Natural Dog Nutrition Advice

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What is the best food to feed my dog??

Guess what! Humans aren’t the only things on this planet that are getting larger and larger; dogs are increasingly at risk of becoming obese. Like humans, scientists are constantly re-examining and revising what dogs should be eating so that they live longer and healthier lives. The good thing about this is that the general guidelines for natural dog nutrition is quite similar to humans! Fun idea: go on a diet WITH your dog. They will be your motivator to get outside and get active, and you can feel good knowing you’re giving you and your dog the best quality food. Follow these suggestions of natural dog nutrition, get active and enjoy the benefits of your healthy life!

Can dogs eat apples?

Absolutely. Everything that makes apples good for humans (fiber, vitamins A and C, omega-3 and -6, antioxidants, etc.), make it good for your pup as well – natural dog food is great for your pets! The only thing though, don’t let them eat the seeds; apple seeds contain cyanide, which humans can filter but dogs cannot. Also, because the high sugar content, too many apples can lead to weight gain (also diarrhea).

Can I feed my dog bones?

Yes and no. Poultry bones are very dangerous for doggo’s because they are so fragile and can be easily splintered. You don’t want to do the Heimlich on your dog, or risk internal tearing. Most people think that beef and pork bones are okay, and they generally are because they are much stronger, but if they are improperly prepared, they can be just as dangerous. Properly prepared beef and pork bones are essentially “shatterproof” and usually slow-roasted for as long as 36 hours.

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Should I feed my dog canned or dry food?

Canned food tends to contain better quality and more protein, and have less preservatives and random fillers, as well as less calories and carbs. Furthermore, wet food is also good for dogs that are missing teeth. But, if you want to use dry food, there are reputable companies that are comparable to the standard wet food. Dry food tends to have more random pieces of meat thrown into it- something that makes humans cringe, but dogs don’t give a damn. Another perk of dry food is that it can get the tartar off your dog’s teeth! So… there are a lot of pro’s and con’s to each… which means, ultimately, it is best to pick the food that is best for yours and your dog’s lifestyle; as long as the food is nutritionally balanced and the highest quality you can afford, you should be okay.

Can I make kibble for my dog?

Absolutely you can! There are loads of recipes on Pinterest (Check ours out!). This is a great way to monitor all the ingredients your dog is ingesting, especially good if your dog has food allergies. Beware: dogs have very specific nutritional needs so make sure you do your research before selecting a recipe. Bonus: kibble is easily stored in the freezer.

Reading labels is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Just because it says “gourmet” and “natural dog food” doesn’t mean it is, and doesn’t tell you what is in it. Look at the ingredient list, it is in descending order of how much is in the food. First ingredient is salt? Pick another bag/can. You want the first ingredient to be real food/protein.

How much water should my dog drink?

An ounce of water per pound of body weight daily, but always have fresh and clean water available at all times. Dogs are pretty good at regulating how much water they need to drink, but if you notice that your dog isn’t drinking much then they are probably dehydrated (panting, large tongue out, not moving much) and you should take action and make sure the pup drinks some water, and if you can’t get him or her drinking, take them to the vet ASAP!

Can my dog eat eggs?

YES! Eggs are great for dogs. They are loaded with protein and so many good vitamins and minerals. They also make your dog’s coat super slick. There is debate over feeding your dog raw eggs: salmonella or no salmonella? First of all, I have eaten my fair share of raw cookie dough and have never gotten salmonella, if that’s telling at all, dogs should be fine. But in all seriousness, salmonella is rare in dogs; furthermore, the concern about biotin deficiency caused by substances in the whites can be balanced out by the biotin in the yolk. Ultimately, if you are worried, just cook ‘em up!

Can my dog eat fish?

You bet. It is an excellent source of protein. Some suggest raw fish is okay, but beware that there is a lot of parasites in fish (specifically salmon), that cooking will kill. Also, there are thousands of tiny little itty bitty baby bones in fish that can hurt your dog’s innards, so be careful.

Can my dog eat grains?

Like humans, grains are essential to dog’s diets. Rice is great for dogs who have upset stomachs and need plain diets. Also, gluten can be an allergen to doggies (causing itchy skin and ear inflammation – they will shake their heads a lot). Rice, oats, and barley might be the best if this is the case for you dog. Always talk to your vet though!
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How much and how often should I feed my dog?

“ALL THE FOOD ALL THE TIME” – me if I was a dog, but also as a hungry human.

