...that is the question.
Chances are, you have started to (or have been) feed raw to your dog recently. You did your research, you purchased high quality meats, and made sure to balance your meals for your very best friend. You’ve done all that...and it should be enough for your best friend to thrive on...so should you supplement?
This was a question I struggled with when I started my eight-year-old Labrador Retriever on a raw diet. I’m already giving him the best, he had slimmed down from a hefty 128 pounds to 63 pounds...I don’t need to supplement, why bother? I noticed that even after my Lab slimmed down, he still had trouble walking. There was a stiffness in his back legs, and he struggled to get up. I wondered why--sure he was older, but he lost so much weight! He was doing so much better! Raw anchovies and mackerel were included in every meal! What was I doing wrong?
One of the beauties of making your own raw diet, is it is incredibly customizable! You know your dog best, so it is up to you to decide what he needs! However, if you’re at a loss to start, here are the top 4 supplements I think should be added into your dog’s raw diet!
Which Supplements to Add
Antioxidants are beneficial to all dogs, older dogs, young pups, ailing dogs, or a healthy dog, just looking for an extra way to kickstart their diet! Antioxidants help fight against free radicals that cause disease and speed up the issues that come along with aging. So even if your dog is just a super active dog that goes out with you on hikes all the time, antioxidants can help! Young dogs and older dogs benefit as well, because they are more susceptible to diseases! You can use spirulina powder or fresh fruits (such as blueberries) to top off your dog’s meal and make sure they get those antioxidants.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in food. If your gut is full of “good” bacteria, there isn’t any room for “bad” bacteria to thrive. Probiotics also aid in digestion and is great for dogs who are generally have issues digesting food, or have just been on a round of antibiotics. Kefir, raw goat’s milk, and yogurt all have probitiocs, and are a tasty way to top off your dog’s meal, or to even use as a toy stuffer.
We’ve all heard of coconut oil, in fact, you probably use it for yourself, on your skin, in your hair, when you’re cooking. Believe it or not, it also has a ton of benefits for your dog! Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids that are beneficial for your pet. These fats help your dog’s skin and coat, and are known to be antibacterial and antifungal as well. The lauric acid in coconut oil is also great for brain health! Coconut oil can be used as a topper for your pup or frozen into a tasty treat! Most dogs will eat it straight out of the jar!
Red Golden Paste!
This is made up of a fat (animal fat, or some type of oil), black pepper, water, and turmeric. Turmeric probably sounds familiar, if you haven’t heard of it, turmeric is used in cooking throughout many cultures. It has a noticeable orange color, and is also sometimes used as a dye. Turmeric is known for its anti inflammatory properties that helps soothe the gut and joint pain, and has antioxidants! Double whammy! Turmeric is usually made into a red golden paste, because when bonded with a fat, it is easier for the dog to digest and benefit from the turmeric that way. The paste is easily mixed into the dog’s meals, and most dogs love the taste of the fat!
These are just 4 supplements that can benefit nearly all dogs. Go ahead, go and explore the vast world of supplements! Remember that you can always rotate supplements during certain seasons or times that your dogs really need it! Happy feeding!