Millions of people around the world own dogs. They are our best friends, our companions, our motivation to exercise, and truly become members of the family. But how many people actually know what diet a dog is supposed to have? Most of us leave it up to our dog food packages to tell us what’s good for our pups – and even those can be misleading at times.
In this blog, we will explore the type of diet a dog needs to have, and the different ways to ensure your dog is getting all they need. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What diet should a dog have?
By nature, dogs are omnivorous animals. They are descended from wild dogs that would hunt smaller animals in packs, while also supplementing this with grains and plants.
While they thrive on a mixture of meat and plant-based foods, the most crucial aspect of a dog’s diet is meat. Dogs cannot, and should not, be vegetarian. So even if you’re a veggie yourself, make sure you are incorporating meat into your dog’s diet.
All dog food brands will contain a mixture of meats, grains, and plants that offer your dog the nutrients they need to survive. While they range in quality of ingredients, taste, and price, dog foods are generally healthy to feed your dog.
What should a dog NOT eat?
There are certain foods that a dog shouldn’t eat, as a rule. If you decide to feed your dog a natural diet that doesn’t come as packaged dog food, you should know which foods to avoid. These include:
- Onions and any foods from the onion family, such as shallots and scallions.
- Any foods containing cocoa.
- Xylitol. This is a sweetener that is toxic for dogs, found in some peanut butters, candy, and toothpaste.
- Avocado. While this is a brunch favorite among humans, dogs should never eat avocado.
What are the options for feeding my dog?
The vast majority of dog owners feed their dogs packaged dog food, and that is a totally acceptable thing to do. Most people don’t go down the path of preparing their dog’s food themselves but rely on dog food brands to give their dog what they need. Treats are also easy to feed when packaged, such as hemp dog treats that promote calmness.
However, in recent years, home-cooked dog diets are becoming more and more popular. While these can be highly beneficial if done right – the ingredients are fresher, the meals more carefully curated, and therefore tastier too! – making your own dog food takes a lot of work.
If you want to switch up your dog’s diet and improve their overall health, it’s best to speak with your vet. Your vet can clue you in on:
- The right amount of dog food for the size of dog you have.
- The balance of meat and grains that your dog should eat.
- Any types of food that your dog should avoid.
- If your dog has any allergies or specific dietary requirements.
If you have a beloved dog in your family, why not do some research to improve their diet?