Healthy Eating Tips for Your Dog

Healthy Eating Tips for Your Dog

Dogs deserve to eat healthy food, just like their humans. A nutritious diet keeps your furry friend active and in good shape. It also helps to prevent diseases and other health problems down the road. To that end, here are a few tips for feeding your pup right.

Understanding Your Dog’s Needs

All dogs need a balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. Nonetheless, the exact portions depend on a range of factors, including things like your dog’s age, breed, weight, and activity level.

Carefully read pet food labels and consult a vet to determine the proper portions for your individual dog. Feeding guidelines help to avoid over- or underfeeding issues.

The Scoop on Dog Food

There are literally tons of dog food options at the pet store. The main types are dry kibble, wet canned food, fresh or frozen food, air-dried food, and raw food diets.

Dry kibble is usually the most affordable and convenient choice. You need to look for high-quality kibble made with whole proteins like chicken, beef, or lamb as the first ingredient.

Canned wet food can be higher in protein and moisture. Nevertheless, it’s more expensive and doesn’t keep dogs as full as crunchy kibble does.

Fresh pet food has been growing in popularity. These refrigerated options contain all-natural, human-grade ingredients with no preservatives.

Some owners prefer feeding a raw food diet with freeze-dried meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables. Raw diets aim to mimic a dog’s ancestral diet, but they do require special handling.

Whichever type you choose, be sure to stick to foods marked as “complete and balanced” to ensure your pup gets all the necessary nutrients.

The Benefits of All-Natural

Many owners look for all-natural dog food made without chemical preservatives, artificial colors, or hard-to-pronounce ingredients. The experts at Nextrition explain that these foods are minimally processed compared to some mass-produced brands.

Reading nutrition labels carefully is crucial when shopping for all-natural options. Look for foods free of corn, wheat, and soy, which can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.

Making Your Own Meals

For maximum control over what your dog eats, you can cook homemade meals. It does take research and planning to formulate the proper balance of nutrients, though. Options can include a combination of lean proteins, veggies, bone meal, supplements, and other whole foods. Never feed your dog leftovers or table scraps without checking that the ingredients are dog-safe first.

Healthy Snacks and Chews

With pet treats and chews, choose simple, natural options with no artificial preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Also avoid overly processed treats full of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, and mystery ingredients. Too many treats can cause obesity, dental problems, and other issues.

Watch for Food Allergies

Like humans, some dogs have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause skin problems, ear infections, or digestive upset. Common triggers include proteins like beef or chicken and fillers such as corn, soy, and wheat.

If your dog has any suspected allergies, your vet may recommend an elimination diet to identify which ingredients are problematic. Foods containing limited, novel protein sources can make great options for dogs with allergies.

Hydration Is Key

Of course, dogs always need access to fresh, clean water, not just when eating meals. Proper hydration aids every system in the body and helps keep dogs regular.

On hot days or after vigorous activity, they will need extra water to replace what’s been lost through panting. Hydration is especially crucial for dogs prone to urinary, kidney, or bladder issues.


Every dog has unique dietary requirements based on their breed, age, weight, and overall health. Developing a balanced, high-quality eating plan keeps your loyal companion happy, healthy, and energetic for life.