As pet parents, we always strive to give our furry friends the best possible nutrition to keep them healthy and happy. You've probably heard of the term "nutraceuticals" but might not know exactly what they are or why they are important. Nutraceuticals are bioactive compounds and natural supplements that offer both nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Believe it or not, functional foods can work just as well as medication, but without those nasty side effects. The power of nutraceuticals has caught the attention of researchers, who are now proving what we've always known: food is the ultimate healthcare!
Now, here's the thing - there are tons of functional foods to choose from. You don't want to end up with a boring bowl of supplements that your dog wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. After all, those fancy foods won't do any good if your pup won't eat them! So, let’s dive into all the whats, whys and hows.
What are they?
Nutraceuticals are biologically active compounds found in foods that offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition. In a nutshell, they are foods that have medicinal properties, cool right? They can be found in plant and animal-based foods and are typically consumed as part of a daily diet. Nutraceuticals often contain concentrated amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that research has shown to be beneficial to overall health and well-being.
Examples of nutraceuticals include natural ingredients such as turmeric, green tea, ginger, blueberries, omegas, garlic, and many more, which can be found in various dog food and treat formulas. These natural ingredients provide added health benefits in small doses and can help support various areas of your pet's health, such as joint mobility, healthy digestion, and immune support.
To make it simple, we’ve created a table of the most well-known nutraceuticals explaining their function and best sources, so finding the perfect addition to your pet’s diet is a piece of cake!
Why are nutraceuticals important for dogs?
After having a look at that table, it’s a no-brainer. Nutraceuticals can help support various areas of your dog’s health, including maintaining joint health, promoting healthy skin and coat, and supporting healthy digestion. Since nutraceuticals are made up of naturally occurring ingredients, they can help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system without any side effects.
One of the most significant benefits of nutraceuticals is their ability to support joint health. Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) can help relieve inflammation and promote healthy joints. When consumed in natural form, nutraceuticals can alleviate inflammation without the side effects and potential long-term damage associated with prescription medications.
Why choosing a diet that contains nutraceuticals is essential?
The best way to ensure that your fur baby is getting the right balance of nutraceuticals in their diet is to choose a dog food that contains these important compounds in its natural form. Natural sources of nutraceuticals are bioavailable, so it means that your pupper will be able to digest and absorb all the goodness they can provide.
All our raw dog food recipes are packed with amazing nutraceutical combinations that are all natural and easily absorbed by your furry friend, these meals are the perfect choice for their health and happiness.
There are countless more nutraceuticals waiting to be explored, just like in human health. What's good and medicinal for you can also benefit your dog, although their form may differ. It's incredible how these compounds work their wonders in similar ways.
So why wait? Dive into the world of nutraceuticals and give your pooch the best in nourishment.
Want to read more?
1. Scott, D. (2022) Fats for Dogs: The Ultimate Guide, Dogs Naturally. Available at: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/omega-3-for-dogs-the-ultimate-guide/ (Accessed: 17 July 2023).
2. Scott, D. (2022a) 5 functional foods every dog needs, Dogs Naturally. Available at: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/functional-foods-every-dog-needs/ (Accessed: 17 July 2023).
3. Scott, D. (2019) Raw food Nutritionist Specialist Course - Nutraceuticals lesson, Dogs Naturally Pro. Available at: https://pro.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/video/7-nutraceuticals/ (Accessed: 17 July 2023).