This chapter reviews super foods and functional foods for companion animals such as dogs, cats, and horses. Super foods are considered to be beneficial for health and well-being, whereas functional foods are fortified or enhanced foods that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrient they contain. Super foods for dogs and cats include blueberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cocoa, tomatoes, spinach, banana, strawberry, apples, carrots, coconut oil, quinoa, kale, and raw honey. Examples of functional foods for dogs and cats include omega-3–enriched egg, fatty fish, soybean oil, nuts, yogurt, and oatmeal. These food products help pets fight disease, maintain healthy skin and shiny coat, improve healthy digestion, maintain joints and strong bones, boost immune system, promote longevity, boost energy, and maintain good health in general. Many nutrients including essential fatty acids, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins are now incorporated in pet foods for normal functioning of the skin and coat condition. Super foods for horses, such as pollen bee, Echinacea, and spirulina, are natural foods that have high-quality vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and enzymes. They support optimal digestive health and boost the immune system in horses. This chapter highlights the benefits derived by consuming super foods and functional foods and some specific claims supported by scientific research of these foods in companion animals.
Part of the book: Superfood and Functional Food