Dogs need four basic items on a daily basis

If you feed a commercial diet, read the labels and check what you are actually feeding.

Protein - vegetable proteins can be hard to digest, and some people prefer to use a dog food that contains mostly animal protein. Dogs need a minimum of 18% protein in their diet for maintenance when they are adults and between 22% - 32% for puppies. If your dog eats too much protein, some will be excreted in the urine and the rest will be used as calories or converted to fat and doesnt cause dogs any harm. However if your dog has a kidney problem, high protein diets are not recommended. Most pet food companies slightly exceed the minimum recommended protein requirements to ensure that dogs get adequate protein from their food. 

Fat - Adult dogs need a minimum of 5% fat in their diet - recommended guidelines are between 10 - 20% for an adult dog and 10 - 25% for puppies

Pregnant, Lactating, sick and debilitated dogs will require more protein and fat - Protein 28% - 35% and Fat at least 20%

Vitamins - Most complete dog foods provide all the necessary vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, but you should consult your vet if you have any doubts over your dogs vitamin intake.

Be wary of food marketing when the company does their best to make you think you are doing the best by your dog, but unfortunately they are often use very cheap ingredients.

Look at the food label, the first ingredient is super important as it is the main ingredient in your dogs food. It should list meat/fish as the main ingredient, if instead it lists something like cereal, meal, barley etc then they are not benefiting your dog full of rubbish. Avoid dog food with ‘meal’ products, for example ‘turkey meal’ or ‘animal by-product meal’. Meal can contain many undesired parts of animal such as the head, offal and spleen. Another ingredient in a lot of complete dog foods is Beet, this is purely a filler, dogs do not need Beet, it is for horses. Also avoid animal derivatives in your dogs food, as this can include feathers & beak which they cannot digest! This can result in a bloated tummy, an increase in flatulence and diarrhoea.

It is also recommended to avoid chemicals & preservatives. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) and Ethoxyquin are 3 nasty chemical preservatives. BHA & BHT are chemicals that are added to oils as preservatives that can be found in pet foods and treats. Another ingredient to avoid is artificial food dyes/colouring. Blue 2, Red 40 and Yellow 5 & 6 have been found to contribute to hypersensitivity reactions (allergic type), behaviour problems and cancer in humans. Artificially coloured foods only appeal to us humans and not our dogs, make sure the colours in your dogs food are 100% natural - human grade food colourings are not considered natural.

White flour - This is a simple carbohydrate with most of its nutrition stripped. The issue with white flour is that it causes a spike and then drop in blood sugar. This results in us and our dogs becoming hungry again soon after consuming it. Over consumption can lead to weight gain obesity and diabetes. Healthy alternatives to white flour are whole grains or even better grain free. Last of all avoid dog food that list MSG as an ingredient. Monosodium glutamate is common in many foods, MSG causes problems for both humans and pets. In pet food as well as human food, it is used to make up for the lack of flavour in low quality ingredients. Aside from being nutritionally unnecessary it also happens to be a very common allergen in humans and pets.


Feeding your dog a good quality food doesn’t have to be expensive. In a good quality dog food there is more nutrition in each piece of kibble therefore you don’t have to feed your dog as much for them to get all their needs. This also means there is less waste on the other side.

You can check out your dogs food on This website ranks your dogs food and gives you a really good insight and breakdown of their food. They market products very clever, just because its an expensive food it doesn’t always mean its the best for your dog. Also just because its a well known brand again doesn’t mean its the best for your dog either - Mc Donalds is well known for us, but it doesn't mean it is healthy.

You can read more about the manufacturing process in dry dog food HERE

I am a strong advocate that fresh is best either slowly cooked or raw - you can see more about my own experience with dog food and why I changed to raw HERE, although I do understand raw isn’t for everybody.

New studies have found that a raw diet can help protect against Hip Dysplasia which some now believe is 75% environmental, and only 25% genetic - see more HERE.

Water - fresh clean water should be available at all times



Type of Food
Source of
Deficient in
MEATS - chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, rabbit
Protein, fat, some B minerals (cooking reduces B vitamins)
Calcium, Phosphorus, iodine, copper, fat, and biotin
Protein and fat
Calcium, Phosphorus, most trace minerals and vitamins
Protain, fat, vitamin B
Calcium, Phosphorus and minerals
Most nutritents
Iron - Large quantities of raw eggs can lead to a biotin deficiency
Protein and some B vitamins
Minerals - Thiaminase in fish can reduce vitamin B content indiet unless the fish is cooked.
Canned Fish (pilchards, sardines etc)
Protein and Fat
Minerals and vitamins


Fruit and Vegetables can be given as a tasty treat or added to your dogs main meal.........Ensure you wash all fruit and remove the rinds, inedible skins, seeds and pits.

FRUIT - Apple, Apricot, Banana, Blueberries Cantaloupe, Mango, Oranges, Pear, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries Watermelon

Do not feed Grapes and Raisins as they can cause kidney damange to dogs (and cats) - you should also avoid any citrus fruits ie: lemons, grapefruit and limes as they can cause and upset stomach.

VEGETABLES - Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Green beans, Lettuce, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet potato
(It is best to steam or boil broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as they are easier to digest when cooked).

Never feed your dog onions or garlic as they are toxic in all forms: cooked, raw, and even onion powder.
These cause damage to the red blood cells, ultimately causing them to burst.

Rhubarb and wild mushrooms also contain toxins and there has been suggestions you should avoid corn as it is a common allergen in dogs.