The Dogs Diet

A Dog’s Diet

Managing your dogs diet is one of the most important things you will do for your dog.  It’s not only the fuel that the body needs to run successfully, but also a good diet will keep your dog healthy mind and body.  Your dogs gut and the food your dog consumes is a major contributor to their mood, emotions, behavior, mental and physical health.

There are an overwhelming number of dog food choices in today’s market.  Typically these fall into four main food categories;

Wet:   Canned, pouches or trays – usually highly processed/cooked

Dry:    Processed Kibble

Fresh: Home cooked food or a combination of the 4 categories

Raw:   Either minced raw product or part/whole prey

An average dogs lifespan is 14years, if you feed your dog two meals a day that’s over 10,000 meals in a lifetime.  That makes food choice pretty important.

You may have read some very strong viewpoints for specific meal ‘types’ specifically raw vs kibble.  Most of which is provided by food organisations themselves (a multi million pound industry) or by strong advocates with a point to prove.  You need to learn how to make the best choice for you and your dog.


Do your research.  Learn to read the labels – Dogs are carnivores (meat eaters) and require a good meat protein to function.

How many meals a day

For puppies it is normally recommend that they have 3-4 meals a day, normally dependent on the breed size.  From around 12 weeks the meals are reduced to 3 meals a day.

From 6 months of age it is recommended you feed your dog two meals a day.  The reasons for this include your dog never being hungry, a better regulation of blood sugars, your dog gets two highlights to their day enriching their lives.  Food allows us to build positive conditioned emotions.


Processed Food

Kibble (dry biscuits) or Wet (canned, pouches, trays)

If you are feeding a processed food such as kibble to your dog then make sure that the listed Composition start with a meat protein i.e. Lamb, Chicken, Salmon extra.  Avoid diets that say Meat Meal, Meat Proteins or Derivatives of the Meat.  Manufactured have to list the ingredient in weight order prior to cooking so a good diet should list the meat first.  Meat will be the most expensive ingredient so what you pay will depend on the quality of the food.  Check the suggested daily feed amount, as normally you would feed less of the good stuff.

Ideally you should be looking for a food which contains 65% – 80% meat.

Avoid diets with high quantities of rice, grain, cereal or wheat.  Whilst dogs can digest these ingredient they are often used as a cheap bulkers to produce cheaper food.  They can also be responsible for skin issues and ear infections although this has not been scientifically proven at the time of writing this.   However for kibble to be digested by your dog it needs to contain a starch therefore a rice or potato needs to be added.

Look past all the marketing tricks ie.  clean white bag sold in a vets must be good, or a paper looking bag looks natural and healthy.  Manufactures also have a great way of making the ingredient look appealing with food colourings or fancy descriptions.

Always make sure that the food you feed is correct for your dogs age, breed size, health and weight.

Avoid brands that have added vitamins and minerals.  This can be a chemical Premix and these contain toxins.  If you are feeding a good quality dry food then the original fresh ingredient should contain all the required vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

It is a myth that you shouldn’t change brands, in fact changing brands will give your dog a much better variety of ingredient and proteins.  Dogs are not designed to eat the same thing each day and it can make their gut lazy and then unable to deal with other things your dog might eat causing stomach upsets.

Currently in the UK we have a real issue with pet obesity.  This is being blamed on the dog food industry who on average over estimate the amount a dog needs to eat by as much as 25% per day.  You need to be aware of your dogs weight and monitor their intake accordingly.

If you are emptying the bag of food into a container, make sure you clean the container regularly.  Kibble can contain mites.

The key problems with highly processed dog food is that:

  • It is cooked. Cooking destroys the vast majority of the nutritional value of the food from a dog’ perspective and makes it exceedingly difficult to digest.
  • It can contain inappropriate and damaging chemicals (binders, colouring, preservatives and other additives). These may be absorbed through the bowel wall and transported to other organs, with a range of harmful effects.
  • The quality of the ingredients is usually poor. Even expensive dog food often has very, very low-quality ingredients.
  • Most dog foods contain a high percentage of grain (including rice), which is unsuitable for the canine digestive system and causes allergies.
  • It generally fails to clean the dog’s teeth and gums, allowing plaque to build up. This gives rise to periodontal disease and worse.


