Natural dog food guides

The ultimate guide to natural dog food

Do you love your dog but don’t love the high price of pet food? We have the perfect solution – homemade natural dog food. It’s affordable, healthy, and easy to make. You’ll save money and your dog will love you for it!

Dogs go crazy for our recipes, and we’re sure yours will too. Our recipes use only the freshest ingredients, including lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh vegetables. We also understand that not all dogs have the same dietary needs so we provide custom advice for each dog’s individual diet plan.

We want every pet parent to feel confident in their decisions when it comes to feeding their furry family members. That’s why our natural dog food recipes are full of wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients that will keep your dog healthy and happy.

Our natural diet is also great for the environment. By using less processed ingredients and fewer preservatives, you can minimize your environmental footprint. Plus, when you make food at home, you’re not only helping the planet; you’re saving money too!

Most of us know that eating natural, raw, and organic food is better for our bodies than eating processed and packaged foods with lots of preservatives. Why wouldn’t it be different for our dogs?

Their health can stand to benefit from eating natural food, whether it’s raw, organic, cooked, or otherwise. Still, you can’t just start feeding your dog such foods without having some idea what you’re doing.

It’s important to know what natural kinds of dog food are, what the pros and cons are, how to start, and what you should avoid along the way.

What is the best natural dog food?

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a natural diet for your dog, then you might be doing it out of concern about what you have been feeding him.

Dry dog food is an industry that benefits manufacturers a lot more than it does dogs. Even organic kibble might have low-caliber ingredients, such as meat rendered from euthanized animals and slaughterhouse leftovers.

Canned natural dog food is typically better than dry dog food, especially since it has more moisture. Your dog’s diet should probably be around 70 percent, give or take, and dry kibble is only around 12 percent. Canned food also might have more protein, but the moisture might be preserved using propylene glycol.

Raw and organic dog food can be much more species-appropriate. Ancestral dogs ate lots of protein, balanced fats, and a few fresh foods. This is what dogs ate, hunted, and just scavenged in the wilderness.

If you take the extra step to raw foods, your dog will get enzymes and vitamins that don’t get broken down or destroyed in processing or cooking. Natural whole foods are also easier for dogs to digest.

We recommend that you talk to a veterinarian about your dog’s diet. There is no one-size-fits-all natural diet for dogs, and every pet parent should be aware of their dog’s individual health needs.

The pros and cons of natural dog foods

Getting your dog on such a diet has both advantages and disadvantages that you should know about:

The Pros

  • Less trips to the vet for illness and disease
  • Your dog will enjoy life a lot more
  • You’ll get more active time with your dog

The Cons

  • Tracking macronutrients is a time commitment
  • It can be expensive
  • Figuring out your dog’s dietary needs takes some work

How to start a natural dog food diet

Starting a natural or organic diet for your dogs starts with the shopping you do for his foods and ingredients.

How do I start feeding my dog a natural diet?

Once you have completed the research and determined that natural dog food is the right choice for your pup, it’s time to get started. To ensure the success of a natural dog food diet, it is crucial to ensure that the food contains an adequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals. We recommend purchasing fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like poultry or fish, and healthy fats such as olive oil. These ingredients can be supplemented with whole grains and other nutrient-dense items.

It is important to consider your dog’s individual dietary needs when designing their menu. If you are uncertain about their specific requirements, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian or nutritionist. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet that fits within your budget. While natural and organic dog foods may be more expensive than conventional options, the extra effort is worthwhile. We suggest starting slowly and making gradual changes until you find a diet plan that works best for your dog.

Once you have determined what to feed, it’s time to prepare healthy meals for your pup. If recommended by your veterinarian, you can also incorporate supplements such as fish oil or probiotics.

Now you have the knowledge to start feeding your dog a natural diet. Let’s explore what you should avoid when doing so.

General steps

Your shopping for natural dog food should include the following steps:

  1. Read the labels carefully: It’s crucial for dog owners to carefully read the labels of dog food, ensuring accuracy and completeness, especially regarding ingredients and nutritional content. The first ingredient should always be meat in natural dog food.
  2. Identify the origins of ingredients: Honesty and transparency are essential when it comes to knowing where animal ingredients in dog food come from, how the food was raised or grown, and where and how the manufacturing process took place. This is important for natural dog foods.
  3. Look for balanced and complete choices: When selecting dog food, it’s important to choose options that meet the minimum requirements for protein, fall within the acceptable range for fat, and adhere to specific criteria for vitamins and minerals. This ensures the quality of the dog’s food.
  4. Try to find dog food with natural, organic ingredients: While the terms “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable and don’t always guarantee quality, they can be helpful in finding high-quality natural dog food brands.
  5. Choose dog food with minimal processing: The best dog foods are those that stay as close to a natural state as possible, without the use of artificial preservatives or undergoing a chemically synthetic process. This preserves the antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients that are beneficial for dogs.
  6. Pick trustworthy brands: It’s important for pet owners to research and choose dog food brands that have a reputation for producing quality dog food. This can be done by reading online reviews and checking for any past recalls.
  7. Watch out for harmful ingredients: A detailed list of harmful ingredients in dog food will be provided later in this content. This is important for pet owners to be aware of, especially if their dogs have food allergies.