But seriously, just like humans, overeating can lead to obesity and dogs can suffer from the same ailments that come with being overweight as a human. Generally, it is best to follow the serving sizes that are listed, and always use a measuring cup! When you eyeball it, you are most likely over estimating. Also, it is best to feed your dog twice-daily, once in the morning and once at night. Also, look at following a natural dog food diet. This will make your dog fit, energetic and ready to do anything playful with you! Furthermore, following this regime, you dog will be on a regular schedule and you can monitor their intake. See our blog on dog obesity to get more information.

Is ice cream good for natural dog nutrition?

If your dog seems to stomach it well (i.e.: no cases of diarrhea afterwards) then go for it! Of course, only in moderate amounts and not very often. Also also, make sure it’s plain vanilla ice cream, there are plenty of flavours that would be harmful for puppers (chocolate, coffee, raisins, some nuts, etc.). Although ice cream is not the best, as a treat outside of your normal natural dog food diet, it is pretty yummy!

Is beef jerky good for natural dog nutrition?

There are a lot of unsafe jerkies out there (for humans and dogs), but if it is only every once in awhile it shouldn’t be that bad. If you want to give it to your dog regularly, make sure it’s high quality or consider making your own (which would be the best option for natural dog nutrition goals)!

My dog accidentally ate moldy food, will he be okay?

In most cases, mold won’t hurt in small doses. But, there is also the possibility of mold allergies or it being a certain type of dangerous mold. Ultimately, if it’s an accident, just keep an eye on your dogs behaviour afterwards. Don’t purposely give your dog moldy bread – think about it, if you won’t eat it, why should your dog?

Are nuts a good source of natural dog nutrition?

Walnuts and macadamia nuts are NO GOES. Do not give your dog walnuts or macadamia nuts! These are extremely poisonous to dogs (causing tremors and/or hind-quarter paralysis). Cashews and peanuts are better, but be careful with the quantity, as they are high in calories, salt, and phosphorous. Keep nuts as a special treat.

Is it okay to feed my dog organic/natural dog food?

Besides the expense of going organic, there really is no reason not too! Dog food is certified as organic with the same guideline as human food. Just make sure you read food labels closely so that your dog is getting all the essential nutrients he or she needs. You could also make your food homemade so that you really know the ingredients are organic.

Can my dog eat pumpkin?

You bet. Pumpkin is great for dogs! Loaded with fiber and beta-carotine, that is converted to vitamin A, makes it great for diarrhea and constipation! Wonderful news, right? A teaspoon or two a day for little guys and tablespoon or two for big pups should do the trick. Be aware though, too much vitamin A is highly toxic to dogs. Also, we’re talking about raw canned pumpkin – not the sugar loaded pie filling stuff.

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Should I feed my dog raw food?

If we lived in a perfect world, raw meat would be the best source of protein for dogs. However, most meat we have access too is far from perfect. Salmonella and E. coli are real dangers for dogs (not to mention the risk to humans via cross contamination). There are an abundance of people who feed their dog raw meat with little consequence. So, if you want to join the raw food train, just make sure that you are purchasing the highest quality raw food and watch out for bones!

Does my dog need supplements?

If you are feeding your dog nutritionally balanced meals, and in turn they are energetic and fit, they probably don’t need supplements. But if you think they aren’t getting enough nutrition from their food, supplements can be the way to go. Keep in mind that minerals, especially, should never be given to pups unless prescribed by a vet. Calcium, so good for human bones, actually hinders bone formation and can damage maturing joints and cartilage in puppies. Also, supplements can interact with or hinder absorption of vital nutrients in foods or reduce the efficacy of prescribed medications. Dogs on special diets—raw, vegetarian, or vegan—may need vitamin or mineral supplements, as will many dogs who eat solely homemade foods, but that’s something for your vet to determine.

How many treats can I give my dog?

Every single dog deserves all of the treats, but be careful, because, although fat dogs are adorable, we want dogs to be healthy. Try changing your dogs diet to natural dog food. Everything in moderation, like with humans. Remember to account for treat calories in your dog’s daily intake. When choosing snacks, keep your dog’s particular nutritional needs and dietary restrictions in mind, along with their flavor preferences. A quick online search will turn up lots of easy, natural dog nutrition recipes for homemade treats, many customizable to various dietary restrictions.

For other suggestions on natural dog nutrition, check out our blog for suggested Dog Recipes! There are really great natural dog nutrition options to try!

What can I not feed my dog?

Here are some common people foods that should never be pup foods: avocados, alcohol, baking soda and powder, caffeine, chives, chocolate, corn cobs, fruit pits and seeds, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts and walnuts, mushrooms, nutmeg (and other spices), onions, raisins, rhubarb leaves, tomatoes (especially stems and leaves), xylitol (found in many candies and gums), and yeast dough.

We love happy, healthy dogs! Good luck!

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