Supplementing The Raw Dog
Updated: Jan 17
When I look for a supplement I make sure it is in a whole food form and benefits Stormy in every way possible. Today I'm going to buckle down on the supplements I use (not to cover nutrient gaps) & why.
The main use of supplements in a raw diet is to fill any nutrition gaps that need to be filled. They also may be customized to your dog's individual needs.
For example, giving collagen for joints or dosing mushrooms for a cancerous dog. Supplements can be found in a whole food form or in a synthetic man-made form. I personally only use supplements in their whole food forms. This ensures that Stormy is getting the most quality nutrients in its organic and most bioavailable form.
All the supplements I feed not only ensure Stormy's optimal health in all aspects but are also in their purest, most natural, whole-food state.
What's In My Supplement Cabinet?
I keep all my plethora of supplements in a cabinet. It is organized by most used to least used. Least used being all the way in the cold dark corner and the most used to seeing my face on a daily basis.
Down below I've listed my most used to least used supplements and why I use them:
If you haven't read in my past blogs, like What I Look For In a Pre-Made Raw, then go do so now!
But I'll give a brief review of why phytoplankton is my most beloved whole food supplement.
By feeding phytoplankton we go straight to the source of Omega 3s and cut out all the middlemen that collect radiation, heavy metals, Omega 6s, oxidation, and toxic waste in the ocean. Phytoplankton can be grown in filtered water in a controlled environment so there is absolute confidence that it is pure and wholesome. Phytoplankton also has a very powerful antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD) which protects cells from free radicals (oxidation). Phytoplankton also requires SO little to gain all these wonderful benefits!
My favorite phytoplanktons are:
2. Mr. Ross Marine Phytoplankton (currently using)
Mushrooms are great for immunity, antioxidants, vitamins/minerals, and cancer-fighting properties.
When purchasing mushroom supplements it's important to keep in mind that not all mushrooms are treated the same. You want to look for mushrooms that have been grown outside and on logs like they're supposed to not ones that grew on grains such as rice and oats in a lab. Another thing to keep in mind is how much of the mushroom is going into the actual product. Many companies will only grow and add the mycelium and only a small part of the mushroom with the actual medicinal properties. To have the most potent effect you must ensure you're feeding the mycelium and the fruiting body.
I also love making my own mushroom broth to feed as well since I know exactly what goes in for quality assurance!
★ For more on mushrooms & a recipe click here ★
My top favorite mushroom supplements to feed (with mycelium + fruiting body):
Tip: if you have a dog with cancer or severe health problems, pairing these two products together are great to aid in healing the gut biome, immune system, and body overall!
Fruits & Veggies
Vegetation for canines is still very controversial but it all really comes down to quantity and quality. And when added properly, it can have immense health benefits! Dogs are not obligate carnivores like felines are. They are facultative carnivores which means that the animal can also eat non-animal foods. So while their diet should be primarily made of meat, their food options are much more varied and have included vegetation naturally in the form of gut contents in their prey and scavenging for fruits and berries. A study done by The Voyageurs Wolf Project conducted a study that revealed during peak berry season (July-August) 80% of the wolf pack's diets consisted of berries!
Fruits & veggies are an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and fiber. But make sure to only feed low-glycemic fruits and veggies and stay away from starchier ones such as peas and beans. Fruits & veggies are an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and fiber. But make sure to only feed LOW glycemic fruits and veggies and stay away from starchier ones such as peas and beans.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Feeding low glycemic vegetation is the key so our dogs can easily digest the plant matter and get the full benefits!
Did you know that phytonutrients are ONLY found in vegetation? The phytonutrients in fruits and veggies can help with killing cancer cells, reducing inflammation, promoting gut health, and supporting the liver.
Raw plant matter can be quite hard for canines to digest so it’s important to make sure to prep the plant for maximum bioavailability…
Sautéeing in a healthy fat
Doing this helps break down the cell wall to get the wonderful nutrients into your dog!
