3 things your active dog needs in their dietLucy Connor 23 April 2019
When it comes to exercising, we know the role that nutrition plays in helping us perform to the best of our ability and avoiding injury. Running is a great way to keep fit – it’s good for the heart, strengthens the joints and pumps the body full of feel-good chemicals. It doesn’t cost anything, and the best bit is you can take your dog along. You won't find a better running buddy - a running dog is usually a happy dog.
As most dog’s lead active lifestyles, nutrition is key to keeping their bodies and joints functioning well. A dog’s diet is just as important as ours!
Below, we’ve highlighted some key nutrients that are integral to an active dog’s diet, as well as some comparative advice for active humans.
1. BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, making up the structure of new muscle tissue, which is integral to any fitness goal. They can’t be produced in the body, so must be sourced through your diet.
Your diet: Make sure your diet is rich in a variety of animal proteins, legumes, nuts/seeds, seafood, and whole grains. BCAA supplements are also available in both capsule and powder form. Mix the powder into your water bottle and take it along for your run; they can be taken pre, post and during exercise.
Your dog's diet: Ensure your Pooch’s main meal source is rich in the above. Our functional foods are all based on a single protein source and include pea protein; which is low GI and naturally high in BCAAs.
2. Omega 3
Omega-3 fatty acids help with the dilation of blood vessels. They support cardiovascular and brain health and have also been seen to reduce post-run inflammation - which can reduce muscle pain and help tissue repair.
Your diet: Fish is an excellent dietary source of Omega-3. Some are higher in the fatty acid than others, including salmon and mackerel. Chia seeds, flaxseeds, egg yolks and pasteurised dairy products are also good sources of Omega-3. If you struggle to incorporate these foods into your diet, fish oil supplements are widely available in both liquid and capsule form online and in many health food stores.
Your dog’s diet: You can base your dog’s main meal source on either a fish protein or include additional sources of Omega-3. Top their usual food with a sprinkle of flax/chia seeds, or even add a supplement such as Salmon Oil to your dog's meal to give them a boost.
Glucosamine is needed to form synovial fluid, which is the joint's natural lubricant. It is also vital for the renewal of connective tissue in and around the joints. and provides the joints with the building blocks needed to manage the damage caused by wear and tear/ the natural ageing process.
Your diet: There are few food sources of glucosamine; crustaceans including crab, lobster and shrimp can provide trace amounts. If you’re a runner, joint supplements combining glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM are said to be more effective than simply consuming one of the options by itself.
Your dog’s diet: Dog joint supplements are the best way to ensure your dog is getting the support they need. Mobile Bones is a health supplement formulated especially for active dogs, or those suffering from joint and mobility problems. It contains 15 active ingredients to help promote joint comfort & mobility and aids the development of strong bones.
Treat yourself and your dog - the healthy way!
For your diet: There are plenty of tasty, nutritious snacks to choose from to keep you energised and satisfied. Greek yoghurt is a great, natural source of protein. Top with blueberries and chia seeds for an antioxidant / Omega-3 boost. For on the go energy, Perkier bars are a great option. Naturally low in fat and made with protein-packed quinoa, they come in a selection of flavours. (Go for cacao and cashew if you’re craving a chocolate hit!)
For your pooch: Check out our recipe for homemade ice cream – made with healthy human ingredients that are dog-friendly. You could also opt for a little bit of cheese. Try and choose an option that is low in fat such as cottage cheese, which is also high in protein. Our junk free chews make for a tasty and healthy treat for your dog. With only 65 calories per chew, they are also free-from wheat, corn, soya, artificial colours, and flavourings.