How To Improve The Nutritional Value of a Dry Food Diet
Did you know that dry food (a processed diet) often lacks nutrients that your pets need for optimum health. Many essential nutrients are lost through the cooking process thus the following 3 simple and inexpensive steps will help improve a dry based diet.:
- Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3’s and 6’s) – These are the fatty acids that your pet cannot produce so they are necessary to be given via the diet, hence the name essential. Generally there is way too much Omega 6 in most diets so boosting the content of Omega 3’s is vital. Omega-3’s help with inflammation, eye problems, increase immunity and support the brain and nervous system. Marine sources are the best way to provide Omega 3’s in the diet.. Stay away from the big fish like Salmon as these are usually contaminated with heavy metals. Small fish like mackerel, pilchards and sardines can be added to the diet or an oil like Krill oil at the time of feeding.
- Probiotics – help to promote good gut health and increase good bacteria. These bacteria form an integral part of our bodies and have a wide range of functions – they compete with bad bacteria and maintain gut health, they regulate and stimulate the immune system, aid digestion, break down toxins and allergens, regulate cholesterol uptake, produce essential vitamins and control inflammation. Under normal circumstances, these resident gut bacteria contribute to health maintenance by forming a barrier layer against colonization by pathogens (bad bacteria or other intestinal microbes) and by aiding in nutrient digestion and assimilation. You can add a dollop of low fat yoghurt or kefir to the dry food.
- Digestive Enzymes – these help produce antioxidant enzymes and help the body to absorb nutrients more effectively and reduce the load on the pancreas. They are produced in the pancreas and released into the small intestine where they break the food down so the dog can digest it and use it properly. They don’t exist in cooked food. Eating food that contains them reduces the strain on the pancreas and the digestive system meaning food is better digested and your pet will get more nutrition from the food. They also help with immune, reduce inflammation, remove toxins, regulate hormones and slow ageing. These can be found in the following foods (papaya, melon, raw honey, raw dairy products, coconut water, green tripe or sauerkraut). Add some of these as a treat and you wont need to buy a supplement.