To get a better idea of which foods are high in glycemic index and which ones are not just google high/low glycemic foods! Adding in a small amount of dark leafy greens that are leftover in the fridge or a few berries and there creates a huge impact on the health of your dog! If you want, you can even make your own DIY fruit and veggie mix
Fruits (especially berries) have polyphenols which are naturally occurring compounds that come from vegetation. These polyphenols feed the healthy bacteria in the gut and produce healthy by-products such as...
hydroxyphenyl acetic acid
hydroxyphenyl propionic acid
Polyphenols are also anti-inflammatory (which prevents chronic illness), fight oxidative stress (damaged cells from free radicals), cancer-killing, and detoxify the liver!
★ To read more on polyphenols click here ★
Favorite veggies to feed (all organic because it actually makes a difference!):
Fermented red cabbage & beets (click here for recipe)
Favorite fruits to feed (all organic because it actually makes a difference!):
Blackberries (notice the berry trend)
Apples (with the skin for all those polyphenols)
Watch The Squad Chronicles about Fruits & Veggies with @WildlyBlended down below!
Bovine Colostrum & Raw Goat Milk
Colostrum is the mother's first milk. All mammals receive this nutrient-packed liquid as a baby.
But why is it so good for your dog now?
Colostrum is an immune-boosting superfood. It contains Immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies) IgG, IgM, and IgA...
IgG antibodies give young animals passive immunity.
IgM antibodies contain the first defense against harmful bacteria and viruses.
IgA is the antibody a dog most abundantly makes. It coats the gut lining to identify and destroy foreign bacteria/viruses to prevent illness, chronic inflammation, and allergies.
The proline-rich-polypeptide (PRP) in the colostrum also balances and strengthens the immune system.
Colostrum also stimulates the growth of hair, new cells, bone, muscle, and connective tissue.
As well as containing MSM, commonly found in equine joint supplements, colostrum is antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic as well as having anticancer effects and relieving allergy symptoms and toxins from the body.
Bovine (cow) colostrum and raw goat milk are my go-to miracles for when Stormy has an upset stomach (along with a 48 hour fast) to help heal her gut. My by far favorite bovine colostrum/ & milk is:
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment and belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. This is what gives organisms such as trout, micro-algae, shrimp, yeast, and salmon their pinkish color. Astaxanthin is chock full of antioxidants! Antioxidants help fight against free radicals which play a role in many metabolic diseases. A study from the journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that astaxanthin as well as other carotenoids showed the highest antioxidant activity against free radicals.
Because of its high antioxidant properties, astaxanthin is also very beneficial in the holistic treatment of various cancers. A study was done in 2005 discovered short and long-term effects in the treatment of breast cancer but unfortunately, the high price for purified astaxanthin limits the studies done on its effects with cancer. Astaxanthin has been shown to be helpful for highly active dogs/people too. Boosting endurance fatigue after exercise as well as boosting fatty acids and preventing muscular and skeletal damage are a few reasons why it's beneficial for highly active dogs! Astaxanthin is also great for reducing inflammation, and pain symptoms related to arthritis and other joint problems.
My personal favorite astaxanthin supplement is the Asta Zan 14 K9 by Bio Star especially since they pair it with other superfoods such as kale and turmeric but other great ways to feed it are from Wild-Caught Salmon or other supplements on the market.
Bee pollen is the pocket or pellet of field-gathered flower pollen collected by the wonderful hardworking worker bees. #thanksbees
Bee pollen has loads of proteins, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.
Its benefits include easing allergies, anti-inflammatory, immune booster, aiding in weight loss, preventing cancer, lifting fatigue, and improving alertness and concentration levels (when fed over time).
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
This is my favorite for any rear end and tummy troubles.
Slippery Elm Bark (SEB) is the inner bark (not the whole bark) of Ulmus rubra.
SEB is beneficial for coughs, sore throat, colic, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bladder and urinary tract infections, syphilis, herpes, and for expelling tapeworms. I love to make DIY Pepto Bismol mix for myself when I have an upset tummy too!
I usually source my slippery elm bark powder from Mountain Rose Herbs as they practice ethical farming and eco-friendly operations. But Amazon does have SEB too if you're in need of it quickly.
