In another post we talked about the benefits and common sense behind dry food (kibble) vs. fresh whole food, but not everyone can afford to jump into a completely fresh food diet right away. But everyone can boost their dry food without having to break the bank!
We've already debunked the "human food is bad for your pet" myth so we know a fresh whole food diet is the best way to feed our carnivorous companions. But since many of us are unfortunately bound by the construct of "money", we sometimes can't afford what's best. But luckily there are still options!
- Goat's Milk is known as the universal milk because it can easily be absorbed by a variety of mammals. It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids. Since dogs and cats need a diet with a high moisture content, this is a great addition to any kibble, as it is 79% moisture.
- Eggs are something almost every household has so this is an easy way to add some moisture and important nutrients for the brain and eyes.
- Omega 3s are important for skin and coat, immune system, inflammation and they can be given in many forms. Sardines, mackerel or salmon (all salt and additive free) are the most popular toppers because they add moisture as well.
- Blended Whole Foods are one of the best ways to add moisture to your pet's diet without the empty calories. (I do this instead of buying expensive canned food that has very little nutritional value per can.) You can take some superfoods and blend them with bone broth or goats milk or even coconut oil, but if you're like me and don't like doing things, then I suggest the new Edible Elixirs by Primal. They have one formulated for digestive support with squash, pork bone broth, and many other whole foods and probiotics. They have one for an immunity boost that contains kale, pork bone broth, and many other organic greens. And one for joint health, which is a favorite for senior pets, pets prone to hip dysplasia, or pets with less than 4 legs, that includes mussel meat and bone broth along with anti inflammatory supplements. My 3 legged pomeranian mix loves this one!
- Bone Broth is another thing available in the grocery store, however, we don't recommend this because they often add salt and other unhealthy additives. We recommend one specifically formulated for our pets because some brands add other benefitial ingredients such as turmeric and ginger. This is another easy way to add moisture, standing at 96% it has one of the highest moisture contents out there. And with the added benefits of joint support, immune system support, liver support, and much more, it is a must have for anyone with large dogs, senior pets, or picky eaters. It's got something for every pet!
- Fresh Fruit & Veggies* are in every household as well so before you make that triple berry pie, add some of those dark berries to your pet's dinner! You're making a salad? Toss them some of those dark leafy greens! Blueberries, Broccoli, Carrots, Kale, Pumpkin, Celery, Parsley, these are all very healthy toppers you can add to any meal! And always choose organic because our pets get enough insecticides and pesticides in their everyday environments they don't need it in their food as well.
Adding fresh food to your pet's kibble may prevent and slow down the development of some cancers. Kibble is highly processed and extruded, it produces heterocyclic amines and acrylamides during the cooking process which are carcinogenic and can affect cognitive health. This is why it so important to add as much fresh whole food as possible. Some is better than none!
*Not usually recommended for cats because they are obligate carnivores and only need a small percentage of fruits and veggies. Instead you can top their food with organ meats, like freeze dried duck hearts, or bones like freeze dried chicken necks.