Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about February: the 20th is Love Your Pet Day, the 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day, and the month as a whole is National Pet Dental Health Day (according to the AVMA)! Although we believe every day should be Love Your Pet Day, why not use the excuse to give your pup some extra pampering? And while your buddy’s nails are drying, how about letting ’em munch on some dog treats that aren’t just tasty, but are beneficial to your dog’s health? This way, you can bust out your celebration guns and honor two holidays – plus a whole month’s theme – in one sitting. All doggos deserve to have shiny teeth and strong joints, and February has come around to keep all of us in check. Here are some of the best ingredients – all rich with health benefits – to put in your pup’s goodies. Every ingredient listed is paired with both recipe and store-bought options. Happy holidays, x2!
Carrots hold a multitude of health benefits for your pup. In addition to being low-fat and low-calorie vegetables, carrots are very high in fiber. This will for sure help regulate a blocked-up digestive system (just watch out for the farts). These root veggies also contain vitamin A, which in and of itself has tons of health benefits that could add to your furry friend’s well-being. Vitamin A has the potential to strengthen your dog’s vision. This means that whether your pal is ten or two, they can soak up those benefits like a sponge. It’s actually just like skincare; you’re never too young to start! For an incredibly elaborate list of the health benefits of carrots, check out this article on OLEWO.com.
Freezing up some of these veggies is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Frozen carrots act as both plaque-removing chew toys and healthy snacks that will keep your energetic pup busy. The brand OLEWO carries all natural, GMO-free, dehydrated carrots that you can mix in with your dog’s food if you’re looking for a quick and easy supplement. Treat-wise, check out these organic apple and carrot dog biscuits from Wet Noses. For a more savory fine-dining experience, try these Fromm chicken, carrot, and pea treats. In addition, this recipe for carrot dog biscuits is very simple and has very few steps, so you can get your pup their carrot fix ASAP.
2. Coconut Oil
Wow, another ingredient Shailene Woodley would approve of! Not only is coconut oil delicious, but it can basically be added to any recipe imaginable. Another perk? Those health benefits are unstoppable. Coconut oil can help improve your pup’s digestion and increase their overall energy level – the latter could even lead to accelerated weight loss. Because of the healthy fatty acids within this ingredient, ingesting it can possibly slow cognitive dysfunction in some dogs. Plus, coconut oil may also contribute to the shininess of your canine’s coat! The Daily Treat has an entire blog post centered on the nutritional value of coconut oil, so if you aren’t already convinced, check it out. These berry coconut bones by Doggy Delirious honestly sound super tasty, and coconut oil is second on the ingredient list! These no-bake coconut dog treats also look amazing, and also a little like those munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. Has your pal been feeling a bit itchy lately? Hit up these cool lookin’ flea-prevention treats!
Even though it may seem taboo for us humans to eat pumpkin year round, this restriction doesn’t seem to apply to pups. Pumpkin is a super popular ingredient among the dog treat scene, and for a good reason. Because of pumpkin’s heaviness, it doesn’t take much to fill up your dog’s stomach. Since it’s also very low in fat, the combination of these two elements can accelerate weight loss. Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, which can come in handy for a pup with an upset tum-tum or constipation – and the seeds supposedly act as a natural dewormer. According to PetMD, the oils found within pumpkin seeds are believed to promote urinary health, which could be beneficial for dogs with incontinence.
For a more savory dog treat made with both pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seeds, try making these around Halloween time instead of tossing those guts in the garbage. If you’re not in the baking mood, Uptown Mutt and PLATO have your back.
Cauliflower is an ingredient perfect to feed your dog in small amounts – like in treats! Similarly to carrots, this vegetable is packed chock full of different vitamins and antioxidants. Yet, cauliflower also has components that aren’t commonly spoken of; it contains both phytonutrients and isothiocyanates, which can potentially help prevent cancer. Likewise, since cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, it contains the natural compound sulforaphane. This compound acts as an anti-inflammatory, which could help treat arthritis in both humans and dogs (just remember that pups cannot consume this vegetable in large quantities – they could get pretty gassy, if not sick). These cheesy cauliflower muffin bites are delicious for both you and your furry friend, and could actually serve as a healthier alternative to, say, that mash-n-cheese bowl from the most exquisite of fine dining locations, Wawa. Just add some salt and pepper to a separate batch for yourself, whip out a classy gingham picnic blanket, and have a Valentine’s-do-over with the real love of your life. Or just order up a bag of these Dr. Becker veggie bites, which are also cat-friendly!
Tip Time: To reap the very most health benefits from cauliflower, simply chop up the head into small chunks, steam, let cool, and let your pal munch away.
So, this is kind of weird and sounds a little repulsive, but is also fascinating (like watching certain episodes of My Strange Addiction). But, it turns out that feeding your dog an egg in its entirety can almost entirely act as a complete food source. Purchase some organic eggs and dry the shells out; then grind them in a coffee grinder and mix the powder into a basic dog biscuit recipe. Eggs are also loaded with vitamins and protein and can act as an amazing supplement for a deficient dog. This site includes recipes for three different types of goodie recipes that include eggs, and these store-bought treats are grain, gluten, and soy free!