It’s important to remember all dogs are individuals, and what diet might be fine for your friend’s dog may be completely inappropriate for your dog. When it comes to a daily diet for your dog, it’s important to consult with your vet.
Domesticated dogs are largely carnivores that eat some omnivorous foods.1 Dr Leigh from Your Vet Online advises that it is important to ensure your dog’s food is both complete and balanced for its stage of life, and if it has any medical issues.
It is entirely acceptable to feed your dog a pure kibble diet. Or you can mix their diet up with some cooked or raw meat, fish, vegetables and rice.
Many owners like to feed a raw meat diet to their dogs, and while this can suit some dogs very well, there are some important considerations you need to be aware of. Experienced vet Dr Leigh Davidson suggests the following.
- Choose human-grade meat as some pet meat and bone products will contain preservatives that can be bad for your dog’s health.
- Practice impeccable food hygiene as the risk of both you and your dog getting a food-borne bacterial infection such as campylobacter or salmonella is high.
- Have a veterinary nutritionist formulate the diet for you. Many raw diets are not balanced appropriately for stage of life or medical conditions.
A small amount of cooked meat such as boiled chicken or lamb is an option for dogs to eat, but avoid cooked bones or toxic substances such as onion sauces that may be present on the meat.
Tinned sardines, tinned tuna, and tinned salmon in spring water can be fed as an occasional treat to your dog, but always check for fish bones first.
Don’t be scared to bulk out your dog’s meal with cooked pumpkin or raw grated carrot. According to Dr Leigh, many dogs lack enough fibre in their diet, and the addition of cooked pumpkin or grated carrot can improve their bowel health.
Be careful to make sure your dog isn’t consuming the whole bone as this can lead to constipation.
Generally, one to two bones a week is sufficient to help remove plaque from teeth. Remember, the bone should be large enough that the dog can’t fit it in its mouth whole, and they should be raw – cooked bone can splinter, which can cause internal damage or obstruct the intestine, both of which can be fatal.