These steps can be taken regardless of your feeding method. Of course, it depends on what your dog tolerates and any disease that may contraindicate certain foods, but you already know that.
1. Add broccoli which contains a compound called sulforaphane that's noted as having anti cancer properties. The hiccup is that it needs to be activated by a group of enzymes called myrosinase. These enzymes are activated when broccoli is damaged by chewing or cutting. Finely chopping the broccoli florets has the greatest benefit.
* Raw broccoli has more sulforaphane than cooked. Study here.
2. Add probiotics, but not just any kind. The microbiome changes all the time. We don't know the balance of microbes in your dog's gut, so adding a myriad of different strains actually risks causing dysbiosis. Adding just one strain would seem to be counterintuitive, but acidophilus is prevalent in the gut of healthy dogs, so that's what we focus on. You can get probiotics via fermented foods but it's important to understand that they are high in histamine which means allergic reactions are possible. If in doubt, use a clean supplement.
3. Maintain healthy body weight. You lessen the chance of pancreatitis, lessen the load on the skeleton and heart, and your dog will live longer.
4. You already know that omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits, and sardines are often touted as a great food to add to the diet. We're ok with a little sardine, but feel there are better options. Canned fish are high in histamines, may be more in cans that's aren't BPA-free, and sardines in particular are missing astaxanthin which is an important antioxidant. Found in algae (but you'd need a lot of it!) and mainly salmon, we use canned sockeye in many of our diets when the situation is right. For almost all dogs though, encapsulated (no risk of rancidity) wild salmon oil is a beneficial addition. Be sure it's a clean source (and see the sale announcement below)
5. Focus on healthy heart functions and healthier gums. CoQ10 is a factor required during energy production in muscle cells so perhaps the energy availability is why it works some magic for so many dogs. We also use if for dogs in kidney failure (as some kidney specialists for people do) This supplement was used by many veterinary cardiologists at one time, and we see it studied as a proactive measure. CoQ10 (ubiquinone) has an affinity for oxygen, binds to it and becomes a potent antioxidant.
Wondering if it should be encapsulated in oil? Although it's fat soluble, we are feeding dogs, so adding this supplement to their food automatically delivers it with some fat. We prefer the dry version for dogs for this reason (and it saves money) as well as more dogs tolerate it.
WILD SALMON OIL: Reg Price $17.99 -- Sale Price $15.99
Save $2 per bottle (maximum 6 bottles)
CoQ10: Reg Price $21.99 -- Sale Price $ 18.99
Save $3 per bottle (maximum 4 bottles)