dog maintain physical health.  Plain yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics and 1 – 2 tablespoons per day can lead to improvements in immunity, digestion, and allergies, while reducing the incidence of coprophagia.

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Anna Weber

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