Species appropriate diets

Whilst not always covenant for all dog owners, the best way to feed your dogs would be with fresh ingredient.  This can be cooked or raw.  You can incorporate fresh ingredient with a good manufactured processed dog food.

The connection between good health and diet is well established in humans. We know that if we eat fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, not too much dairy and moderate quantities of animal protein we will live longer, healthier lives. We also know that if we eat processed food or food containing chemical additives, too much fat and too much sugar we will live shorter, considerably less healthy lives. In fact, it is well proven that everything from allergies to heart conditions and from skin complaints to cancer is caused by a poor diet.

What holds good for humans and human food holds good for dogs and dog food.  Dogs that eat a natural diet live longer, healthier lives.  The problem is that we have lost touch with what the natural, correct diet for a dog actually is.  Instead, we feed them the canine equivalent of junk food.  As a result we are seeing more and more illness in our dogs and they are leading shorter and shorter lives. The development of all sorts of genetic conditions may also be attributable to generations of dogs eating a harmful diet.

Happily, the situation can be quickly and effortlessly corrected.

We know what a species appropriate diet for dogs is and it couldn’t be easier to replicate a ‘wild’ diet using ‘tame’ ingredients. Furthermore, as those who have switched their dogs to a natural diet will testify, the results can be amazing.  Benefits include a glossy coat, healthy skin, lean muscle tone, robust immune system, sweet-smelling breath, healthy teeth and gums, increased energy, better digestion and a strong heart. Dogs eating a natural diet can be expected to live longer and to suffer less illness and disease.  Indeed, if your dog has any health issues now (even minor problems such as allergies, dry skin, bad breath and flatulence it is quite likely that a switch to a cooked or raw food diet will clear them up.

Cooked Fresh

Human grade ingredients which are balanced and contain the right balance of vitamins and minerals that suits each and every dog.  No added fats, flavors or preservatives.  Normally these are portioned and supplied frozen to preserve their freshness avoiding using any nasty ingredient to keep it fresh.

Check out Butternut Box

If you would like a discount


  • Dogs (like humans) need to eat a good, natural diet to stay healthy.
  • Dogs are genetically identical to wolves. Their natural (wild) diet is largely prey together with some plant matter.
  • The optimum diet for a dog is raw meat, raw bones and raw vegetables.
  • Dogs fed a natural diet lead happier, healthier, longer lives.
  • Science is increasingly recognising the benefits of raw feeding.  

Species Appropriate Diet

Every creature on earth must consume the diet it is biologically most appropriate to eat (aka a species-appropriate diet); otherwise, it will get ill and may (if the diet is really inappropriate) die.

For the first 4 million years of dogs’ existence on earth they certainly didn’t eat canned food or kibble.  Yes, that’s how long grey wolves have been around, and dogs and wolves are classified as the same species.

When wolves were domesticated (around 8,000-20,000 years ago), we humans changed their outer appearance through breeding, but not their internal organs or digestive systems.

We may have managed to alter the way dogs look and, to a certain extent, think, but physiologically they haven’t changed. There is absolutely no difference (apart from size) between the internal organs and digestive process of a Chihuahua and a grey wolf. This is why they should eat the same diet.  

Give a dog a BONE:  In the wild up to a third of a dog’s nutrition (including calcium, magnesium, complex fats and vitamins) may come from bones. Bones keep their teeth and gums clean (it has been proven that dogs with healthy teeth live longer) and exercise their upper bodies and jaw.  Providing the bones are raw (cooked bones can splinter), they are very safe for dogs to eat.  Only give bones to dogs fed on a raw diet.

When food is cooked, its chemical structure is altered and most of the enzymes, amino acids and so forth are destroyed.  From a dog’s perspective, about 70% of its nutritional value is thus lost.

