Chronic inflammation, which is internal inflammation that persists and serves no healing purpose, is linked to many health issues including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. The inflammation that occurs after an injury is the body’s natural response to the trauma. Its purpose it to flood the injury site with nourishment and kick start the healing process. Chronic inflammation serves no such purpose and is detrimental to overall health. There are many factors that can lead to chronic inflammation including lack of exercise, stress, and poor diet.
Inflammation is harmful to the health of dogs just as it is to humans. One of the keys to keeping a dog’s inflammation at bay is a healthy and varied diet. There are an assortment of spices and foods that can be a first line of defense against chronic inflammation. Some of the more commonly used foods in commercial pet food recipes are listed below.
Dog Food Ingredients that are Anti-inflammatory
Spices that combat inflammation Herbs and spices contain an assortment of vitamins and minerals, and can be a great way to prevent chronic inflammation. Some of the more powerful anti-inflammatory spices include:
Besides being anti-inflammatory, these spices can improve the taste of the food. Furthermore, spices can act as natural preservatives, and can extend the freshness of dog food and eliminate the need for artificial (and potentially harmful) preservatives.
If your dog’s food does not contain these spices, consider sprinkling some in their dish when you are feeding.
Food that combat inflammation
There are several foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, any of which are commonly found in dog food recipes.
- Animal-based omega 3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish
- Berries, especially blueberries, and many other fruits like papaya and cherries.
- Leafy greens and vegetables, including kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato.
These foods are great additions to any dog food recipe. Besides being anti-inflammatory, they provide a natural source of sweetness and flavor, which is much better than added sugars or other “natural flavors”. Fruits and vegetables are also the preferred way to add color to dog food, and are a much better alternative than the artificial colors that are often found in the lower quality foods.