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What Can I Feed My Dog Instead of Dog Food?

Did you run out of dog food and wonder what you can feed your dog instead of the regular dog food? My list below has more than 15 options you can get in your kitchen either refrigerated or in your pantry.

Dogs are carnivores and their natural diet consists of fresh meat, bones, and organs. In the wild, dogs consume a lot of raw meat which helps them digest properly and absorb all the nutrients they need. Commercial dog food does not mimic a dog’s natural diet and can often lead to health problems down the road. So what should you feed your dog instead of dog food?

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food?

There are a variety of options available for those who want to feed their dogs a more natural diet. If you plan on forfeiting commercial recipes, you’ll need to do more work involving cooking and getting the recipes right.

Your Dog’s Meal Considerations

Below are key considerations as you prepare to feed your dog alternatives to regular dog food;

  • Don’t feed your dog salty, sugary, spicy or fatty food: These foods can cause indigestion and other problems in dogs. Stick to plain food that your dog’s palate will find it easy to digest
  • Avoid processed food: Just like people, dogs should eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. This means avoiding processed foods, which can contain harmful chemicals and preservatives.
  • Make sure the meat you feed your dog is cooked: Dogs can eat raw meat, but it’s important to cook it first to kill any bacteria that could make your dog sick.
  • Feed your dog a variety of food: Just like people, dogs need to eat a variety of different foods to get all the nutrients they need. This means including meat, vegetables, and grains in their diet.
  • Use lean meat: too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Choose organic food: If possible, choose organic meat and vegetables to feed your dog. This will help ensure that their food is free of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
  • Consider your dog’s allergies as you give them an alternative diet: Some dogs are allergic to certain ingredients, so it’s important to be aware of what your dog can and cannot eat.
  • Give them supplements: If you’re not feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet, you may need to give them supplements to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
  • Talk to your vet: AAFCO recommends against trying your own home recipe to feed your dog as it won’t have the required nutritional composition. It’s always best to speak with a professional before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

What to feed your dog instead of dog food;

  • Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt: Yogurt that is low in fat and plain is a good source of protein for your dog. It also contains probiotics, which can help with digestion.
  • Cottage cheese: Like yogurt, cottage cheese is a good source of protein for your dog. It is also low in fat and easy to digest.
  • Cooked egg: Eggs are a good source of protein and contain many nutrients that are essential for a dog’s health. Just be sure to cook them first to reduce the risk of salmonella.
  • Cooked chicken: Chicken is a lean source of protein that is easy for dogs to digest. It can be fed raw or cooked, but it’s important to cook it thoroughly to kill any bacteria.
  • Cooked turkey: Turkey is another lean source of protein that is easy for dogs to digest. As with chicken, it’s important to cook it thoroughly to avoid any foodborne illness.
  • Fish: Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for a dog’s coat and skin. It can be fed raw or cooked, but be sure to remove any bones before feeding it to your dog.
  • Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats for dogs. It’s important to choose a peanut butter that does not contain xylitol, as this can be toxic to dogs.
  • Carrots: Carrots are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and beta-carotene.
  • Cooked Green beans: Green beans are another healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Cooked Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. It is also a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
  • Cooked Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini is a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. It is also a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and water.
  • Low-sodium broth: Low-sodium broth is a healthy way to hydrate your dog. It can also be used to cook dry food or as a treat.
  • Unprocessed oatmeal: Oatmeal is healthy, whole-grain food for dogs. It is a good source of fiber and nutrients, and it can help with digestion.
  • Cooked Brown rice: Brown rice is healthy, whole-grain food for dogs. It is a good source of fiber and nutrients, and it can help with digestion.
  • Canned vegetables, such as corn, peas, or carrots: Canned vegetables are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins.
  • Canned fruits, such as applesauce or pumpkin: Canned fruits are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables: Raw fruits and vegetables are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins.

What not to feed your dog;

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is another stimulant that can be toxic to dogs. It is found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms.
  • Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs. They can cause kidney damage, even in small amounts.
  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sweetener that is found in many sugar-free products, such as gum, candy, and baked goods. It is poisonous to dogs and can cause low blood sugar, seizures, and liver failure.
  • Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs. They can cause anemia and other serious health problems.
  • Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms.
  • Moldy or spoiled food: Moldy or spoiled food is poisonous to dogs. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms.
  • Candy: Candy is not good for dogs because it is high in sugar and calories. It can also contain chocolate, which is poisonous to dogs.
  • Chips: Chips are not good for dogs because they are high in fat and calories. They can also contain chocolate, which is poisonous to dogs.
  • Cooked bones: Cooked bones are dangerous for dogs because they can splinter and cause choking or other serious injuries.
  • Fat trimmings: Fat trimmings are dangerous for dogs because they can cause pancreatitis.
  • Raw meat: Raw meat is dangerous for dogs because it can contain bacteria that can make them sick.
  • Raw eggs: Raw eggs are dangerous for dogs because they can contain bacteria that can make them sick.