Keeping our Furry Companions Healthy – Probiotics, Fruits and Veggies

Watermelon Sam photo by Geoff Hendrickson

Our Golden Retriever Alfie is a true chow-hound and definitely lives to eat. Anytime we are cooking in the kitchen he is lying flat, spread-out on the floor watching the proceedings. He is also a drooling fool and you cannot eat a morsel without his imploring big brown eyes and a stream of drool hanging from both sides of his mouth. It is simply pitiful. But, you would be amazed at what gets him going.

First of all, Alfie gets nonfat plain yogurt every day due to their beneficial probiotics. Here is physician, Elizabeth Smoots, speaking to its importance:

Whenever I open a container of yogurt in the kitchen, my golden retriever, Terra Cotta, comes running from across the house. She loves to eat it as much as I do. What Terra probably doesn’t realize, though, is that the probiotics contained in yogurt are very good for dog and human health.

Probiotics are defined as live, microbial food ingredients that have beneficial health effects. Certain bacteria and yeasts have been used for this purpose in many cultures around the world. Common examples include yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, kefir, tempeh, miso, raw sauerkraut, and other cultured or fermented foods. A growing body of evidence suggests that there are several good reasons to add more probiotics to your diet.

The average human gut is home to trillions of microbes. Most of the bugs are “friendly” bacteria that live there while performing important roles. They do jobs like crowding out harmful germs, improving digestion, protecting the lining of your intestinal tract, and keeping your immune system functioning in tiptop form. In maintaining a healthy balance of microbes in your body, it helps to consume “good” bacteria from food. This helps to cut down on the “bad” bacteria in your body. Evidence suggests that the healthier shift may help alleviate certain disease conditions.

I have to admit I am not that exotic in my tastes but my guy actually loves when Gary opens up a mango or papaya or avocado. Did you know, however that all of these were actually good for dogs? Fruits and vegetables are not just good for us. They are good for our dogs as well. This is what Animal Wellness dog health writer, Audi Donamor, has to say about these wonders that both Gary and Alfie enjoy:

Avocados contains protein and fibre and they are a good source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, selenium, manganese, copper, and zinc. To top it off, avocados also contain Vitamins A, C, B-1, B-2, B-6 niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid.

Mangos are a good source of fibre and they also contain a small amount of protein. Mangos are an excellent vitamin and mineral profile. They contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, selenium, copper, zinc, and manganese. They are rich in Vitamins A, C, folate, and B-6.

Papayas contain papain, an enzyme that supports the digestive process. Papayas are a rich source of dietary fibre, and also contain potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, folate, and Vitamins A, C, flavonoids, E, and K. Papayas are considered heart smart.

Click here for a print-ready PDF of her special, informative article from Audi Donamor on the Top Ten Fruits and Veggies for Your Best Friend. It is packed with GReat information, as well as two fantastic recipes for Easier-than-pie Baked Granola Apples and Carrot Flan.

Alfie gets all of the top 10 and many more besides. To tell you the truth, he probably eats better than any of us lol.


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