Hello, everyone and welcome back!
We are tackling another doggie related subject today since it’s been on my mind lately and I hope you will find it helpful. If, however, the topic does not pertain to you, please share it with someone in your life that is interested and/has a doggie. Okay, let’s dive right in!
As someone who had never had a pet before, having Milo in my life meant that I had lots to learn about how to take care of him, groom, and of course, feed him. At the very beginning, and still not knowing enough on the subject, we’ve fed him what our veterinarian recommended and which was, premium grade commercial food.
But, since I am very much interested in food, nutrition and how that affects the quality and longevity of our life, I couldn’t help but wonder: is this the best my puppy could eat? I mean, what did the dogs eat for hundreds and thousands of years, before processed doggie food was “invented” and marketed to us?
I found an excellent article that expands on this topic and I highly recommend you give it a read here. I absolutely agree with the author and it makes sense to me that just as for us, humans, eating highly processed foods is not beneficial on the long run, so, perhaps, is not, the commercial food for doggies.
The American Kennel Club, however, stands by the commercial foods arguing that “they contain all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy” and that they are “highly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists”. Read more about this here.
That may be true but I could not find a longitudinal study that compares the commercial versus homemade food and the long term effects on health but, this article published on the Whole Dog Journal addresses the same issue and you can read what they had to say about it here.
That being said, it appears that there are do’s and don’ts of what “human” foods can be safely given to dogs but before we get into that, please keep in mind that I am not a veterinarian or a dog food nutritionist and I encourage you to ALWAYS check with your dog’s vet first and do your own research before adding anything new to his/her diet.
So, what I have been doing is to slowly and gradually add more raw and wholesome foods into his diet to complement the premium grade food he is currently eating. I am wary, at this point, to rely solely on a homemade diet because:
1. I am concerned with not being able to meet all his dietary needs and
2. I need to research and learn more about it
However, he is only 6 months old at this point so we have time to do more research, tweak and figure out the best way to feed our pup moving forward. So far we have tried and ate peas, carrots, cucumbers, bananas, rice and chicken.
In choosing these items I followed the lists provided by the American Kennel Club, Healthline and We love hounds. I checked and rechecked their lists and I advise you to do the same, keeping in mind the age, health and the specific dietary needs of your dog.
Generally, when giving or cooking meals for your doggie/s, keep this in mind:
- choose only the fruits and veggies that are safe for them to eat (see my visual list for a quick reminder) without the fruit seeds, pits, stems or leaves as they can cause problems in the dog’s intestine
- no added salt, unless it’s already naturally occurring in the food
- no store bought seasonings although there are some herbs and spices that could be beneficial for them in small doses
- limit the dairy; give them in very small quantities and stick to milk, cheese and plain yogurt but again, choose the ones with no additives, artificial ingredients or added sugar. As you see below, I haven’t even added dairy to my list since it can cause an allergic reaction and some dogs are lactose intolerant
- stay away from nuts with the exception of peanuts, which are technically legumes; peanut butter is OK if it’s organic, made of just peanuts – again, in small quantities
- limit the grains and carbs, and serve them cooked plainly: no salt, sugar, other additives/artificial ingredients
- NO onions, garlic, chocolate, tomatoes, chips, nuts, pretzels, cake, soda, juice. Check this slide for more dangerous foods for our doggies
For a full list of do’s and don’ts, see here.
Now, on my visual list I added items that are accessible and can be found in any kitchen/pantry BUT the list is not exhaustive and only contains what it’s SAFE to give to your dog.
You can download and print my list here:
Thank you so much for joining me today! please share below your experience with dog rearing and what do you think about commercial versus homemade food?
I am still reading and learning about it so any info/opinion is welcome!