★ To learn more about SEB click here ★
I don't feed any chemical dewormers so pumpkin seeds are my go-to!
Pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid, cucurbitacin, which paralyzes any worms and causes them to lose their attachment to the intestinal lining and make their way safely (and dead) out of the body.
But seeds aren't just great for their deworming benefits. Pumpkin seeds are also beneficial for their antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber.
Nuts & seeds should be soaked in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar (sometimes I’ll add Himalayan Pink Salt too) to rid the nuts/seeds of phytic acid which is incredibly difficult for dogs (and us) to digest and absorb nutrients. Soaking nuts decreases phytic acid greatly and releases enzyme inhibitors increasing bioavailability!
★ For more on nuts & seeds click here ★
Earth Animal Herbal Flea & Tick Powder
Like I don't feed chemical dewormers I also don't feed chemical flea and tick preventatives. Therefore I turn to whole food alternatives like this one!
Living in Texas there is always a constant worry of fleas and ticks even living in the suburbs.
There's a fabulous hiking trail that is infested with ticks and she never has one on her thanks to this supplement!
This supplement changes the way their odor smells to the bugs and makes them unappealing to them. It's a great natural way to be confident in no creepy critters on your precious pooch.
Alfalfa – Contains a high mineral and vitamin content and is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins E and K
Garlic* – This natural repellent contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, and supports immune function while cleansing the blood.
Kelp – A source of iodine that supports thyroid function, which helps weight control and repels fleas.
Neem – Fights off parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Its detoxifying effects also make this a great immune booster.
Nettles – Very rich in potassium, calcium, and silicic acid.
Papaya – Supports digestion and purifies the blood.
Hawthorne – A source of nutrition and support for the heart."
★ For more information click here ★
Larch arabinogalactan is an easy, safe, and natural prebiotic for animals! A prebiotic is the food for probiotics that colonize the gut microflora. And since we know that more than 80% of the immune system lies in the gut, feeding everything we can do to increase the presence and diversity of commensal bacteria will only add to their health & longevity.
Research shows that larch is able to enhance natural killer cells, boost the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increases intestinal bacteria (probiotics), and prevent certain cancer cells from growing.
You can choose to feed a couple of different ways but the most common way is in powder form. You can purchase the straight powder from companies such as Swanson or supplement blends from Adored Beast Apocathery.
★ For more information click here ★
I personally feed my dogs a variety of herbs for several different purposes. It is important to not blindly feed herbs and give with a certain purpose. For example, I feed Raspberry Leaf when she is coming into heat to help support and strengthen her uterus.
Other herbs I feed often are:
★ Click here to learn more about types of herbs I use and why ★
Canned sardines, anchovies, and oyster make variety easy and do not require any freezer space for storage!
My favorite brand of canned fish is Wild Planet and Chicken of the Sea for oysters.
Also known as goji berries (wolf berries is such a cooler name...), are an easy super rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and polyphenols!
While dogs synthesize their own vitamin C, it is still very beneficial to feed! The main function of vitamin C is as an antioxidant (free radical scavenger). An older study done in 1994 claimed that these berries could aid in the treatment of cancer tumors. Wolfberries contain a chemical constituent called beta-sitosterol which may help decrease the size of overgrown cells and cause apoptosis or "cell suicide" in tumor cells. But the study mentioned above was poorly run and would need some serious updates to confirm these claims.
Most supermarkets such as Sprouts or Whole Foods sell dried goji berries in store in the bulk section. If you do buy your goji berries from a reputable source, they will be a big pricey. Cheaper brands tend to contain sulfites and other additives. I personally sourced my wolfberries from Young Living.
You know your dog best and the supplements you feed should mold to the dog in front of you and benefit them in every way possible! My supplement list is always growing full of wonderful nutrient-dense whole foods and rotated with every meal. Supplementing may seem laborious but if you take a step back and breathe it's actually quite simple and doesn't require loads of critical thinking! If you ever have any questions about supplements I use or for yourself please don't hesitate to ask.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by, & Always Keep Exploring!