What Kind of Diet Does a Dog Have?

by Ledan Seja
    Some dog foods are much more complete than other brands.

    Some dog foods are much more complete than other brands.

    Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

    If you wouldn't eat it, your pup probably shouldn't either. Dogs rely on many of the same nutrients that humans do for optimum health and performance. They can also get many of these nutrients from the same sources humans do. A balanced diet for a pet pooch should consist of proteins, vegetables, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

    Protein is the key ingredient in most natural dog diets. In the wild, dogs get their protein from eating the organs of their prey. In most instances, a wild dog will eat the heart, liver and other organs before consuming the muscle meat. The vital organs contain high levels of protein and nutrients. In high-quality kibbles and commercially available dog foods, the primary ingredients are the proteins. These ingredients are typically chicken, fish or lamb with beef or turkey as other sources of meats. For protein snacks, feed your pooch cooked eggs, boiled fish or chicken, or organ meat.

    While wild dogs won't typically feast on fruits and veggies, they can get many of their needed nutrients from these sources in captivity. Most dogs thoroughly enjoy various fruits and vegetables as well. Like the human body, a dog's body benefits from the many vitamins and other nutritious benefits fruits and vegetables provide. Carrots, broccoli, peas, green beans and sweet potatoes are generally enjoyed by dogs. Stay away from seeds, pits, avocados, raisins, grapes, onions and the green parts of tomatoes and potatoes. Corn, wheat and soy products have also been known to cause allergic reactions.

    Again, wild dogs won't be found foraging through a field to get grains, but carbohydrates are an important part of a captive dog's diet. Whole, rolled or cracked grains are best. Barley, millet, oats, unsweetened multi-grain cereals and brown rice are all ideal additions to a dog's diet. Wheat breads and pastas are also favored treats. White bread and white rice are high in sugars and should be avoided.

    Healthy fats are ideal forms of energy for your pooch's body. Fish oils or healthy vegetable oils such as sunflower, flax seed or olive can make for a delicious addition to your dog's meal. These types of oils promote different benefits, but a healthy coat and a reduction in inflammation are typically associated with healthy fats.

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    About the Author

    Ledan Seja has been writing since 2009, specializing in natural ecosystems, gardening and landscape design, the environment, wildlife, insects, pet rescue and childcare. Her work has appeared in various online publications.

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