As a dog owner, you only want the best for your dog’s ultimate health and well-being. As more people learn how many of the whole foods they eat are just as beneficial for their dogs, they are witnessing the healthy benefits for ailing and aging dogs. It is the same with blackstrap molasses. Read on to learn more in answering the question: Is molasses good for dogs?
Let’s Start by Understanding What Molasses Is in the First Place
Much of what is produced in processing food stuffs are the by-products. In a perfect world, everything is used in lieu of just throwing it away. Blackstrap molasses is a dark liquid that is left over after the sugar is extracted from the cane. While the sugar is depleted of all nutritional value, the blackstrap is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin B6
How is Molasses Good for Dogs?
While you do not want to be adding sugar to your dog’s diet, blackstrap molasses adds sweetness in addition to loads of good stuff. It has been used as an ingredient in livestock and poultry “sweet feeds” since the 1800s. It is very low in calories and cholesterol and has no fat content.
The roots of the sugar cane go deep into the soil pulling up nutrients that no longer exist in the topsoil. In the boiling process of extracting the sugar, the thick nutritious liquid left behind is molasses. Yes, you say, but is molasses good for dogs?
Here are the many ways molasses is good to add to your dog’s dietary intake:
1. The iron in molasses is easily assimilated and helps reduce anemia.
2. The magnesium and calcium in molasses helps support strong bones and improves the nervous system.
3. The chromium in molasses improves glucose tolerance, which helps metabolize sugars and reduces the risk of diabetes.
4. The vitamin B6 aids in fat digestion, synthesizing hemoglobin and metabolizing the amino acids in protein.
5. Molasses also helps improve hair and skin conditions and even restores hair color in older dogs.
6. Helps alleviate the pain and weakness associated with arthritis.
7. The manganese fights free radicals and helps stabilize blood sugar.
Be Aware of the Different Kinds of Molasses
It is important to be aware of the different types of molasses available on the market. You may have seen the light molasses commonly found on the store shelf known as Grandma’s Molasses. It comes from the first syrup and is used in the kitchen for desserts and treats because it has a higher sugar content than blackstrap has.
There is also dark molasses, which comes from the second syrup and is better than the light kind, but there is a caution. Dark molasses may be sulphurated to lighten the color, but it can give an off flavor and may be toxic in high doses.
The one you want is called Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses, the third syrup in the process. It has not been chemically treated, contains the least amount of sugar and provides the most dietary benefits for your dog. This one is also used in baking. There are recipes from which you can make homemade dog treats containing this molasses.
If you have a dog that is showing the signs of aging, has arthritis or is anemic, you might consider adding a tablespoon of molasses to the meals. Dog owners have seen improvement in as few as 24 hours. If you do make treats using molasses, just be mindful of how many you are giving to your pet so you don’t overdo it.