Health Series 3: Prebiotics
We hear a lot about PRObiotics, but what are PREbiotics for your dog? I like to tell my kids, "Probiotics are the warriors in their body. They are fighting off the bad guys. Prebiotics are the FOOD for the warriors (Probiotics)."
We need to feed our army. If we don't properly feed our warriors, they can't do their job. So eating plenty of the right prebiotic foods is just as important as eating the Probiotics. Likewise, feeding our dogs prebiotic foods is just as important as feeding our dogs probiotic foods.
Prebiotic foods pass through your dog's GI tract undigested, until they reach the colon where they nourish a healthy microbiota. The good news is there are lots of great prebiotic foods and different ones feed different warriors – so the key with prebiotics is diversity. Aim to add a couple of these to your dog's bowl each day. If you are only feeding one dog, dice a bit of banana or apple on their bowl, then store the remainder in the fridge and use it over the next few days. My girls have never minded a browned apple or banana! Feeding dogs healthy is so much easier than kids!
So here's a short list of top Prebiotic foods for your dog:
All veggies add some degree of prebiotics to you dog, so get creative! I love adding these, and other veggies, to my girl's diet. I love seeing the added variety and color it gives to their bowl! As with any new foods, start slowly and ease your pet into them. When I researched this article, I was surprised to see Burdock Root listed. It was one I hadn't read about before. Out here in the country my dogs will often come in with a burdock tangled in their coat. Oh how I loathe those plants, but now that I know they can be a great source of prebiotics, I think I'll dig up a root or 2 and try boiling up some burdock tea to splash on their food!
Check out Winston eating his veggies! He lives on Hidden Acre Farm in Crawford, NY. His owner says he LOVES cabbage, beans, fennel, tomatoes, and cauliflower! He eats very seasonally!
** Note on Garlic - We've all heard that Dogs can't have garlic. Watch this video to clear up that misconception - Is Garlic Toxic For your Dog?
Here's an article if you'd rather read The Shocking Truth about Dogs and Garlic.
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"Socialization Begins with the Breeder" according to the AKC. We take that responsibility seriously here On Papa's Farm.