Organic Foods

Dog food options don’t get much better than organic foods. There are two key things to consider:

  1. Determining the level of organic content:
  • Made with organic ingredients: These foods contain a minimum of 70 percent organic ingredients.
  • Organic: These foods have at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
  • 100-percent organic: These foods consist solely of organic ingredients.

Organic terminology

Even once you find dog foods with organic labels, you’re going to see even more terms thrown around at you. Here are a few you should know briefly:

  • Holistic: The usage of this word isn’t regulated across the industry but it should generally imply formulas for optimal health free of fillers, hormones, and chemicals.
  • Natural:This should mean feed and feed ingredients derived solely from mined, animal, or plant sources without having seen subject to processing and synthetic chemicals along the way.
  • Grain-Free: Most kibble has at least some grain, but dogs are largely carnivores. Lots of grains give them inflammation and higher levels of insulin production. Just be mindful of formulas that swap out potatoes and high-starch carbs for the grains.
  • Exotic: Exotic might also be listed as novel, and it can refer to atypical proteins, including venison, bison, rabbit, duck, and alligator. The primary reason anyone tries such foods is looking to eliminate a possible protein allergy related to beef or chicken.
  • Human-Grade:On an industry-wide level, this term is practically meaningless. On the other hand, some smaller and highly reputable pet food makers use this term to imply their products are safe for human digestion.
  • Vegetarian:Quite a few veggies are good for dogs. For the most part however, a fully vegan or vegetarian diet isn’t right for a dog.

Start your dog’s natural diet with the best natural dog food.

Follow these specific steps for your dog’s natural diet:

Balance the Macronutrients

Your dog’s food should consist of a balanced combination of protein, fat, and carbs. These macronutrients are the same ones that you consume regularly. It is important to ensure that the fat content in your dog’s food is between 10 to 20 percent.

Anything more than this can hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals, while less than 10 percent can affect your dog’s skin elasticity and overall health.

The protein content in your dog’s food should be around 25 to 30 percent. This will provide the necessary amino acids to support muscle and organ function. Carbs should make up approximately 50 to 60 percent of your dog’s diet, providing fiber for a healthy gut and energy from glucose.

When choosing dog food, opt for natural dog food brands that prioritize whole food ingredients. This helps avoid artificial preservatives and food ingredients that may cause food allergies or undergo chemically synthetic processes.

Pet owners should look for quality dog food options that contain omega fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients. Fresh food is always a great choice for your furry friend’s well-being.

Minerals, Especially Calcium

A dog’s diet should consist of 10 to 15 percent bone in the case of adult dogs, while puppies should have 12 to 15 percent bone content. Bones are composed of roughly 65 percent minerals, including calcium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. These minerals are crucial for maintaining overall health in your dog’s body, from its bark to its bum.

If you’re unsure about where to obtain bones, consider checking your local grocery store’s butcher department. It is important to prioritize high-quality dog food that is natural, free from artificial preservatives and includes whole food ingredients. This is especially beneficial for dogs with food allergies.

Opting for fresh, natural dog food brands that contain omega fatty acids and avoid chemically synthetic processes is recommended. This ensures that pet owners provide their dogs with the best possible nutrition for their overall well-being.

Including Organ Meats

Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads, contain the highest concentrations of essential vitamins and minerals for dogs. At least one meal a week should consist of organ meats to ensure that dogs remain healthy.

Organ meats should make up 10 to 15 percent of a dog’s diet each week and provide the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals for your furry friend. It’s important to note that feeding organ meats too frequently may create an imbalance in the overall nutrition intake. Therefore, pet owners should be mindful when including organ meats in their dog’s food.

Your dog’s food should consist of 10 percent liver and 5 percent heart. If your dog can tolerate them, you can also include other organ meats such as brains, sweetbread, green tripe, eyes, lung, spleen, pancreas, and kidney. Organ meats provide superior sources of vitamins and minerals compared to any other type of dog food, whether it’s natural or not.

When it comes to dog food, pet owners should prioritize natural dog food brands that offer high-quality ingredients. Natural dog foods are beneficial for dogs with food allergies and provide essential nutrients like omega fatty acids. Unlike dog foods with artificial preservatives and chemically synthetic processes, natural dog foods are made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients.

Including ingredients such as chicken meal, organic chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, and fish meal in your dog’s food ensures a complete and balanced diet. Fresh dog food or a raw diet can also be considered for dogs, as they provide the benefits of raw meat and fresh ingredients.

By feeding natural dog food, you are promoting healthy digestion and supporting your dog’s overall well-being. Choose quality dog food that prioritizes the use of fresh, all-natural ingredients for the best results.

Fat Balance

Previously, you were advised to adjust your dog’s fat balance to be between 10 and 20 percent of their overall diet. Unfortunately, not all fats are created equal.

When considering dog food, it is important to take into account both saturation and the omega family. Dietary fats can be categorized as saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. While it is necessary to provide your dog with all three types of fats, it is ideal to minimize the intake of monounsaturated fats as much as possible.

