What to feed your dog

While there have been scares related to the ingredients and quality of commercial dog food, most experts agree that it is nutritionally balanced and promotes good canine health. Many dog owners subscribe to the “No People Food” rule and serve only commercially prepared food to their pet. There are those who feed only homemade mixes of vegetables, red meat, grain, fish, and poultry. Either way, the pet’s health needs can be met.

However, most people lead busy lives, so it’s hard to budget time to cook for the family—let alone the family pet. For those folks, it’s fine to meet somewhere in the middle with a blend of “people food” and commercial food. The key is to remember what’s okay and even beneficial and what’s detrimental.

#1 What you should NOT put in your dog’s tummy:

  • Chocolate, especially dark *Keep chocolate out of reach from your dog.
  • Alcohol *Poisonous for dogs and cats
  • Raw Eggs
  • Cinnamon
  • Artificial sweeteners, sugar
  • Garlic, onions, leeks, chives
  • Ice Cream
  • Almonds, Macadamia nuts
  • Fat & skin *can cause painful pancreatitis
  • Any of these can cause diarrhea & vomiting and worse. Call Dr. Whitworth or the Pet Poison Helpline if your pet is in distress or if you would like to know more about toxins that may harm your pet.

#2 What to Feed Your Dog That is Safe and Beneficial

  • Popcorn-unbuttered, unsalted
  • Corn, no cob
  • Cooked fish-especially salmon & sardines maximum 2X per week
  • Yogurt-plain
  • Honey
  • Peanuts, cashews, coconut
  • Rice

These foods can be served in small quantities:

  • Cheese
  • Bread-plain
  • Tuna


#3 Veggies cooked plainly and served in the right portions can be good treats:

  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots, cauliflower, cucumber
  • Edamame, green beans, peas
  • Remember, dogs are not vegetarians; low protein diets can cause severe health problems for canines.

Talk to Dr. Whitworth and staff before feeding raw meat:

Dogs are natural carnivores that can digest raw meat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean raw meat is good for them. Uncooked meat can harbor harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which cause foodborne illnesses that can make your dog very sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and animal nutrition experts do not recommend feeding a raw food diet for dogs. Instead, choose a regular, balanced dog food diet that contains all the nutrients needed to keep your pet healthy.

Before you feed your dog raw meat, check with Dr. Whitworth and the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic to discuss the pros and cons. Providing a healthy diet is the key to maintaining your pet’s health and vitality.