A dog's diet.by Jade Giuggio on 10/29/13
Often I hear people say "I don't give my dogs human food" and I feel the need to explain....there are "human foods" out there that are very good for your dog. Yes chicken nuggets or toxic things like grapes are no good. But I use yogurt, carrots, apples, sardines, chicken, salmon, bananas, pumpkins, eggs, and lots more to boost my dogs diet. I feed a combination of kibble, canned, raw (safe and tested freeze-dried raw is my preference), and fresh food (not all at once) to make sure Hunter has a balanced diet. Not to mention there are times a certain thing works better then others.
Since also working part-time with a dog food company I have learned A LOT about dog nutrition. I decided to do more research for both economical reasons and the scare of all these dog foods and treats lately. A dog’s diet is a combination of all their meals, and it cannot be good to get the same thing every day. Changing proteins is also very important, but I am a firm believer in using a few varieties to make a well balanced diet. The better your dog’s diet the healthier they are = less trips to the expensive vet.
Kibble- Now I know the cost of higher-end kibble can be expensive, but what people don’t realize is dogs need less kibble for better quality food. One of the kibble brands I feed Hunter is Orijen. Now this is an expensive kibble. The small bags are around $20, medium $40 and large $80+. However Hunter eats less than 1 cup per DAY. Hunter is a 40 lb dog; in most other foods he would be at least double that. If I fed strictly kibble he would probably be 1/2c morning and evening. Kibble is also great for training, I use it when teaching a new behavior or I’ll put some kibble in an interactive toy, Hunter goes crazy for that!
Raw or Freeze-dried raw- now there are a lot of opinions on the raw diet. And not all raw or freeze-dried is equal. It is also a very expensive option. I use freeze-dried food often for training since it is such a high-end reward and also very convenient to travel with. I’ve really been working with Hunter off leash (Shiba’s are notorious for being VERY bad off leash and are one of the few breeds they recommend never having off leash) but dogs go crazy for it and it can add extra nutrients. Some of my favorite brands are Stella and Chewys and Nature’s Variety.
I hope you are all aware of the food not to give your dog such as grapes, chocolate, onions, alcohol, and avocado are just a few. Click here to check out a more complete list. But there are lots of great foods out there they can eat.
Yogurt- can be a great addition to kibble or used in a Kong. Pick a yogurt that has no sweeteners, sugars or fat substitutes. Yogurt is a great way to add calcium, protein and probiotics.
Sardines or Salmon- Sometimes I will get a can of sardines and add a little bit to his kibble. He loves the extra treat and it provides omega 3’s.
Vegetables and fruits- this can be added to kibble or used as healthy snacks. Some of Hunter’s favorite is sweet potatoes, green beans, apples (no stems or core), pumpkin, cucumbers, asparagus, blueberries, and watermelon. For more great food click here.
I know this is not a training blog however I meet lots of dogs and I see how low grade food has an impact on their health and behavior. Do you have a dog that licks themselves a lot or has chronic ear infections? These are signs of an allergy and is mostly likely linked to the food they are eating.