Have you thought about adding gelatin to your dog's meals? If not, then you should! Carnivores would normally get gelatin from eating fresh kill. The main ingredient in gelatin is collagen, a protein found in animal tissues, ligaments, tendons, bones and skin. Glycine, the main amino acid in gelatin, is said to protect against seizures and brain damage.
Gelatin is the watery jelly-like substance that starts out as a broth and becomes gelatinous as it cools. It is found inside bones along with valuable minerals. The best gelatin comes from the simmered bones of a boiled chicken. The thicker the gelatin is, the more concentrated the nutrients are and the more your dog will benefit from eating it. Also gelatin is fat free and cholesterol free.
Gelatin has anti-inflammatory and brain-protective actions that are especially important during aging and when under stress. Gelatin attracts digestive juices to itself, which makes it easier for dogs to digest grains and carbohydrates. Gluten-containing grains like barley, oats and wheat frequently cause allergic reactions in many dogs. Gelatin increases a dog’s ability to utilize the proteins found in these grains. It protects the lining of the stomach, soothes upset stomachs, and helps other digestive ailments like irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Disorders such as degenerative joint disease, osteoporosis, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis respond favorably to diets containing gelatin because it reduces the inflammation. In a mature animal, gelatin can make up half of the dietary protein intake but as little as just two teaspoons a day can be beneficial for a 50 to 75 lb dog.
The quickest and easiest is to use a product like Knox Gelatine available at any grocery store. You can then sprinkle it on any wet food once a day or mixed into warmed homemade meals. It can then be served warm or cold. When you add hot water to the powdery collagen-rich gelatin, the protein loosens resulting in a wiggly, semi-solid, gel-like substance which can be the basis of a fun treat. Read this article on how Knox Gelatine is made.
Be aware that any flavored, artificially colored or sweetened gelatin products like Jell-o brand can be toxic to dogs so only use plain, unflavored gelatin.
The other way is to make your own which is taking your homemade chicken stock a few steps further. A little more time but easy and chock full of healthy benefits. Check out my recipe to see how to do it.
Feed your dog small amounts frequently if he has digestive problems.
Amount to add to food: (twice a day)
- 10 to 25 lbs - 1/2 teaspoon
- 25 to 50 lbs - 1 teaspoon
- 50 to 75 lbs - 2 teaspoons
- 75 to 100+lbs - 1 tablespoon
Another easy way to incorporate gelatin into your dog's diet are Gummy Paws, an easy and diverse treat. Gelatin, another healthy ingredient for dogs is waiting in your kitchen.