Healthy Dog Diet Primer
 

If you're a kibble feeder, a healthy dog diet takes knowledge. Here are the basics you MUST know just to start your dog on the right path.

Healthy dog diet makes a sleek shiny coat

In this easy to follow healthy dog diet guideline, we begin by eliminating bad dog foods by an exact list of ingredients to avoid.

We add some healthy foods, and we're on our way to dog health!

Creating a healthy diet is a process for both of you.

The truth is dogs now suffer from the same food addictions we do. They've become dependent on sugar and other flavor enhancing chemicals.

These food additives are present in all major brands of dog kibbles and canned foods, but the levels do vary. (How else can dog food manufacturers get loyal dog consumers?)

If your dog seems a finicky eater, liking only one kind of processed dog food and turns up his nose at a carrot, here's an analogy. If you offer a McDonald's Big Mac and a carrot to a human used to fast food, which one is he going to pick?

A human eating fast food every day finds no flavor in fresh vegetables because they're accustomed to flavor enhanced foods. And its true! You can't smell or taste the subtle flavor of natural foods. Still, all of us, including our dogs, can change with a little patience.

Keeping this in mind and knowing that cooking for your dog on a daily basis can seem a time consuming and overwhelming feat, I have created a step by step guideline to change your dog's current diet into a healthy dog diet.

You don't have to cook for your dog to make him healthier than he is now. Completing Step One of Elimination and Additions will help a lot.


Step One Toward a Healthy Dog Diet

Elimination! I'm not talking about dog poop, although a lot of chemical toxins make will exit that route.

We start with the elimination of bad dog food ingredients. Some are toxins in foods which are pure poison for dogs. Others are simply useless, and put undo stress on the digestive system.

Remember that itching, scratching, dry flaky skin and hot spots evolve into lumps, bumps and tumors - and that's just on the outside!

Note the last three on the list while not foods, can cause all the same symptoms and more. . . and never undervalue good clean water.

Okay, here we go:

  • BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin - All highly toxic preservatives.
  • By-product meals - Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, corn gluten meal.
  • By-products - Wheat midlings, soybean hulls, husks, bakery fines
  • Tallow, lard - Highly saturated fats
  • Animal digest - Made from dead, dying and diseased animals
  • Beet pulp, tomato pomace, cullulose, potato starch, phosphoric acid - None of these items have nutritional value. They are added only to reduce gas and help form stool.
  • Tap water - Give only filtered or distilled to remove chlorine and other toxins.



If You Don't Think This is Food, You Should. . . . .

All these things go inside the body by one route or another. Don't be fooled, it's the same as eating them.


  • Topical flea killer - Eliminate or at least cut back by using less often than recommended and only during flea season. See the section about fleas on dogs.
  • Heartworm pills - Eliminate or at least cut back to when there is actual risk of exposure. Or better yet, use an herbal prevention that actually improves dog health! See Heartworm
  • Unnecessary vaccinations - In the United States, the canine rabies vaccine is the only dog shot required by law. Read more about dog vaccinations and side effects.


Dog Diet Additions

Now that we've covered 'Out With the Bad', let's move on to 'In With the Good' and the real beginnings of the healthy dog diet you've always wanted for your baby!

  • Real Meat - Add a little human grade meat, raw or cooked to the food bowl. The more it's cooked, the less value it has.
  • Carrots - Usually one of the easiest veggies to start with, start with small pieces as treats or grated mixed in food.
  • Green Salad - If you eat them, it's so easy to share a little with your dog. No dressing please. You might be surprised what he likes.


Want to Learn More?

After answering questions for years, I finally created a course called:

Choosing the Best Commercial Dog Food

I put together science, good sense and some entertaining tidbits about the history of dog food that will leave your mouth agape. Come on over and learn everything I know. There's even an downloadable audio version to listen to on the go or share with your friends.

~Andrea, Dog Health Coach


› Healthy Dog Diet Primer