The older I get, the more aware I become of how much junk and garbage there is in the food we eat. From E numbers, to chemicals, to refined sugars, pesticides, and hormones and everything else in between. Surely this is why people get sick?
I myself try to follow a healthy, plant-based diet. It got me to thinking, if we are so conscious about our own diet and health, why would we not be as conscious about our pets?
Big brand packaged dog food is much like feeding your dog McDonalds for breakfast and dinner—sure it will keep them alive, but in what state and for how long? Not everyone has the money to feed dogs a full raw meat diet, but here are a few tips on how to feed your dogs natural, good food that will help them flourish.
My dogs do eat a lot of kibble—it’s easy if we travel or if I’m in a hurry. It doesn’t smell, and it’s easy to clear up and easy to store. If you prefer the dry food, look for a brand that is independent, or maybe try local pet stores rather than large chains or supermarkets. Check the ingredients and go for ones that include mainly vegetables and meat, the less additives the better! You also don’t want a high carb content. Carb intake above the daily needs of dogs (which, according to 30-year veteran pet food formulator Richard Patton, is less than 8 percent for all dog species) triggers internal enzyme factors to store the excess as body fat. The livers of adult dogs are able to easily synthesize glucose from protein and fats, so there is no need to supply carbohydrates in the diet.
If you want to feed your dog meat but bulk it out with something natural, you can also try brown rice or organic oats!
Kibble is great, but sometimes it’s nice to mix up your dog's diet and let them have something else. Wouldn’t you appreciate it if you ate the same thing every day? My pug is consistently on a diet but once or twice a week he is allowed a different kind of dinner or breakfast to keep him happy!
Fresh Veggies and Fruits
Dog treats could be the reason your dog is over weight. If you’re like me then you love to give your dogs treats. Whilst a dentastick or a little dog biscuit every now and then isn’t exactly bad, just like we have a chocolate bar every once in a while, fresh fruit and vegetables make great healthy treats for your pooch. Carrots and apples, chopped up, make great snacks and can also help keep your dogs teeth clean and sharp.
My dogs also love raspberries, blueberries, peaches, watermelon, broccoli, pepper and apricots. Make sure you remove the stones from the fruit before feeding them to your dog, they could choke on them and die! Also try to limit the amount of high sugar fruits you give them, bananas are well loved by my pooches but are a bit too high in sugar for a regular treat.
Cooked veggies are also great for bulking out kibble or meat for your dog's meals; sweet potatoes are amazing if your dog has a sensitive belly! Spinach and broccoli are favourites of my dogs!
Be aware that certain things are toxic to dogs, including: garlic, onion, & grapes.
A great way to keep your dog's coat healthy is with oils. Fish oil is great for their coat and immune system,;alternatively you can add a small spoonful of raw, organic coconut oil to their food. Oils can be fattening so be careful how much you give a dog that excessively gains weight, whereas it can be good for dogs that have digestive problems or are underweight!
The raw meat diet is praised by dog owners everywhere. We briefly tried our English Bull Terrier on it and he thrived. He had previously struggled with weight gain and poor digestion and did very well on a ripe raw diet.
Raw meat diets are not for all owners. Unfortunately as I am now pregnant and my partner is constantly on tour, the smell of raw meat makes me feel sick and dizzy and handling it is not as safe as it was before I got pregnant. It is also an incredibly expensive diet, costing upwards of £100 over month per dog (size dependent) and your freezer/fridge will be full of quite grim-looking animal parts (I’m vegan, so while I deal with this for my dog's sake, it’s not ideal for me).
A great source of protein and fat for your dog is to simply crack a raw egg over his dinner. Since stopping raw food, we occasionally give our bully his kibble with a raw egg on for breakfast. Dogs lap it up, and they love it!
Boiled chicken is great for doggies with bad bellies, or digestive problems, or just dogs in general! If I’m feeding chicken I usually boil a whole bird alongside some brown rice and sweet potato and spinach and then put it all in the fridge. If you get your quantities right this could then last up to a week's worth of feed. Just mix it all together (making sure no bones are left on the bird) and pop it in the fridge once it has cooled down.
You can feed the chicken on its own but I like to bulk it out for flavour and also to save money as chickens can be a bit pricey with the amount you would need to feed my dogs.
Fish is great for your dog's skin and coat and full of rich Omegas that your pooch needs to flourish. A piece of salmon goes a long way. Fish is only for very special occasions in our house, due to how expensive it is...
About the Creator
Born and Bred Londoner, Mother to baby Roman and my two pooches, Plant Eater, Yoga and Aerial Teacher + Learner, Music Maker... was once in Game Of Thrones, was once a Penthouse Pet, used to win awards for getting naked.