Better Dog Nutrition Tips

If you would like to gradually improve your canine companion’s diet but are not quite ready to cook a doggie stew every few days, here are a few easy changes to make.

Water: One of the easiest things to change is your dog’s water supply. Author Pat Lazarus strongly recommends buying a water filter to attach to your faucet.

Veggies and Fruits: These should equal one-third of the daily diet. Use raw or cooked veggies: beans, split peas, lentils, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli are good. Add raw, cut-up fruit occasionally. Organic, unsprayed produce is best.

Garlic: Garlic is used widely for animals with various conditions. It can help build the immune system and is a good flea and worm repellent, but it may cause anemia if given for long periods of time. Adding a crushed clove of garlic to your dog’s food every day is appropriate.

Dairy: Raw eggs and cottage cheese. Other possible additions are yogurt and cheddar-type cheese. All provide protein and iron.

Grains: Cooked grains should equal one-third of a dog’s diet. A few appropriate choices are barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, cornmeal and, even, crumbled whole wheat bread. These provide carbohydrates.

Vitamins: Lazarus would add more of vitamins C and E to a general multiple supplement. In fact, many dog specialists recommend additional vitamin C. Vitamin B is also vital for a healthy immune system and can be found in brewer’s yeast, another possible daily additive. However, adding arbitrary supplements of vitamins or minerals is generally not recommended without consulting your veterinarian.

Oil: Many veterinarians and breeders recommend a tablespoon or two a day of vegetable or canola oil, especially for a dry coat or skin. However, oil may add calories.

Meat: Lean, organic meats are best. Turkey, liver, mackerel, chicken, and lamb top most vets’ lists. Some recommend raw liver; many recommend raw meat in total. Meat (or some fish) should represent one-third (perhaps a bit more) of the dog’s daily diet.

Homemade Dog Bone Recipe

Adapted from The Healthy Pet Manual: A Guide to the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer by Deborah Straw (Healing Arts Press, 2005).

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B Jackson
BJ J.2 years ago

Just like everything - so many opinions. My 2 cent-worth opinion is most commercial food is junk/empty calories, use common sense in trying different things till you find what works best for your animals.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Good information. Thanks!

Bon L.
Bon L.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Manuela C.
Manuela C.5 years ago


Dale B.
Dale B.5 years ago

I also do not agree with some of the suggestions listed. For years I have cooked for my 8 dogs and will not feed them raw eggs, garlic or raw meat. My Veterinarian gave me several articles about the dangers of feeding raw meat to my dogs, which can also be harmful to the dog's owner as well through contact with their dog.
As mentioned earlier, raw eggs and garlic are on the ASPCA's list of foods to avoid feeding dogs because they are not healthy for them.
I do think filtered water is a great idea and that is what my dogs always drink.
My recipe is: brown rice, lentils, oatmeal, bananas, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, blueberries, cooked boneless chicken, cooked eggs, ground up egg shells (for calcium, often lacking in home cooked diets), canned salmon and olive oil. I make up a large batch once a week and use a little dry food with it. My 11 year old beagle acts half her age and I get compliments all the time how great my dogs look. I joke they eat better than most kids, but they really do.

Monique D.
Monique D.5 years ago

Thanks, but you have to watch what you put in as some healthy things for us are toxic to pets: grapes, onions, etc. Please check with your vet before making your own food

Marya DeLuna-Dorsey
Marya DeLuna5 years ago

I am a former vet tech, and I can safely say that garlic and onion should never be given to dogs.

Sally Harper
Sally Harper5 years ago

It is extremely unlikely that a healthy dog would get Salmonella or E. Coli. Dogs can eat road kill, lick their butts, eat bones they buried in the dirt and they still never get sick - they have MUCH stronger bacteria in their guts than we do. Good kibble without wheat, corn and other grains is good. Raw food like eggs and meaty bones is way better. Just research it on the 'net if you're not convinced!

Kelley Denz
Kelley Denz5 years ago

I disagree with some of the suggestions for example raw eggs can expose your dog to bacteria like Salmonella or E. Coli. Plus contrary to folklore: raw eggs can actually cause skin and coat problems. You can visit Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) website for more information.

I feed my dogs Pure Woof Gold. It is a kibble with no chemicals, preservatives, fillers or anything else that would be harmful for your dogs.

I started feeding Pure Woof Gold to Sadie and Rusty over a year ago and have noticed huge health benefits.