Imagine eating breakfast, then eating the exact same thing for dinner. Now imagine doing that day after day. It would get pretty boring, right?
I never thought my pups would get bored of the same thing over and over again until I had a picky eater. She would eat one flavor of dog food for a few weeks, and then she would just... Stop eating. This would lead to a few days of chicken and rice with pumpkin puree and a slow transition to a new dog food. After experiencing this cycle a few times and checking with our veterinarian to make sure she wasn’t sick, I realized she was either bored or picky. Likely, she was both.
Whether you have a picky eater or a food-loving dog, enhancing your dog’s food is easy to do simple and has many health benefits. All you have to do is mix the following foods into your dog’s regular food.
My dogs love coconut oil. Even when I’m cooking for myself, they patiently wait to lick the spoon. I let them have it because coconut oil has many health benefits for dogs. Coconut oil:
The simplest way to incorporate coconut oil into your dog’s diet is to melt the oil and drizzle it over their kibble. Like anything new, you need to introduce it slowly. Most sources recommend starting with 1 teaspoon for large dogs and less for smaller dogs. Once your dog’s system has adjusted, you can give small dogs 1 teaspoon, and large dogs 1 tablespoon. Coconut oil can be given to dogs daily at mealtime.
Eggs are another great “human food” to feed to your pooch. They are relatively inexpensive and full of nutrients including:
The simplest way to incorporate eggs into your dog’s diet is to cook a scrambled egg in the microwave and mix it into the kibble. Interestingly, dogs can also eat raw eggs because salmonella is not a risk for dogs like it is for humans. I often divide a raw egg among my three dogs and pour it on top of their food, but medium to large dogs can have a whole egg during mealtime.
If you don’t want to share your breakfast with your dog, you can always use the eggshell. These are a great source of calcium! Simply dry out the shell, grind it to a powder in a coffee grinder, and add it to your dog’s food. Yum!
Baked, roasted, pureed… there’s no bad way to eat a sweet potato, and our pups feel the same way. The sweet potatoes can be cooked using coconut oil, but avoid using other seasonings. In addition to being a tasty treat, sweet potatoes provide:
Sweet potato, pureed or cubed, can be easily mixed in with the dog food. I recommend cooking a batch to use throughout the week, or you can buy plain, pureed sweet potatoes from the freezer section of the grocery store.
Adding these three foods to your dog’s meals will not only keep your pup from getting bored with their food but will also provide extra nutrients. With any introduction, start with one new food at a time and add it slowly. Once your dog is accustomed to all three foods, rotate them throughout the week. If your dog has allergies or a sensitive system, it's best to consult with your veterinarian before adding new foods.
About the Author: Laura Tippett is a writer and designer fueled by coffee, avocados and kombucha. On a mission to live simply and see the US, she is currently traveling the country with her husband and three adventurous pups.