Can you imagine having to eat the same thing every day for every meal? Yeah, neither can we! And yet this is the reality most of our dogs live in – eating the same food day after day. But what if we told you there was a way to make your dog's meals more exciting and delicious while providing them with nutrients missing from their diet? Adding supplements to your pup's dinner is a fun and impactful way to keep them healthy and happy at the same time.
Even if you’re feeding your pup the best dog food on the market, they’ll still likely need some dietary support. This is where dog supplements come in. Just as your dog’s body is one-of-a-kind, they will have one-of-a-kind nutritional needs that depend on their breed, health conditions, and life stage. For example, older dogs may benefit from joint supplements that can help manage arthritis and joint pain. Bulldogs and other dog breeds prone to skin conditions may benefit from a fish oil supplement with omega-3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health.
Make sure to speak to your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to determine the best supplement options for your dog’s needs. Once you’ve figured that out, keep reading for tips to easily incorporate nutritional supplements into your dog’s diet.
Mix Your Dog's Supplements into Their Food
Making homemade dog food is a lot of work, but you can easily recreate that “made to order” effect by adding supplements to the pet food you’re already feeding your pup. This bone broth from Native Pet is an easily re-hydrated powder that can be added to kibble, wet food, and raw food. Just add water and mix, and you've got a wonderful little sauce to make your pup's meal a little bit more delicious.
Bone broth has many nutritional benefits – adding it to your dog's diet will help their joint strength, immune support, and heart health. You can also blend the powder with dog-friendly fruits to create a puree. You can give the puree to your dog alone, add it to their food, or even freeze it for a special treat on a hot day.
Use a Silicone Mold to Make Frozen Treats
Speaking of freezing treats, we suggest using silicone molds to create frozen treats because they are more flexible and durable, so your adorable snacks won't break as easily. There are tons of recipes for dog treats available online, including everything from peanut butter and bananas to watermelon and beef. It's also easy to make your own recipe with whatever you have around the house. We recommend a yogurt base, fresh fruit, and a powdered supplement to pack an extra nutritional punch.
Stuffable toys are excellent for mental stimulation – they challenge your dog's brain as they navigate how to get the food inside the toy. So why not give your dog some extra nutrients while they're exercising their brain? Before filling that Kong toy with plain Greek yogurt, try mixing in some pumpkin powder to support a healthy digestive tract, promote regularity, and assist in the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.
If you have supplements in the form of a treat or a pill, you can use a treat dispensing toy and mix them in with your dog's regular treats.
Use a Lick Mat
Lick mats are an excellent way to incorporate slow-feeding into your dog's eating habits while helping them alleviate stress or anxiety. Licking is known to have a calming effect on dogs, so lick mats make them bliss out. They're also great because they are another easy way to supplement your dog's diet.
All you need is the mat, the "spread" of your choice – peanut butter, pumpkin puree, greek yogurt, or even your dog's food – and whatever supplement you're using. We really like adding a probiotic to relieve long-term gut health and stress and promote general gastrointestinal and digestive health and wellness. Then, mix both items and spread them along your lick mat before putting it in the freezer for at least an hour. Once it's frozen, hand it off to your dog to keep them busy and happy!
Try Interactive Feeding Games
Try incorporating feeding games into your routine to make mealtime more interesting. There are so many different ways to do this. You can hide your dog's meal so they have to sniff it out to find it; you can place food under cups so they have to solve a puzzle; or you can spread their kibble in the backyard so they have to use their nose to find their reward. Omega Oil is the perfect supplement for interactive feeding games. This oil is formulated from wild-caught salmon and pollock; that fresh fish smell will definitely get your dog going.
Incorporate Supplements into Treat Recipes
Freezing treats isn't the only way to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need. If baking is your thing, we've got a recipe for you – this dog-friendly treat recipe has only four ingredients, and we promise your dog will go crazy for it. You only need flour, pumpkin supplement, dog-friendly peanut butter, and eggs. These delicious treats can also be used as a topper on your dog's food – crumble the treats into tiny, more bite-size pieces. You can also use the smaller pieces in a snuffle mat or other enrichment toy.
Make sure to follow us on social @nativepet for more fun recipes for your dog.
Make a Hydrating Popsicle
Who doesn't love a popsicle as a little treat at the end of the day? This popsicle recipe combines bone broth with strawberries, blueberries, and coconut to create an incredibly hydrating, delicious, and nutritious treat for your dog. This recipe couldn't be easier, and the result is so cute.
As pet parents, we will do everything in our power to support our dog’s health and help them live long and healthy lives. Adding supplements to their already balanced diet is a great way to make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need, and you don’t even have to go so far as to give them an entirely homemade diet. Pet supplements can be adapted to suit your dog’s needs throughout their life, whether they’re a puppy who needs a little extra help staying hydrated or a senior dog who needs a little support in the joint health department.
Always remember to discuss any of your pet’s health issues with your DVM before making any changes to their diet.