Healthy Foods for Happy Dogs

These foods have worked well for my rescue dogs and the dogs I have worked with for the past 20 years. It focuses on clean, organic foods prepared with little fuss.

Introduce foods multiple times for the best acceptance of something new in taste and texture. Start with a small amount and increase as you know your dog’s preferences. Use organic as much as possible but don’t fret over it – do what you can. Make it easy or you’ll soon go back to boring dry kibble.

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The Top 10 Foods for Dogs at Wellness Ranch

  1. beef – make a fist —- this is one serving size
  2. Starter Stew
  3. organic liver (check your local butcher shop, ask him to slice it thin) – 2 slices
  4. baked sweet potato – 1/2 of a medium sweet potato = one serving
  5. steamed green beans – 1 cup
  6. squash – 1 cup (usually 2 small squash, diced)
  7. baked spaghetti squash – 2 cups = one serving
  8. pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  9. steamed okra – 1 cup
  10. coconut and olive oil – 2 tablespoons = one serving

Plus –

  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • cinnamon

huskyThese foods are added 2-3 times per week:

  • brown rice and peaches
  • quinoa – which is actually a grass, not a grain – and blueberries
  • peanut butter – via homemade biscuits made with gluten-free flour mixes
  • Greek yogurt, plain (not vanilla) – 2 tablespoons per dog provides the gut with friendly bacteria for better digestion
  • strawberries or pineapple with Greek yogurt

These foods are given very infrequently:

  • cheese – grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons
  • cottage cheese with paprika – 1/2 cup, 1 teaspoon

If you do choose to feed dry kibble, your dog will do better with a grain-free variety, focusing on protein. Try to feed more whole food than dry kibble. We use Orijen at times but the main diet of our dogs remains whole foods.

Raw or Cooked?

There are pros and cons to both methods. Older dogs lack the digestive enzymes needed to digest properly and will benefit from foods that are cooked. Some dogs just plain do not like raw foods. It’s ok. Go for variety. Go for quality. Observe your dog to see how he is responding to the diet and adjust accordingly.

How Do I Know My Dog is Getting a Balanced Diet?  english-bulldog

The same way humans do – by eating a variety of good, clean food. Just as we would not survive long on a diet of corn flakes every day for 10 – 15 years, neither do our dogs. The labels on dog food paint a pretty picture but did you know that those “vitamins and minerals” are synthetic chemicals sprayed on as the kibble races down a conveyor belt and into that plastic bag?

Bodies – animal or human – were made to eat real food with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, and companion benefits. Isolating bits and pieces of nutrition here and there and spraying it on food is not health. Look at your dog for clues to his health.

A healthy dog will have:

  • Bright, clear eyes
  • Shiny, soft coat
  • No odor to his breath
  • Easy elimination, no accidents or straining
  • Does not scratch himself to shreds
  • Stays well
  • Alert and active
  • A willingness to follow you around out of curiosity

If you have tried everything and still have health issues with your dog, I am available for canine consults on Tuesday and Thursday by appointment (phone call). Click here to go to the “Contact Us” page to connect with me for an appointment.


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