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Dog Food: What do canines need to eat?

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Just like us, dogs need protein in their diets. Unlike us, however, they need a lot more of it.

A black and white puppy dog eating dog food from a dog bowl.
A black and white puppy dog eating dog food from a dog bowl.

Lamb is richer meat compared to beef or fish. Depending on the breed, chicken is usually the better choice. 28% protein is average in dry puppy foods. If you have a larger breed, change the food to adult or mix in half and half. Or feed the higher protein meal to the puppy in the morning if you’re doing more exercise during the day, and then feed a lower protein meal in the evening. A small difference goes a long way. The higher the amount of protein, the more energy your dog will have.

Soft canned food has always made me giggle. Read the ingredients. There is a whole lot of water and not a lot of quality nutrition. Now that doesn’t mean that all canned foods are a waste of money. There are some good ones out there, but you’ll need to look around (read the ingredient lists). Canned food for puppies is not something I promote. Your puppy has sharp little teeth that hurt as they grow in, so a good hard crunchy food is what they need. Consult your Veterinarian on which kind of food is best for your pup.

Consider feeding your pooch a variety of meats and flavours to provide a more balanced diet

A balanced diet for your dog is very important. We have been brought up to believe that the dog food you start with is the dog food you end with. Welcome to healthy eating for your pet: For as long as I have owned dogs, I have never stuck with one flavour or one brand. As each bag becomes empty, I purchase a different flavour from a different brand name to offer variety to my dog. I will feed chicken and rice this month. Next month, I might feed lamb and rice. I could never imagine how boring and awful eating would be without variety.

To illustrate this further, let’s imagine you are served potatoes and beans for every meal over a one-year period. You’re probably already imagining how yucky that would taste. Suddenly, a carrot muffin appears! You love the taste of it so much, and you inhale it at such a rate that there is no time for chewing. You feel pretty darn good because a completely different food taste was presented to you, don’t you? The next day, you are visiting the bathroom a little more frequently than the previous day, and the situation is a little runnier than on previous visits. Do you have food poisoning? Of course not, you fed your body a different nutritional food substance, and your body reacted accordingly. Are you never going to eat another carrot muffin? No, you will eat many more because you enjoyed the taste. And as you eat more carrot muffins, your body will adjust, and the “runs” will return to being about your son’s baseball team… But so many moms and dads STILL insist on feeding their dogs one type of food, half for convenience and half because they think it’s better for their pets. Is it? Well, let’s think about this: Your dog needs balanced nutrition every day. To me, that means changing the ingredient list to achieve the “balance”. Look at what you eat. Your meals are constantly changing. WHY? Because you want to eat a wide variety of ingredients so you can achieve nutritional balance. Do the same for your dog, and watch for his smile...

Updated on April 7th, 2023

Raw Food Diet for Dogs

I like to feed my dogs a natural raw food diet. A couple of places in British Columbia where I have found the raw dog food to be great are Sunshine Pet Supplies in West Kelowna and CRUDO by Surrey Meat Packers Ltd. They have locations in Surrey, Burnaby and North Vancouver where you can purchase frozen raw meat for dogs.

About the Author

Written by Brad Pattison, Dog Behaviourist, Dog Trainer & Puppy Trainer

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