Many people feel dog food should be enough to sustain their dog. While this is true to a degree, that truth really depends on what your definition of sustain is. We feed raw meats with a dehydrated fruits + veggies base that sustains but we feel adding organic, whole food supplements to our dog’s feedings is valuable to enhancing a quality long life. I look at my dog the way I look at my family, meaning I want to give him the best nutrition I can to help him feel his best and function at his full capability. Eventually as he gets older, I will incorporate more cooked and raw foods and migrate away from kibble.
Organic Coconut Oil (this is used as a treat)
I know the value and benefits of organic, unrefined, GMO-free coconut oil and so I already keep it as a staple in my pantry. Coconut oil helps humans with digestion and is also good for skin conditioning. It gives humans immune support as well as feeds muscles. It works pretty much the same way in dogs.
We use coconut oil in many recipes for my family and I give it to my dog a few times a week and I use it in recipes for treats I make for him! I prefer coconut oil in the solid form and I store it in the fridge. I buy the tub pictured here. It’s GMO-free, unrefined, virgin coconut oil. You can use it when cooking instead of commercial cooking oils. Much cleaner and a healthy fatty oil.
I have read a lot of articles about coconut oil for dogs and I like sitstay.com’s the best. Instead of rewriting an already superb post about the benefits and how much to feed, I’ll link to it here: Best Article About the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs + How to Feed It.
Fish are an awesome source of nutrients and important fatty-acids. We do feed real fish in the form of sardines and mackerel but salmon also have a natural occurrence of those valuable fatty acids, essential antioxidants, and traces of vitamins. We rotate salmon oil in place of fresh fish just to give some variety.
We feed Grizzly Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil and it’s gobbled up quick! This salmon oil gives dogs omega-3 fatty acids. omega-6 fatty acids. Grizzly’s EPA & DHA amounts are very high compared to several other products I considered. These are two main types that don’t need to be converted prior to absorption. ALA is another great example but it is found in flaxseed and the body needs to convert it down before it can be used.
*We do use flaxseed butter in dog treat recipes!
What the omega-3’s & omega-6’s actually do for the dog
Omega-3 provide goodness that improves dogs coats and relieves skin stress and omega-6’s give added support to the reproduction system, growth, immune function, and skin and coat health.
EPA & DHA give support to a dog’s immune system and their digestive and elimination systems as well. Brain development has been shown to be better in puppies whose mother was given salmon oil while pregnant and the birthed puppies continued to be given salmon oil after according to articles written based on salmon oil studies. Salmon oil helps with skin and coat problems too. It acts as an internal conditioner and it comes out through the dog’s pores. Sometimes you might smell a little salty of a dog and you can likely count on it being the salmon oil being excreted! Ours sometimes has a mild scent in the beginning while the dog is getting used to the salmon oil but it generally stops being noticeable after the first few days.
Hemp Heart Powder
Hemp is another awesome source of omega’s. We buy organic, non-GMO hemp hearts and grind them into a fine powder. This allows for maximum absorption.
We like to use chia powder for some of the same reasons we like hemp powder. We do grind the chia seeds into just as fine of a powder as we do the hemp hearts. Otherwise, the chia just slips right out of the dog and gives no real benefit. The vitamin b, omegas, and antioxidants that chia packs is absorbed by the dog and converted for use.