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What should I feed my dog?

2021 Sep 16
Two Dogs Company

This is one of the most common questions asked by dog owners, and I believe many veterinarians have been asked this question countless times too.  However, it can be hard to find one diet that fits them all. What is good for one, may not necessary work for others, and vice versa.

As we all know, dogs are largely carnivorous. However, many dog owners also feed their dogs with vegetables and fruits to improve their bowel health.  While some owners may feel guilty for feeding their dogs solely with kibbles, they may not be aware that it is in fact entirely acceptable.

More dog owners have also started feeding their dogs raw meat to mimic the diet of the dogs’ ancestors.  This diet remains controversial, but it nevertheless is a rising trend.  While this diet may work well for some dogs, it is generally not recommended for all dogs unless it is due to medical reasons and/or you have discussed it with your vet.  

Raw meat contains parasites and bacteria such as salmonella, E.Coli etc.  These parasites and bacteria can threaten the health of the dog, its owner and family if it is not handled properly.  Furthermore, extended period of feeding your dog with just raw meat may result in unbalanced diet.  

Alternatively, you can consider freeze-dried raw food from reputable manufacturers.  Freeze-dried raw food is pasteurised at freezing temperature to remove all harmful bacteria and parasites, ensuring that it is safe for consumption without compromising on nutrition.

Home cooked food is best if you know the right recipe to use and if you have the time.  Otherwise, a major consideration of basing the dog’s diet solely on home cooked food is the deficiency of essential nutrients that they need.

What about kibbles? When my dogs first joined my family, I heard and read many horror stories about feeding our dogs purely on kibbles.

However, contrary to our common belief that kibbles are unhealthy for dogs, kibbles made of high quality ingredients are indeed nutritional and is an important diet for your dog.  It contains essential nutrients that a dog needs for its growth and development. Dogs need more than just protein in their diet.

Instead of feeding your dog with one particular diet for an extended period of time, you can feed them with a variety of food.

You can add some cooked meats, vegetables and grain to the kibbles. Alternatively, you can give them kibbles in the morning and a bowl of cooked food in the evening, or vice versa.  Ultimately, it is all about a balanced diet.  Having said that, high quality kibbles that is appropriate for your dog’s life stage should always be the main part of their diet.  Just make sure you do not overfeed your dog. 

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