Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nuts! Vitamin E for Dogs

I was very happy to learn something new recently, especially because it was easy. 

I've never thought about the benefits of feeding nuts to dogs because, of course, they are not naturally nut eaters. But if you think about it, their bodies ARE designed to eat animals who eat nuts, thus getting some of the nutritional benefits via the meat.

Well my dog doesn't eat wild meat. She eats farmed meat, where even the grass-fed beef and pastured poultry aren't quite eating their wild diet. Even the venison comes from deer that aren't wild, and she's certainly not getting squirrel, the master nut eaters.

The result is that she's not getting a lot of Vitamin E through her diet (unless she eats food that has it added via supplement). 

When dogs are fed fats like fish oil their body needs Vitamin E to process it, so if their diet isn't providing it they can get depleted. 

It's confusing to to try to assess supplements and decide on doses, so I went looking for a food that I could add to her diet. I found this blog that gives information on using whole foods to provide Vitamin E and got started.

I bought raw nuts that are high in Vitamin E: Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, and Sunflower Seeds. They must be raw to be effective because heat destroys the E. 

I threw them all in the food processor for a couple of minutes. 

It grinds up easily and is drier than you might expect.

I store it in the refrigerator and scoop a little into her food most meals, about a half-teaspoon. Then I scoop a little in to my food too. 

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