Spice up Your Dog’s Food
You can’t get away from all the cooking shows and competitions on TV anymore – it seems they are on 24/7. I like watching them and learning about different spices and herbs to use in cooking. It got me thinking about spices and herbs that are good for our dogs too, so I raided our Dog Food Ingredients series to look at some of the best spices to add to your dog’s food – not only for the flavor, but for the health benefits.
Healthy Spices for your Pet:
Turmeric is a source of manganese, iron and vitamin B-6.
The curumin in turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can anti-oxidant which some research has shown can provide many benefits to the body including:
- Supports a healthy digestive system
- Promotes healthy skin and eyes
- Supports the immune system
- Promotes joint health
- Encourages healthy liver function
- Maintains healthy blood sugar levels within normal range
Fennel supplies vitamins C and A, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also known to help with indigestion, bloating and flatulence. Fennel can also help to freshen a dog’s breath.
The oils in fennel may cause a photosensitive dermatitis in some animals, but such occurrences are rare.
Rosemary contains antioxidants that can reduce free radicals in the body. Rosemary has been used to support brain function in the form of clearer thinking, improved memory, and elevated mood. In one study, low doses of Rosemary improved recall speed, although high doses were associated with a decline in recall speed.
Some research supports the notion that rosemary can help prevent some forms of cancer including colon, breast, liver, and stomach cancers, as well as melanoma and leukemia.
Rosemary might also strengthen heart function and help dogs that have been under stress
Thyme contains vitamins C, A, and K, iron, manganese and calcium. Thyme also contains anti-oxidants. Thyme has antiseptic, anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial properties. It is generally good for the skin, and supports brain function and gastrointestinal health. Thyme helps the body digest and process fatty acids and can generally aid digestion.
In a clinical study conducted by K.A. Youdim and colleagues and published in the April 19, 1999 issue of “Biochemical and Biophysical Research,” researchers found that thyme oil helped to protect against age-related changes in the brain cells of rats.
You should try these herbs/spices for yourself and don’t be afraid to share with your dog and let them reap the benefits!