What To Feed Your Dog To Help Keep Their Brain Healthy
September 10, 2021 | 3 min read
Updated September 10, 2021
By Sarah Milton
Published: September 10, 2021
Updated: October 25, 2022
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about how to properly fuel your dog’s brain via food! We’ll find out what foods you can introduce to their diet to boost their brain health and how big a dog’s brain is. Read on to find out more about how to do your bit for your dog’s brain…
Your dog’s brain is a vital organ, just like yours is. So, we need to be sure we’re fuelling it properly and ensuring our dog’s brain is getting all the nutrients it needs to maintain its health.
How Big Is A Dog’s Brain?
A dog’s brain is roughly the size of a tangerine. This may not sound like a very big brain, but when compared to other animals it’s actually significantly sized!
A dog’s brain has the capacity for feeling emotions: they can feel anxious, depressed, love, happiness, and affection - they actually have similar chemical changes in their brain to us when it comes to feelings. They can recognize human faces and they can also dream!
Additionally, their brain is wired to an extremely advanced standard for processing and understanding scents and smells - particularly when compared to us! The area of the dog brain that manages smells (the olfactory bulb) is enormous in comparison to humans.
So, how do we make sure we’re keeping their amazing brain in tip-top condition via food? What should we be feeding our doggies to ensure good dog brain functioning?
Foods That Can Help Keep Your Dog’s Brain Healthy
Spinach, Blueberries, Carrot, Raspberries
Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants is great for supporting brain health and functioning. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are usually loaded with antioxidant properties so try chopping up some carrot, or popping a handful of blueberries or raspberries into Fido’s bowl to help them with their antioxidant levels. This will also boost their fiber levels which is another perk of including fruits and veggies in their diet!
Be mindful of some foods that aren’t good for dogs though. Check out the below table of foods that are toxic to dogs and should be avoided…
The omegas are totally and utterly essential for any pet parent who wants a healthy dog. Not only do they support normal inflammatory response in the body, but these needed fatty acids in these oils help promote blood flow which carries nutrients all over the body, including the major organs like the brain. In addition, they can contribute to optimal brain functioning. You can give your dog Omega (fish oil) supplements or omegas can be found in fishes like sardines and tuna or even eggs and chicken.
Sweet potatoes are a brilliant source of fiber and carbohydrate (energy) for your dog but also loaded with calcium, potassium, and Vitamins A, B, and C (the latter being a popular antioxidant). Note that this veggie is a bright orange color, meaning it’s packed with antioxidant properties and will help optimize your dog’s brain functioning as well as can help in promoting both the immune system and nervous system.
This powerful plant is packed with Vitamins B3 and B6, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and folate. In small amounts, ginger can aid the body in supporting proper nervous system transmissions sent from the dog brain, aid in the effective absorption of essential nutrients, help normal metabolic functions (like DNA synthesis) and contribute to promoting healthy enzyme and nerve functioning.
Simply sprinkle a small amount on top of their food, but no more than 1 teaspoon per day as too much can induce heartburn or nausea.
Ginkgo Biloba (or maidenhair) is one of the longest living tree species in the world, and whilst not a food per se, it’s a great ingredient to consider adding to your dog’s diet for their brain health, again because it’s loaded with those important antioxidants! Extracted from the tree’s leaves, Ginkgo Biloba is touted to help support brain functioning, particularly in senior pups, and is thought to promote optimal learning and memory in younger doggos.
Look for specific supplements from a reputable pet brand (like us!) for your dog that includes Ginkgo Biloba to boost their dog’s brain health!
Author Taffer, Marissa "Food For Thought: Key Ingredients To Brain Health In Dogs" Dog Eared, By Ollie, Nov 04. 2020 https://blog.myollie.com/dog-food-for-brain-health/
Author Sunkara, Lavanya "12 Amazing Dog Brain Facts" Great Pet Care, Mar 18. 2020 https://www.greatpetcare.com/dog-behavior/12-amazing-dog-brain-facts/#:~:text=A%20Dog's%20Brain%20is%20the%20Size%20of%20a%20Tangerine&text=The%20human%20brain-to-body,Intelligence%20issue%20of%20Popular%20Science.
"Can My Dog Eat Ginger?" Rover https://www.rover.com/blog/uk/can-my-dog-eat-ginger/#:~:text=Yes!,also%20help%20dogs%20with%20arthritis.
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!