Know What to Feed Your Dog

Edited by VisiHow, Eng, Doug Collins

Dogs are well-known human companions that have not only shared their hearts with their owners but food as well, becoming omnivores unlike their ancestors, wolves. One could say that what a human eats, his dog will eat too; but, in reality, there are some limitations that will be reviewed in this article. Roughly speaking, the average dog needs a 20-45 % protein, 5-10 % fat, and 20-35% carbohydrate in its diet.

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Domestic Dogs

  1. 1
    Food preferences form at a young age.
    If you raise a dog, it will retain its meal preferences throughout its life. Therefore, if you take a dog from another person, ask him about its diet.
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  2. 2
    High-fat diets.
    High-fat diets are required only for emaciated dogs and dogs that are energetic throughout the day, such as sled dogs in northern areas of our globe.
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  3. 3
    Access to water.
    Always keep clean water available for your dog and thoroughly and regularly wash the bowl.
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  4. 4
    Safe foods for dogs:
    • raw large bones, which are always a good source of calcium;
    • potatoes;
    • eggs (scrambled before served);
    • carrots, which are good for losing weight and keeping the teeth healthy;
    • peanut butter (one tablespoon per meal);
    • yogurt;
    • rice (mix it with semidry canned food for better results);
    • apples;
    • salmon;
    • pumpkins;
    • plain- or whole-wheat pastas;
    • peas and green beans.
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  5. 5
    Unsafe foods:
    • alcohol;
    • milk;
    • chewing gum;
    • coffee
    • chocolate and cocoa;
    • grapes: a lot of people are interested in whether they can give their dog grapes. The answer is categorical "No!"
    • raisins;
    • currants;
    • corncobs;
    • mushrooms;
    • Xylitol (which is an ingredient in many human foods; avoid giving these foods);
    • garlic and onions;
    • macadamia nuts, fruit seeds, and avocado and apricot stones;
    • tomatoes;
    • cooked bones;
    • avocado.
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  6. 6
    Giving treats.
    You can occasionally give your dog bananas, tuna, and whole wheat bread. Treats should not be part of a diet. Please be careful when giving certain foods, as they may contain dangerous ingredients like raisins in bread or cocoa in yogurt. Tuna is a treat as it contains some mercury that is only harmless in very small quantities, and, if tuna is canned, there is too much salt for the dog. Below, there are some treat examples.
    • Fish.
    • Bananas.
    • Carrots.
    • Pumpkins.
    • Pasta.
    • Rice.
    • Whole wheat bread.
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  7. 7
    Raw diets.
    It is all right to give raw meat to your dog. Actually, raw diets have had some criticism, but they do work for some people notwithstanding the risks, which are bacteria in raw meat, unbalanced diets owing to not giving different foods, and potential small whole or chipped bones hurting the digestion tract or teeth of the animal. If you do decide that your dog needs a raw diet, include:
    • raw eggs;
    • raw meat (muscles with bone, internal organs like livers and kidneys);
    • bones (whole or ground);
    • apples, broccoli, spinach;
    • yogurt in small quantities.
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  8. 8
    Bones should always be raw. Lamb ribs, for example, keep the teeth and gums of the dog healthy. Per week, you may feed 1-2 raw bones that are large enough not to be swallowed.
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  9. 9
    It is safe for dogs to consume grass that is not chemically treated. Do not stop your dog from eating some when you take it for a walk outside.
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  10. 10
    This tutorial demonstrates excellent home-made food for your dog.
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  11. 11
    Dog food.
    Canned, semidry, or dry food can be a good diet for your dog; but always try to improvise and change types, brands, and amounts of such foods given. Expensive dry food has all of the elements your dog needs, and you do not buy water with the product. Canned food is delicious for your dog, and it will eat the food with eagerness. Semidry is a compromise between the two.
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Diets for Dogs That Are Ill

Feed small amounts of food frequently and try to exclude dry dog food from the ration. Chicken or turkey broth is a good choice for a meal to give your dog. Add some mashed potatoes in. You can offer a warmed cooked sweet potato to your dog too.

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  1. 1
    The easiest method is cutting the diet by 20% and seeing how the weight progresses over the following weeks. You can also purchase low-calorie dog food at pet stores to help to cope with obesity. Exclude all of the carbohydrate treats from the diet. Feed your dog twice a day (if you fed it once before).
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  2. 2
    Quite often dogs have protein allergies. Feed your pet a hydrolyzed diet that can be given to you by a veterinarian. Those have proteins broken into small pieces. Try to exclude all of the nonhuman-grade foods. Find treats or pills with Omega 3 and give your dog the food as prescribed.
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  3. 3
    Exclude sugar foods and try to set a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet with fiber for your dog.
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  4. 4
    For dilated cardiomyopathy, include taurine and antioxidants in the diet.
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Diets for Puppies

Puppies, before they turn 6 months old, are still being fed by their mother (or with milk, if the mother is not available). After that, the puppies can be fed solid food by gradually introducing and increasing the dosages. You can mix puppy food with milk and decrease the amount of milk in the gruel over time. You will have to figure out when to stop giving high-nutrient puppy food to your puppies and switch to "adult" food.

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Diets for Aging Dogs

For elderly dogs, it is important to maintain optimal weight; so, low-calorie diets are introduced. Obesity is the worst enemy of an aging dog. There are always foods available at pet stores for dogs who have lived over the half of their life expectancy, which differ from breed to breed. You can give treats like carrots and apple slices (without stones) to your dog, as well as any low-sodium treats.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Adult dogs can eat once or twice a day.
  • Puppies over six can be fed three-four times a day.

Links and References

1. "Which human foods can you feed your dog?",

2. "Toxic Food", ASPCA,


If you have a question on a particular dog diet or any food inquiry, please leave your comments, suggestions, or questions in the appropriate section on this page. Thank you for reading this article!

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See other tutorials on dogs: Select the Right Breed of Dog, Wash a Dog, Excercise Your Dog, Travel Safely with a Dog, Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash, Make Oresol for Dogs, Care for Your Dog During Cold Weather, Get Rid of Lice on Dogs, Groom a Dog, and Assert Leadership in Your Pack of Dogs.

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Categories : Dogs

Recent edits by: Eng, VisiHow

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