Why Give Your Dog Fresh Food? (Read on for a secret to smashing cancer!)

If you’ve read our posts How Canned Food is Made or How is Kibble Made? then you’re somewhat familiar with the amount of processing commercial dog food undergoes. Opposite to this, fresh food is unprocessed.

Naturally, this extensive processing damages nutrients, especially the delicate micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Damaged micronutrients should be a concern for pet owners because these little nutrients are responsible for your dog’s long-term health.

Vitamins:

Vitamins are micronutrients that are responsible for the details of your dog’s health. They affect everything from eyesight, blood cell production and the development of bones and teeth, to protecting against free radicals, regulating blood clotting, and digestion. Here are some other tasks of vitamins:

  • Assisting nervous function
  • Supporting the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system
  • Aid tissue growth and cell function
  • Aid in the synthesis of DNA

Minerals:

These micronutrients are responsible for many details in your dog’s health. Dietary minerals are necessary for the formation and maintenance of bones, teeth and healthy gums. They also affect:

  • Kidney function
  • Regular heartbeat
  • Blood clotting
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Absorption of other minerals
  • Production of enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach
  • Immune function
  • Production of thyroid hormones
  • Protection from heavy metal excesses, and many more.

 

Amino acids:

These are building blocks of proteins. They are essential because amino acids make up every cell in your dog’s body. They form tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies and blood cells.

Amino acids must be sufficiently available in your dog’s diet for him to grow new cells, maintain the health of those cells, and repair damaged cells (from infections and wounds). Sufficient protein is necessary for energy production, hormone production, gene activity, and immune defenses. An amino acid deficiency can be very destructive to your dog’s health, especially long term.

 

How Fresh Food Can Help

Do you feed your dog a commercially processed diet? If so, what are you going to do about all those now inert micronutrients? Add fresh food!

The less processing the food gets, the more nutrients it contains. A handful of freshly chopped vegetables, fruits and meats will boost the nutrient profile of your dog’s diet. It will add essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids in their whole, bioavailable form. Green leafy vegetables, brightly colored fruits and vegetables like squash, peppers, carrots, apples, and berries are healthy options. Some beneficial meats might be turkey, duck, salmon, venison and other wild game.

 

Bonus! Fresh Food = Preventing Cancer

Did you know that the cancer rate for our canine companions is one of every two dogs? And did you know that a carrot can crush cancer? Really!

Purdue University conducted a study in 2005 on Scottish Terriers. The Terriers ate a commercial kibble diet. To some of the dogs’ meals, they added assorted fresh vegetables three times a week.

What did they find? The dogs who ate fresh vegetables had reduced cancer potential!

Dogs who ate green leafy vegetables (i.e., broccoli) had their cancer risk reduced by 90%! And dogs who ate orange-yellow veggies (i.e., carrots) had their cancer risk reduced by 70%.

vegetables-dog food-human food
Graphic thanks to Rodney Habib, a pet nutrition blogger at Planetpaws.ca. Thanks for your work Rodney!

So, how about adding a carrot and some spinach to your dog’s bowl the next time you feed him? You’ll be giving him the nutrients he needs for long life and smashing the potential for cancer. It’s worth it.

 

Further, your quest for healthy foods to satisfy your dog, check out our Healthy Additions series for safe, healthy fresh foods to add to your dog’s diet.

 

 

–   Cassy Kay

 

 

Sources:

Habib, Rodney. “Why Adding “Human Food” is so Important!” planetpaws.ca. Web. Sept. 15, 2017. https://www.planetpaws.ca/2015/08/24/human-food-pets/

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