Additionally, it is crucial to strike a balance between saturated fats, which can disrupt your dog’s gut, and polyunsaturated fats. These polyunsaturated fats are available in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A natural dog food diet typically provides an abundance of omega-6 fats, which can lead to inflammation.

To counteract this, incorporating omega-3 fatty acids is recommended. You can achieve this by including skin poultry, avoiding pork that is not grass-fed, combining poultry with ruminants, and incorporating ingredients such as hemp, ahiflower, and green-lipped mussels in your dog’s food.

When considering dog food options, pet owners should prioritize natural dog food brands that use whole food ingredients. This helps ensure quality and minimizes the risk of food allergies. Opting for fresh food over processed options with artificial preservatives is also beneficial.

Omega fatty acids play a crucial role in your dog’s health, and sourcing them from natural, whole food ingredients is preferable to chemically synthetic processes.

Remember, providing your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall well-being.

Including Vegetation

Fruits and vegetables can make up 10 percent of a dog’s natural diet, helping to combat cancer and other diseases. Kale, broccoli, and broccoli sprouts are excellent starting points.

Cucumbers, apples, and green beans are also fantastic choices for your furry friend. A variety of veggies can provide them with essential vitamins like B, C, and K, while adding fiber to their diet.

Your dog’s vegetables should be cooked or pureed to ensure proper digestion. Additionally, some fruits may contain toxic substances like cyanide, so it’s important to research which ones are safe for your dog.

Overall, veggies can provide vital vitamins and minerals while promoting a healthy gut for your dog.

Incorporating a range of fresh foods can benefit your dog’s well-being. Pet owners should prioritize high-quality dog food brands that use whole food ingredients and avoid artificial preservatives.

Natural dog foods can offer essential nutrients such as omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, while helping to prevent food allergies. By carefully considering the different components of your dog’s food, you can ensure they receive the best nutrition for a healthy and happy life.

Remember – variety is key to a good diet! Don’t hesitate to experiment with different combinations of fresh ingredients to keep your dog content. With a bit of research and making the right choices, you can ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients for a long and healthy life.

Ensure Certain Nutrients Happen in Your Dog’s Food

When it comes to your dog’s food, it’s important to watch out for their levels of manganese and vitamin D. Mussels are a great source of both nutrients. Additionally, you can provide your dog with vitamin D through mushrooms, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

For a complete and balanced diet, consider incorporating natural dog foods that contain quality ingredients. Opt for dog food made with all-natural ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, chicken meal, organic chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, and fish meal. These ingredients provide essential omega fatty acids and contribute to healthy digestion.

Choose dog food made with human-grade ingredients to ensure the highest quality. Avoid dog foods that go through a chemically synthetic process, as fresh food is always preferred. If you prefer a raw diet for your dog, consider fresh dog food or raw meat options for their meals.

Remember, providing your dog with a healthy diet is crucial for their overall well-being.

What to avoid in dog food

When it comes to your dog’s food, there are several things you should steer clear of for their well-being and health. Here are some key things to avoid when shopping for dog food:

  • Antibiotics
  • Artificial flavors and colors
  • Byproducts
  • Factory-farmed ingredients
  • Preservatives
  • Herbicides and pesticides
  • Fillers like sugar and corn
  • GMO ingredients
  • High-pressure processing that kills off beneficial gut bacteria
  • Meat containing antibiotics, steroids, or hormones
  • Meats made from disabled, diseased, dying, or dead animals (3/4D meats)

It’s important to always introduce dietary changes gradually and observe your dog’s reaction to each food. Opting for natural dog food with quality ingredients, such as fresh food with omega fatty acids, can contribute to a complete and balanced diet and promote healthy digestion.

Look for dog food made with human-grade ingredients, like chicken meal, organic chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, and fish meal.

Additionally, consider incorporating fresh dog food or a raw diet that avoids chemically synthetic processes and includes raw meat.

Failing to consult your vet

Making drastic changes to your dog’s diet without first consulting their veterinarian is simply asking for trouble. Your vet can provide valuable information and advice beyond what you find here.

While vets do profit from sick animal visits, they are not lacking in business. In fact, your vet will be pleased if your dog’s health improves over time.

In the end, start with small changes and keep your vet informed about any dietary adjustments. This way, if something goes wrong, you can quickly return to square one. With proper planning and care, your dog will soon enjoy a natural diet that promotes a longer and healthier life!

In Summary

Key Takeaways:

  • Natural dog food is pretty much anything that’s not overly packaged, processed, or stuffed fill of filler and preservatives.
  • Natural food for dogs can include cooked, uncooked, raw, and organic food items.
  • Not all natural foods help dog nutrition.
  • Proper balance is essential to help your dog’s health.
  • There are certain things you need to avoid.

You want your dog to be with you a log time, and a natural food diet might just help him live more years. It can also make those years more enjoyable while the two of you are together. Don’t forget to consult your vet before making any major changes. But above all, make sure you’re doing what’s best for the furriest family member in your house!