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As busy dog parents, you probably buy your dog’s commercial food from a store out of convenience, which is completely okay. But even though you may not be able to make homemade dog food every day, you can still improve the quality of a store bought food by adding healthy plant-based foods to it. It’s easy, a good idea, and your dog won’t find his food boring anymore!

If you are going to incorporate “people food” into your dog’s current food, be aware that most people food should only be given occasionally in moderation and that not all foods are safe for dogs to eat. Keep your dog happy and healthy with these plant-based suggestions to jazz up his or her store bought food.

Add one, two, or more of the following foods (or other dog-approved foods) to your dog’s commercial dog food, wet or dry. Simply subtract 1/4 to 1/2 of the amount of dog food from the bowl and replace with jazz up foods, then mix together. If your dog is not used to any of these foods, it is recommended that you start them with a smaller amount, and as they can be choking hazards, so make sure to chop up all fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces.

1. Carrots — Raw or lightly steamed carrots add a juicy crunch to any dog food. They are high in vitamin C for good eyesight and are excellent for maintaining healthy oral hygiene as they clean teeth and gums and freshen breath.

2. Sweet Potatoes — Does your doggie need a little weight control? Sweet potatoes help with weight management by stabilizing appetite and they are full of vitamin B6 for heart health. For proper digestion, all potatoes must be cooked fully.

3. Bananas — High in potassium, fiber, and magnesium, bananas aid in muscle function and maintaining a healthy bowel.

4. Olive Oil & Coconut Oil — Add a small spoonful of one of these flavorful oils to dog food for shiny fur and soft skin. Olive oil also helps with the digestibility of commercial dog food and coconut oil helps to prevent disease and is good for bone health.

5. Flaxseeds — Ground flaxseeds are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for a dog’s skin and coat. Flaxseeds also provide extra fiber when added to a dog’s diet.

6. Nutritional Yeast — Love nutritional yeast? Well get your dog in on the fun, too! Jazz up your dog’s food by sprinkling nutritional yeast over it, and watch them eat it all away! Be sure to check that the nutritional yeast you’re buying is fortified with vitamin B12, as many brands do not contain this vitamin.

While a dog may like one of the foods above, they may not care too much for another, so have fun, and play around with small amounts of foods at a time. Desired result? To feed your dog more fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods to keep them healthy both inside and out!

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