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12 Things To Sneak Into Your Dog’s Food To Boost Their Health

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on July 18, 2015

More dog parents than ever are paying special attention to what they’re feeding their dogs and we couldn’t be happier about it. The times of cheap, corn-based kibbles are gone. Almost all dog-loving humans are spending time researching and purchasing the best diets. Whether you’re feeding premium kibble or a homemade diet, there are still plenty of supplements you can add to your dog’s food to boost their health. Over-supplementation is something you should avoid, but if you’re looking for an immune system booster for your dog, check out these great supplements!

#1 – Fish Oil

dog fish oil immune system booster

Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids improve your dog’s skin and coat health, boost your dog’s immune system, and reduce inflammation and pain. However, be careful about feeding too much fish oil because it can greatly reduce the amount of vitamin E in your dog’s system. Project Paws ™ Soft Chews are an excellent choice for supplementing fish oil in your dog’s diet. Plus, your dog thinks they’re getting a treat!

#2 – Vitamin E

vitamin E for dog immune system

Vitamin E is an important cardiac and immune system booster for both you and your dog. It also improves eye, skin, and muscle health. All these are essential for keeping your dog healthy and happy. After all, vitamin E shows no shortage of benefits. While an overdose of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E is possible, it’s rare. Thus, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks.

#3 – Rosemary

rosemary for dogs

Rosemary is high in iron, vitamin B6, and calcium. It has also proved to be a strong antioxidant. Adding rosemary or a rosemary supplement to your dog’s diet is an excellent way to add in some natural herbs. It will benefit your dog’s health and spice up their meals.

#4 – Biotin

biotin for a dog's diet

Biotin deficiency is extremely rare in dogs. Yet, if you notice your dog has poor skin and fur, you might want to consider adding a Biotin supplement to your dog’s food. You don’t need to have a Biotin deficient dog to see the results from the supplement either. Its effects are often strong enough to see in healthy dogs that just have dry, itchy skin. It can taste bitter, so sometimes opening the powdered capsules and sprinkling them around your dog’s food will help them eat it.

#5 – Coconut Oil

dog coconut oil immune system booster

Coconut oil is becoming more and more popular among dog parents and rightfully so – it’s full of benefits! It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties which benefit your dog’s entire health. Coconut oil improves skin conditions, aids in digestion, and even helps control and prevent diabetes. If you’re going to pick one immune system booster for your dog, coconut oil is an excellent choice.

#6 – Glucosamine/Chondroitin

glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs

Glucosamine and Chondroitin have long been used to help dogs suffering from arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, and other joint conditions. They have been proven to help in these areas for decades. Many are now discovering that glucosamine also aids in skin and digestive system ailments. With very few side effects and longtime use proven safe, these supplements are practically a no-brainer for many dog parents. If your dog doesn’t like supplements, there are many glucosamine/chondroitin treats available. Homemade bone broth is also full of the supplements, but don’t feed your dog the cooked bone pieces.

We give our dog the Project Paws ™ Advanced Soft Chew for Joints. Dogs think they’re getting a treat, and each purchase helps support animal shelters.

#7 – Peppermint

peppermint for dogs

Peppermint is a great choice for someone looking to freshen their dog’s breath, as adding it to their food will do the trick! But there are more benefits than nicer smelling breath. Peppermint is a dog immune system booster that soothes upset stomachs and reduces gas and nausea.

#8 – Plain Yogurt

plain yogurt for dogs

Giving plain, unsweetened yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and probiotics for dogs. If the yogurt has no sugar additives, it’s perfectly healthy to give to canine companions so they can reap the many gastrointestinal health benefits. If your dog is lactose intolerant, feeding live, active cultures is just as healthy!

#9 – Vitamin C

Vitamin C for dog's immune system

Vitamin C is naturally produced by our dogs, so supplementation is often unnecessary. That said, certain medical conditions can benefit from vitamin C added into your dog’s meals, including kennel cough, glaucoma, and other infections.

#10 – Pumpkin

pumpkin dog immune system booster

Raw pumpkin is an excellent immune system booster for your dog should they have any gastrointestinal upset. It is extremely high in fiber which makes loose stools firm and firm stools softer. No matter what kind of upset your pooch is having, pumpkin is likely to help. Just make sure you get plain, unsweetened canned pumpkin or puree it yourself. Pumpkin pie filling will most certainly make your dog sick!

#11 – Echinacea

Echinacea for dogs

Echinacea has long been used to treat many human illnesses with great success. So, it only makes sense that supplementing it for our dogs would produce similar benefits. Although only one study has been done so far, the results showed a very positive outcome in the treatment of chronic respiratory infections in dogs being treated with Echinacea.

#12 – Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth for dogs

Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a substance made from crushed fossils of freshwater and marine organisms. There are two types: food grade and pool grade. For dogs, you’re going to want to use food grade because the pool grade is toxic. By feeding the powder to dogs, DE kills and eliminates internal parasites of all types. It can also be spread in the yard and rubbed in your dog’s coat to kill fleas, ticks, and other insect pests. You can put it into your carpet and in your dog’s bedding as well. It can be used safely internally and externally and is a very cheap way to control parasites!

Related: Nom Nom vs Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Comparison

Your dog deserves the best when it comes to the food they eat. That’s why supplementing a natural dog immune system booster is the way to go. Any of the above supplements would be a great addition to your dog’s diet. It’s up to you to decide which one is best for your pup! Of course, you should ensure that they’re also getting enough food, water, and exercise too!

If you’re looking to give your dog a boost but are confused about where to start, check out our list of the Best Fresh Dog Food Brands. These brands offer super nutritious food, some already boosted with a few of the supplements listed here!


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