The Do’s and Don’ts of Clean Eating For Dogs

A nutritious diet is the foundation of your dog’s good health.

With the clean eating campaign taking up in full swing, most pet food brands are also focusing on dog wellness.

There are various perspectives on the concept; some pet-parents favor it while others believe it to be a fad and prefer not to jump on the bandwagon.

Whether we agree with it or not, we just can’t deny the benefits of natural ingredients for dogs.

Clean eating is thus beneficial as the concept revolves around utilizing the goodness of nature’s nutrient powerhouses to improve canine health.

This guide aims at clearing up the confusions of dog-parents and helping them plan a diet packed with nutrition for their furry companions.

Foods to Incorporate into Your Dog’s Meals

Various human foods are favorable for our dog’s health; from fruits and veggies to meat and whole grains.

What you need to ensure is that you feed each food in moderation.

While adding any new ingredient to your pooch’s meal, make sure you add only a small quantity at first and administer the reaction it has on your pup.

Common Misconceptions:

Clean eating has led to the belief that carbs are harmful to dogs and should be omitted.

Well, that is not the case entirely. Dogs can survive on a carbohydrate-free diet as indicated by the research conducted by the “National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.”

But consuming them doesn’t necessarily cause harm.

In fact, whole grains such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, and oatmeal contain fiber and good carbs; both of which are essential for your dog’s nourishment.

You can add whole grains to your dog’s meals but ensure that the quantity is controlled.

Some pet-parents assume that dogs should not be fed fats at all, that isn’t correct.

Dogs need fatty acids such as Omega 3, Omega 6. They help increase brain activity, reduce inflammation and aid in regulating metabolism.

You need to add sources of good fat such as Fish oil, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Salmon, etc.

A Balanced Diet for Dogs- What Should I feed my dog?

A diet that contains all essential nutrients is crucial for good health.

While cooking your dog’s meal ensure that Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water are all added.

Organic chicken, Grass-fed beef, turkey are all excellent sources of protein. Fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, watermelons, and blueberries contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Pumpkin, spinach, asparagus, baby carrots, zucchini, celery, green beans are vegetables that are packed with fiber and are considered superfoods.

Thing to keep in mind while purchasing commercial dog food

Although homemade food is the best option for providing your pup with a balanced diet, you can buy dog food from the store if you are unable to cook yourself.

While purchasing food look for brands that have the least amount of ingredients mentioned in the packet.

Don’t go for foods that contain ingredients you’ve never even heard of; chances are they might contain fillers and other chemical substances.

If you can purchase the grain-free dog food variety, that would be best.

Human foods that are bad for dogs

Certain foods are poisonous for our furry companions; chocolates, grapes, macadamia nuts, avocado nuts, garlic, onions, pits, seeds and stem of various fruits to name a few.

There are others that aren’t toxic but unhealthy.

Popcorns, cheese, sausages and peanut butter are examples of such foods that some parents often give their dogs as treats.

All these foods are high in calories, and some (popcorns and peanut butter) may also contain sodium.

These items offered as treats are unhealthy and may lead to obesity in the long run.

Watch the calories

Research suggests that about 53% dogs in the US suffer from obesity.

The primary reason behind this vast percentage is that most dog-parents either give their dogs food packed with calories or over-feed them.

It is crucial to measure your pup’s caloric intake and ensure that it is balanced by the amount of energy he burns.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

  • Apart from overfeeding some pet-parents overdo it with the treats, make sure you provide them in small portions.
  • Don’t give your canine the scrap food from your table; it may contain ingredients that are dangerous and will create poor behaviors in your pup.
  • Don’t feed your pooch all day long, fix meal times and portions. Focus on making mealtimes healthier and enjoyable.

Being a dog-parent myself I do understand how concerned we always are for our fur baby’s well-being, what’s important is to be well-informed.

Know what you are feeding your pooch, what might harm his health and above all, we all need to learn to say no to those innocent eyes when they make unhealthy demands.


National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats,” 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC

Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup (

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