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A Natural Diet for Dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 23, 2016
A Natural Diet for Dogs

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A natural diet is an excellent way of controlling your pet's weight. It usually contains fewer additives and is also more digestible. Overall, this is a healthy and beneficial option that you monitor yourself.

One of the most concerning issues for most dog owners opting to give their pet a natural diet is overfeeding their dog or not feeding them enough. Do you have these doubts too?

This AnimalWised article will talk about a natural diet for dogs, an organic and healthy option that can be of great help for dogs with allergies, puppies or simply any dog. Read on to find out our tips:

You may also be interested in: Forbidden Foods for Guinea Pigs

Before starting a natural diet

Before starting a natural diet, you have to observe and weigh your dog in order to understand its dietary requirements at the present time.

A good way of calculating your dog's nutritional or caloric needs is through observation. You should see that the abdomen is narrower than the chest, and the ribs can be felt but not seen with the naked eye. However, remember that there are exceptions to this rule such as the Spanish greyhound, whose ribs you can see even when they're not too thin; it's their natural build.

When you switch to a natural diet, it is recommended to weigh the animal before starting and then again a month later. If your dog was overweight beforehand, it should lose weight gradually, and if it was very thin, it should gain weight. Sudden changes in your pet's weight may indicate a disease or an error in your dog's nutritional management.

If the amount of food or number of calories is below the appropriate level, your dog will get thinner. On the other hand, if you exceed the quantity or calories, the animal will gain weight. Therefore, it is important to weigh your dog regularly and keep an eye on its body condition.

Here you can learn all about how much food you should give your dog.

A Natural Diet for Dogs - Before starting a natural diet

Natural food for dogs: BARF

Carnivores get their energy mainly from proteins and fats, so these should represent the basis of their diet.

The BARF - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food - diet suggests that an adult dog should eat between 2-3% of its body weight. 2% is better for more sedentary animals and 3% corresponds to more active and athletic animals.

However, each animal has its own nutritional needs. For example, a puppy, an adult dog and an older dog will all have different diets. Even the caloric needs of dogs in the same group will vary according to age, health, breed, etc.

A Natural Diet for Dogs - Natural food for dogs: BARF

You should supplement meat appropriately

The types of meat differ depending on the ratio of meat to fat. This depends on the animal origin of the meat, but also on the part of the animal. When you go shopping, you can find cuts of veal as fatty as pork and cuts of chicken as lean as turkey.

You shouldn't always give your dog the same cut of lean meat, because this can make your dog progressively lose weight. When owners see this decrease in weight, they tend to increase the amount of food, but this doesn't solve the problem.

It is essential to understand that feeding your dog a natural diet does not mean only giving it meat. Just like other animals, dogs also need other nutrients - in lesser quantities - such fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

A small proportion of your dog's diet should consist of appropriate fruit and vegetables in order to allow good physical development. However, don't forget to learn what are the forbidden fruits and vegetables for dogs. You should also remember that some foods such as wheat, despite not being toxic, are not the most suitable for a dog to eat. You should replace wheat with rice.

If you're interested in organic food for dogs, take a look at our article.

A Natural Diet for Dogs - You should supplement meat appropriately

How to start a natural diet for dogs

You will slowly learn everything explained in this article through practice and by reading all the information you possibly can. But remember, your best teacher is your four-legged friend.

On the other hand, it is essential that you consult a professional vet who can tell you the steps you need to follow. It is important to know whether your dog may be suffering from anemia or if it is free from any diseases.

Feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for visiting AnimalWised, and see you soon!

A Natural Diet for Dogs - How to start a natural diet for dogs

If you want to read similar articles to A Natural Diet for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.

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Andrea Caruana
Hi,

I have started to feed my dog home cooked meals, including spinach, carrots, sweet potato, cabbage, parsley and mix beef and chicken.

Is she getting enough nutrients? Should I be giving her calcium supplements? Thanks!

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