Feeding Fido – The Right Way to Feed Your Best Friend

Do you love your dog?  I know it’s silly to ask. Why would you even have a pet if you didn’t love animals? And just because they come with some drawbacks, doesn’t mean having a loyal, loving companion isn’t worth it. So, let me ask you a question.

Why would you feed your dog something you wouldn’t eat yourself?

What do dogs eat? Anything!

Before you stammer out some nonsense about how a dog’s diet is different from a human’s, just look at what a dog will consume, given the chance. They’ll chew through your slippers, rifle through your purse for gum and mints. (Ever wonder what happened to your favorite lipstick that mysteriously disappeared last November? Now you know.) Dogs will eat a pound of chocolate, just to disprove the myth that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate. (They shouldn’t, by the way, but they will, given half a chance.) Dogs will not only eat the most disgusting things, they’ll throw them back up and eat them again!

So it seems like a normal thing to most of us to pour out some commercial dog food we wouldn’t touch, despite all assurances that it is, in fact, food. But the analogy breaks down when you face the ugly fact that we as humans rarely conform to our natural diet, either. We live on processed, prepared foods that have demonstrably no nutritional value. We over consume sugar, starch, and fat. We avoid vegetables, raw or cooked. And we snack endlessly and drink huge quantities of soft drinks.

What should dogs eat? The same thing you should.

So to get around to the point, your dog should eat what is healthy for you to eat. No junk food for you and no commercial dog food for Molly. Here’s why.

Dogs came from wolves and the best thing for your dog to eat is what wolves eat. Our ancestors became friends with wolves largely because we ate at the same restaurants, so to speak. Wolves eat deer, rabbits, mice and whatever else they can catch in the wild.

Junkyard dog food

But with the development of commercial dog food came the introduction of cheap, processed, meat-free fillers loaded with carbohydrates and grains they can’t digest properly. Just because Prince will swallow it, doesn’t mean he will derive any nutrition from it. Dogs don’t produce the type of enzymes necessary for processing grain-derived protein. Even the animals wolves eat don’t normally consume grain. The result has been a rise in gastrointestinal disorders including stomach cancer in dogs along with a plethora of immune disorders.

Just like in people.

So your dog’s optimal diet starts with your optimal diet. You know the broad strokes. You need an adequate amount of high quality protein. Your fruits and vegetables should be eaten raw or lightly cooked. You should avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar.

Meat, meat, glorious meat!

Rover’s diet should be meat-based. There’s nothing wrong with cooking the meat you serve to your dog. If you are vegetarian, you understand the extra work involved in planning a diet to get all the nutrition you need. It’s doubly hard on your dog (who isn’t interested in why you deprive yourself of steak), so let nature be nature and let him eat what wolves eat while you eat what gorillas eat.

Dogs, like wolves, will chew on vegetable matter. They seem to like grasses, for some reason. Don’t hesitate to include healthy, raw vegetables in your dog’s bowl. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, whatever. Each dog will, like each human, have her own preferences.

Best of all, you can now look at supper time for Snoopy as an opportunity to dine together with your best friend.

Image by Pixbay