Fruits and Seed Oils in Dog Food
As with vegetables, dogs do not routinely eat fruit in the wild. They are almost fibre and protein free and so large amounts of fruit are redundant in a dog’s diet. However, as our understanding of dogs’ digestive systems has grown, a niche has sprung up – with high quality dog foods now including measures of fruit and seed oils as a source of supplementary vitamins and minerals.
One of the most commonly found fruits in dog food are cranberries. These tasty red berries perform the same function for dogs as they do for humans. They are a good source of antioxidants which can help prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract.
Grape seeds themselves are not found in dog food as a whole are mildly poisonous for dogs, but their oils and extracts are often used an additive. These extracts have anti-inflammatory properties and are also a strong antioxidant.
Soya beans are found as a bulking additive in some dog foods, but add little nutritional value as they are a poor source of protein and fibre for dogs. Soy has also been linked to intolerances and allergies in dogs, so it is worth consulting with your vet if you are worried about your dog’s diet.
Borage is a great source of the anti-inflammatory gamma linolenic acid. This is a great help for the natural treatment of arthritis in older dogs, as well as with skin conditions.
Evening Primrose Oil
Similar to borage, evening primrose contains a high concentration of gamma linolenic acid. The oil also contains compounds that can also help with digestive complaints such as colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.
Linseed is an increasingly common ingredient in dog food. Linseed contains a decent amount of dietary fibre (great for your dogs’ bowels and general digestive health) alongside a host of micronutrients. It’s main benefit to dogs however is the presence of Omega 3. Although fish remain a much better source of this beneficial supplement, linseed oil is often used specifically to get these nutrients into a dog’s diet.
Quinoa might have become recently fashionable in human diets, but it is also finding its way into dog food. As it is essentially a grain, quinoa itself is almost inedible for dogs. However, it contains a great set of amino acides, fibre, copper, magnesium and manganese. As quinoa has never appeated in the dog diet before, no dogs are allergic or intolerant to it. As such, quinoa derivatives are a popular choice to add extra nutrients to a quality dog food.