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Pet Wellness: Three Easy-to-Find Natural Supplements Your Dog Should Be Taking

It’s no secret that incorporating natural, whole foods into your diet can improve your health. But you can improve your dog’s health using the same approach, says Seattle-based holistic pet food entrepreneur Kelley Marian. Marian shares three easy-to-find natural food items to supplement your dog’s kibble or raw, or home-cooked meal. The best part: They may already be in your kitchen!

Pets Contributor
Photography by Hilary Dahl

Leafy Greens

The Dish: Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help dogs fight environmental toxins and prevent early aging. Dark leafy greens contain alkaline properties, which can fight inflammation that manifests itself in skin issues, digestive problems, and even cancer. 


The Goods: Look for parsley, dandelion greens, lettuces, bok choy, and arugula, which can be found in the produce aisle of your grocery store.


The Prep: Because dogs don't have the enzymes needed to break the cell walls of plants and release the nutrients, it is very important to thoroughly crush your dog’s greens before adding to their regular diet. Whether you juice, blend, or purée, the result should come out looking like pesto. Marian recommends that 15 to 25 percent of a dog's meal can consist of vegetables, and roughly half of those vegetables can consist of leafy greens.


Coconut Oil

The Dish: Coconut oil is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides, a type of saturated fat not often found in a dog’s diet. Coconut oil is beneficial externally in treating skin irritations and wounds, and internally it helps to fight yeast, aid in digestion, increase nutrient absorption, improve the smell of breath, reduce allergic reactions, aid in arthritis and ligament problems, and promote weight loss.


The Goods: You can find coconut oil in most grocery stores. Look for organic, unrefined, and cold-processed coconut oil to ensure that all nutrients are intact and there are no unwanted additives.  


The Prep: Administer 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight, twice daily.



The Dish: Turmeric is one of the most well-researched herbs, and some researchers are saying it is more effective than a number of over-the-counter medications. Turmeric is a known analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, and anticarcinogenic agent.


The Goods: You can find turmeric root in your local health-food store, such as Whole Foods, but if you can't find the root, organic turmeric powder is another great option. If you use fresh turmeric, be sure to grind it very finely. For optimal absorption, turmeric needs to be paired with a fat—such as coconut oil—or a little bit of black pepper.

The Prep: Administer 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of dog weight, once daily. 


To learn more about holistic pet health, Kelley’s personal journey to improve her dogs' health, and the whole foods supplement she created and sells locally in western Washington, visit her website.