Is a balanced diet good for your dog?

susan de waard

You wouldn't eat every meal out of a packet would you? Neither should your dog.

In fact, nutritionist Georgia Limmer says, "balance is the key, try to enjoy a variety of different seasonal foods in your diet with enough protein for your body and brain to stay healthy. Plus, many different colourful vegetables, adequate protein and good fats. You absolutely don't need fillers like processed grain flours or sugar. All your essential nutrients should be provided by mother nature with a balanced diet".

The same goes for your dog. You may not think dogs eat vegetables in a traditional diet, but they do - sometimes partially predigested 'cooked' from their prey's gut contents and often scavenged for example in a compost heap. Mmmm...yummy ...dogs...good thing we love them and all their crazy shenanigans!

Protein and amino acids are a no brainer in a healthy dogs diet, we think of dogs as carnivores erring towards omnivores, so meat is the main staple of their diet.

In our modern agricultural and supply chains, quality and toxins becomes a real issue in meats deemed "not for human consumption". So always read the label of food purchased for your dog - as you would for yourself, preferably before you buy it.

Along with well sourced animal proteins, vegetables and brown rice provide plant based proteins and equally important for your dog - water and fat soluble vitamins and minerals - that meat cannot provide.

Your dog needs fat soluble vitamin A found in ingredients such as sweet potato and carrot, vitamin D from eggs and vitamin E in linseed and chia. Dogs also need vitamins K and C, found in broccoli and most vegetables and berries, vitamin B from the husk of grains - such a brown rice - beans and green vegetables.

Your dog also needs plenty of macro minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, and micro minerals such as zinc, selenium, copper, cobalt, sulfur, manganese and molybdenum. These minerals are abundant in legumes such as kidney beans, vegetables, whole-grains, fruits and seeds. You don't want to be getting these out of a multi-vitamin, or as chemical additions to kibble - because each one has a raft of co-factors that the wholefood provides! Nature is cool like that.

We feed our dogs raw meat from the local butcher, plus Furry Gourmet Everyday Meal either beef, turkey or chicken and treats such as a meat-cake when we socialise with our furry friends. Plus we always have a carob truffle on hand when we learn new tricks!

Be kind to your dog by providing the nutrients s/he needs through whole foods - just as you would for yourself. And spend a long and happy lifetime together.

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