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3 Principles of Dog Nutrition

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Losing my first dog way, way too early made me wonder if better food could have helped. When Marco (pictured with me above) came along and he too suffered problems as a pup, I made a decision.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. To take responsibility for the pup I’d promised to love, honour and obey for the rest of his life. Once again my vet didn’t have the answer, so I decided to put my own theories to the test. I decided to try cooking for my dog.

My husband had read a book by renowned nutrition experts Professors Marion Nestle and Malden C Nesheim. They are leading lights on the subject of human and animal nutrition in the USA.

It maintained that if you can cook for yourself and your family, there’s no reason why you can’t cook for your pet. That one is no more complicated than the other, providing you follow three fundamental principles of nutrition. These principles apply to all animals, including human beings and dogs.

1. Balance

In terms of your dog’s diet, balance entails getting its protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in the right proportions. Just bear in mind that you don’t have to balance every meal. ‘Balance over time‘ is what you’re looking to achieve.

2. Variety

Think about how you feed yourself and your family. Today you have fish and chips. Tomorrow you have a roast dinner with all the trimmings. Over the following days you have a ham salad, a chicken curry with rice, pork tenderloin and mixed veg, a pizza with baked potato and coleslaw, and end the week with lasagne, chips and salad.

Different foods contain different nutrients in different quantities. Without giving it much if any thought, you have created a balanced diet with the meals above. That’s all you need to do for your dog!

I’m not saying you can feed your dog those meals. You can’t. And I’m not saying that is the healthiest diet. It isn’t. But if you adopt that as a principle for home cooking for your dog, you can’t go far wrong.

3. Moderation

The third principle is just as straightforward as the first two. Feed your dog just the right about of food to maintain a healthy weight. Studies have proven that overweight dogs live shorter lives. Excess weight is one of your dog’s greatest enemies. So feed just enough to fuel your dog’s body every day so that calories in equal calories out and you can’t go far wrong.

4. Supplementation

No matter how well you feed your dog, you will need to supplement its diet. You will need to supplement it with calcium and a vitamin and mineral blend.

Calcium is an essential mineral for your dog. It helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. It also helps with digestion, assists in blood clotting, heart and nerve function and more besides. Whether you feed your dog 2 or 3 raw meaty bones a week or supplement with a calcium supplement, supplementing your dog’s diet with calcium is an absolute essential!

Most commercial calcium supplements are made of powdered limestone. Your dog deserves better than ground up rock. The best source of calcium next to raw meaty bones is ground and treated eggshells as can be found in my own Dog Chef Calcium.

I also recommend you supplement your dog’s diet with a vitamin and mineral blend. Most commercial supplements for dogs are made with synthetic ingredients. They’re made in a lab with chemicals left over from the manufacture of other products. Far from natural in my view.

Dog Chef Daily on the hand is a 100% natural blend of specially chosen herbs and spices, handmade by me in my own kitchens. It’s a daily superfood supplement for dogs that you could take too if you wanted. It’s entirely plant-based without any additives or preservatives whatsoever.

Following those principles and supplementing with healthy ingredients, I found cooking for my dog a breeze. And just look how well Marco looks on it!

Baking and Cooking for Dogs

Click here to join my public Facebook Group for all those interested in baking and cooking for their dog.

  • Baking healthy homemade dog treats
  • Making healthy homemade dog food
  • Homemade dog food recipes

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