What You Need to Know about Functional Ingredients for Your Pet

Jocelyn Bishop
January 3, 2017

Pet Nutrition

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So…What are Functional Ingredients?

Functional Ingredients are natural ingredients that have health-promoting or energy-boosting benefits. Functional ingredients are things that aren’t strictly necessary for a recipe. Instead, they are added for additional health benefits. Redbarn includes functional ingredients like blueberries, cranberries, and carrots in many of our products. These ingredients also help to support specific health functions, because each pet has different health needs. 

For example, dandelion greens provide many vitamins and minerals and are high in protein (double what spinach provides). It is a mild liver and digestive stimulant which helps with waste elimination and optimal digestion. Healthy digestion of food and absorption of nutrients are vital to maintaining your dog’s wellness. 

Why does Redbarn include functional ingredients in our products?

Functional ingredients serve two purposes. In some cases, the added functional ingredients like cranberries or dandelion greens mean that fewer vitamins and mineral need to be added in. Functional ingredients also support health benefits like joint health, healthy skin and coat, and weight management.

Functional Ingredient Glossary

These are a few of our favorite functional ingredients that we use.

Blueberries: a good source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron, vitamins C, E, A and B. Can help promote good cardiovascular health. Read more in our article, Can Dogs And Cats Eat Blueberries?

Brewers Yeast: is rich in antioxidants, reduces itchy/dry skin and is a natural repellent of fleas and insects.

Cranberries: is rich in antioxidants that can help promote good vision, heart health, urinary health, and the immune system. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. We break down all the benefits in our article, Can Pets Eat Cranberries?

Chicken Cartilage: is a natural source of Chondroitin and glucosamine which helps to support joint health.

Coconut Oil: is made of Medium Chain Triglycerides that are antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal.  It is also an immediate source of fuel, energy, and Omega 6 fatty acids. Learn more in Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs and Cats?

Dried Chicory Root Extract: Soluble fiber that helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Flaxseed: Source of essential omega 3 fatty acids.  Essential fatty acids (EFA) are necessary for healthy skin and coat.  They moisturize the skin from the inside out, thus improving the skin’s ability to act as a barrier to potential allergic triggers and irritants They also play a role in nervous system functioning, including brain development, heart health, and the inflammatory response.

Flaxseed Oil: Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which help to support healthy, skin, coat and joints.

New Zealand Green Mussels (also known as Green Lipped Mussels): have anti-inflammatory properties.  Contain a unique combination of Omega-3s that reduce pain and inflammation and is a natural source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which helps to support joint health.

Salmon Oil: An ocean fish that is an excellent protein source.  It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support a healthy immune system, heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, healthy skin, and coat as well as cognitive function. Learn more about the Benefits of Salmon Oil for Dogs.

Yucca Schidigera: a plant that is used to help minimize stool odor. Also a source of Vitamin C and iron. 

What Redbarn Products have Functional Ingredients?

Want to find treats with functional ingredients? All of our bully coated chews contain added cranberries, blueberries, Salmon Oil and Vitamin E to help support your dog’s joint health.

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