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What to Feed a Dog: A Quick Guide to Nutritious Choices

Published on August 28, 2023
Written by Nade

Dogs have specific dietary needs, and it’s important to provide them with a balanced and nutritionally appropriate diet to ensure their health and well-being. There is a whole science behind feeding your dog and nowadays there are vets who decide to advance their knowledge in the nutrition field. They end up becoming veterinary nutritionists and they are usually the ones you want to talk to, especially if you own a dog that may require special diets.

Doing research on the internet?

Nowadays, owners can learn a lot of things when they do on the internet. And as much as that can be helpful, it is our recommendation that you always check with your vet before trying out new stuff. 

The reason for this is quite simple, your dog may have different nutritional needs or has a condition that may seem the same to you, as the dog in the article. This is where I often see owners coming in with dogs that have a soft or runny stool or sensitive tummy. 

So yes, go online and do a deep dive, but consider bringing your thoughts to your vet and together decide what is the best for your dog.

What can I feed my dog?

1 – Commercial Dog Food:

High-quality commercial dog food formulated for their specific life stage (puppy, adult, senior) is a convenient and balanced option that meets their nutritional requirements. This is a good way to feed your dog because you don’t really need to think about all the essential ingredients and whether you have added everything in the recipe. And it usually is the fastest way to feed your dog.

2 – Lean Proteins:

  • Boneless, skinless cooked chicken: A lean protein source that is often used because dogs like it. As much as we do! 
  • Lean ground beef: Cooked and drained of excess fat. It is a great source of protein, however, don’t overdo it. Too much is also not good!
  • Turkey: Cooked and boneless.
  • Fish: Cooked and deboned. Salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eggs: Cooked and scrambled or boiled. Eggs are a good source of protein.

3 – Fruits (in Moderation):

  • Apples (without seeds or core): Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
  • Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants.
  • Bananas: A source of potassium and vitamins.
  • Strawberries: High in fiber and vitamin C.
  • Oranges: When you peel it for yourself, peel it for your dog too.
  • Peaches: Watery and tasty fruit can be a great treat during the summer because it’s refreshing and cooling when frozen. Just remember to remove the pit.
  • Watermelon: Cut the seeds and rind, and you will have a snack for your dog that contains lots of potassium, and vitamins A, C, and B6.
  • Pear: Rich in fiber, vitamin K, C, and copper, this fruit could be quite healthy!

4 – Vegetables (in Moderation):

  • Carrots: A low-calorie source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Green beans: High in fiber and low in calories.
  • Sweet potatoes: Rich in beta-carotene and fiber.
  • Broccoli (in moderation): Contains vitamins and fiber.
  • Spinach: Contains lots of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, C, K, iron, and folic acid.
  • Cucumber: Rich in minerals, such as copper, potassium, and magnesium, also rich in water and vitamins, and could be another great treat for your dog.

5 – Dairy (in Moderation):

  • Plain yogurt: A source of probiotics and calcium.
  • Cottage cheese: High in protein and calcium.
  • Goat cheese: Another great source of protein and calcium that also is tummy friendly for your dog

6 – Whole Grains (in Moderation):

  • Brown rice: A source of carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Oatmeal: High in fiber and can soothe digestive upset.

7 – Peanut Butter (in Moderation):

  • Unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter: A tasty treat for many dogs. Ensure it doesn’t contain xylitol, a toxic substance.

8 – Meaty Bones (Supervised):

  • Raw meaty bones: Can help maintain dental health and they are always a good way to keep your dog occupied. They can also be a good chew toy for young puppies who are in their period of teething. Always supervise your dog while they’re chewing bones to prevent choking or dental injury.

9 – Commercial Dog Treats or homemade treats:

  • Choose treats formulated for dogs and avoid overfeeding. Also, you can always go online and find tasty and healthy treats that you can prepare for your dog, just to spoil them, especially when you are practicing some commands! 

10 – Safe Table Scraps (in Moderation):

  • Plain-cooked meats or vegetables without seasoning may be offered in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, do not teach your dog to table surf or spoil them, because you will end up dealing with an annoying dog that will always beg for food and possibly avoid eating their food because human food always tastes better. But it may not be good for their health.
I am Nade and I am a vet with five years of experience working with small animals. I come from North Macedonia where I graduated and went on to finish postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I am currently owned by a one-year-old naughty black Labrador Retriever named Fred and enjoy spending my spare time with him.

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