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A Guide to Dog Nutrition (Do’s & don’ts)

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Are you concerned about your dog's health?

We all want the best for our fluffy pal. But most of us don't know what to feed them beyond kibble and processed food. Tons of dog foods are available out there. So many choices make it hard for dog owners to select the best option.

However, you can select the best nutrition plan for your puppy. And the best way is to group your little pooch into a particular age group. This simple step will help you determine the nutritional needs of your furry friend.

The food you provide to your little pal has a significant effect on its health. So it should be the right combination of carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and minerals.

In this guide, we will help you know the dos and don’ts of canine food along with some homemade dog treat recipes!


Adorable little puppies have unique nutritional needs. Mostly, adult dog foods cannot fulfill their dietary requirements. Such food either lacks or contains a higher level of nutrients. Not all these nutrients are required by your puppy.

But how to determine if your young dog is a puppy or not?

You may find it surprising but a puppy's maturity depends on its breed rather than age. On average, a puppy reaches its full size at the age of 12 to 18 months. But this can vary. You can access some online puppy age calculators to figure out your dog’s age group.

After determining the puppy criteria, the next step is to avoid chemicals and preservations. It is good to start reading labels before purchase. It will help you to get a fair combination of price and quality.

Ideally, your puppy food should contain

  • Carbohydrates

  • Meat-based protein

  • Calcium

  • Phosphorus

  • Oats

  • Rice

  • Natural fats and oils

Adult Dogs

Usually, dogs step into their adulthood at the age of 12 months to 3 years. This phase remains until the dog reaches between the ages of 6 to 10. During this time, the nutritious requirements depend on several factors. These factors include the dog's weight and energy level.

If your dog is likely to get obese, avoid feeding high protein dog food. But if the canine is extremely active, he may need higher protein levels.

Here are some general tips for selecting adult dog food

  • Try to avoid the food coming with labels premium or super-premium. Such food is not always of high quality.

  • Do not go for high processed dog food. Dog food consisting of higher levels of Carbohydrates and additives such as syrup and MSG are also a big no-no.

  • An abundance of preservatives such as nitrate, sodium nitrate, and BHA should also be ignored.

  • You can select a vegetarian food option with a careful approach. But each furry friend’s case is different. Therefore it is best to consult a vet before making a diet plan for your pooch.

Senior Dogs

Depending on the breed, the dog gradually turns into a senior dog between the ages of 6 to 10. Many reputable brands offer specialized dog foods for senior dogs.

Here are some rules you should follow while picking up food for your senior dogs.

  • Senior dogs often suffer from obesity because of less energy. So low-calorie foods are good for them.

  • Pick a dog food that is enriched with fiber. Elderly dogs can easily get health problems. They may suffer from diabetes heart issues. High fiber foods are beneficial for their health.

  • Be cautious while feeding a senior dog. If you are feeding them market made food, only go for low fat and low sodium treats.

  • During the senior years, some dogs cannot easily digest milk. They can be lactose intolerant. Instead, vegetables such as carrots and apples are a healthier alternative to milk biscuits and bones.

Healthy dog food options

You should always feed your companion healthy and natural food rather than a substitute. Your food choices for the pooch can help the fellow stay active. These choices can also result in an emergency trip to the vet.

Here is the list of some foods that are good for your fluffy canine.

  • Sliced apples

Apples are a great source of vitamin K, calcium, and Vitamin C. You can give freshly sliced apples as a treat to your dog. Remove the peel and seeds. Always chop the apple into little pieces so that the little fellow won't choke.

  • Cooked Eggs

Eggs are considered nutritional Powerhouses. They are enriched with Selenium, protein, choline, and riboflavin.

  • Cooked Chicken

Chicken is an excellent source of protein. Cook it properly and take out all the bones before feeding your dog.

  • Unseasoned yogurt

Yogurt is high in probiotics which is good for gut health. Make sure you are feeding plain sugar with no artificial sweetener or unnecessary chemicals.

  • Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is a healthy dog treat filled with beta carotene. It is an excellent way to satisfy your pal.

  • Salmon (cooked or oil on kibble)

Salmon is filled with Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids are great for your dog's immune system, coat, and brain function. But make sure to remove all the bones with a tweezer or knife.

You can also serve your cuddle buddy with:

  • Pumpkin

  • Green beans

  • Oatmeal

  • Cauliflower

  • Cooked meat

  • Baby carrots

  • Green vegetables

My pup, Enzo, has a very sensitive stomach and rejected or got sick after every kibble I tried - and I tried a lot! Come back to find out what I home cook my pup and the amazing results I have gotten!!

Talk to you soon!



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