Grain:  One of the main reasons why dogs fed on processed food produce so much Poo / waste matter is because of the grain. Grain is also one of the main causes of skin allergies, diabetes and flatulence.

Raw Summary:  For thousands of years, domesticated dogs were fed a species-appropriate diet consisting of raw meat, raw bones and raw vegetables (a ‘raw diet’), supplemented by table scraps and whatever other food they could scavenge.

After the introduction of processed dog food in 1860 their diet slowly began to change until, by the 1980s, a species-appropriate diet had become the exception rather than the rule.

The reason why the raw food movement is gaining such traction is simple: dog lovers who switch their dogs to a natural, species-appropriate diet can see the benefits with their own eyes.

There are many companies who supply raw food for pet dogs both online and in shops.  I recommend starting with one of these.


West Moors –

More information on extras for the Raw Diet:

You might find this interesting….Dr Karen Becker


Which would you eat?                                                Which do you think would be healthier?



You could make your kibble a little be more healthier

by adding some fresh ingredient.



Finally it is a very sad statistic that 1 in every 2 dogs in the UK will die of CANCER.  You can help avoid this by as much as 40% by making a very small change to your dogs diet.  It has been proven that if you remove 25% of your dogs food from their bowl three times a week and replace it with fresh leafy greens, slightly cooked vegetables and fruit you could avoid, halt or even cure cancer.

Cod Liver, Linseed, Flaxseed, Coconut or Sunflower oil – rich in omega 3

Raw eggs for protein           Natural yogurt for probiotics

Goats Milk     Sardines     Apple Cider Vinegar


Dogs can digest vegetable better if they are slightly cooked.

Leafy Greens              Cauliflower                Brussel Sprouts         Carrots                                   Celery

Sweet Potato              Pumpkin                    Pea’s & Beans            Broccoli                                  Peppers

Banana’s                     Apples (no seeds)      Melon                         Pineapple                               Pears

Strawberries              Blueberries                Oranges                      Raspberries                           Mango


Grapes                        Mushrooms                Garlic                          Avocado         Cherries

Raisins                        Grapefruit                  Leeks                          Onions            Lemons & Limes

Onions                        Plums                         Potatoes (raw)           Rhubarb         Corn on the Cob


Chocolate                   Yeast Dough               Raw Salmon               Alcohol           Human Medicines

Antifreeze                  Tobacco                      Xylitol (sweetener)   Salt                  Caffeine



Some dogs will eat anything and will be happy with a treat being a portion of their dinner (kibble), some pea’s or carrots.  However there are times you will need a treat with a little more value.

For a higher value treat you can buy some processed treats of which there are hundreds to choice from or you can try cocktail or hotdog sausages cut up into small bits, cooked chicken, cheese, dried sprats liver or tuna cake.  Remember if you want a treat to be a reward your dog needs to want it.


Since we have been feeding our dogs processed food in a bowl they have been missing out on two very important exercises daily.  These exercises are something that dogs and before them wolves have been doing for thousands of years. Exercises that are mentally stimulating and also increase serotonin and dopamine in our dogs (making them feel good/calm/happy)

Ideas for giving back these exercises to your dog.

Scavenging / Hunting

Dogs are naturally scavengers.  Dog trainers recommend that we use dogs natural desire as an outlet for their natural behaviors such as a collies desire to herd and by giving them this outlet leads to a more content, happy, motivated dog.  So why not let dogs scavenge for food. – make it a game.

Hiding pockets of food around the house or garden.  Playing search games on your walks or use puzzle bowls, snuffle mats.  For more simple, fun, easy idea’s

Chewing / Gnawing

Putting our dogs food in a bowl maybe convent for you but you are missing the opportunity to relax, relieve stress, mentally stimulate and increase your dogs endorphins (the bodies natural opiates) enhancing pleasure.

Why not use a Kong to feed you dogs or giving them natural chews such as hoofs, antlers, paddywack yak chews or raw knucklebones.

Other kinds of RAW bones can be given to raw fed dogs ONLY.



Puzzle Bowl, Snuffle Mat, Lick Mat