Canine Nutrition Basics
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Canine nutrition basics provide the fundamental necessary elements of health and life for your dog. It all boils down to food. Your dog must have nutrients to survive and thrive! Have you ever really seriously thought about this?

How does the dictionary define food exactly? Here it is.

Food is an edible or potable ( drinkable ) substance, usually of animal or plant origin which consists of nourishing and nutritive components such as protein, fat, carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals, which when ingested and assimilated through the digestive process are able to sustain life, generate energy, promote growth and maintain the health of the body.

The cow
The beef kibble
The chicken
The chicken kibble

What is Dog Food Exactly?

Take a look at the pictures above. When you think about food for your dog, what do you think about? Your eyes see the cow and the chicken in the pictures on the left. Do you see any beef or chicken in the pictures on the right? Which one is really the food?

The cow and the chicken are the real food of course. The beef and chicken kibble are the cow and chicken processed in such a way that it can be eaten by your dog. The processing has changed the cow and chicken into something else entirely. It's no longer real food. Right?

You are left with the processed end result of cooking the cow and chicken at very high temperatures which destroys the total nutrient value, while combining it with other questionable ingredients.

Some vitamins and minerals are added back in. Then all the moisture is taken out so it can be put in a bag, so you can buy it off a store shelf at some later date. It doesn't matter if the original ingredients were good or not. What was once actual food has been wrecked and changed by processing into something that doesn't even remotely resemble the cow or chicken.

Is that real food? Absolutely not! The truth is that your dog doesn't need the cow or chicken changed into anything that looks like, or is processed like, kibble is.


  • Protein and Carbohydrates
  • Fats


  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Enzymes


  • Water
  • Fiber
  • Phytonutrients


The Necessary Components
Nutrition for Dogs

Why is Canine Nutrition Important?

The only way you can create, maintain and sustain optimal health for your dog is to be sure your dog is getting enough of these important canine nutrition elements. Feeding dogs a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods ensures that nutritional requirements are met and will also help to make up for possible nutrient deficiencies caused by...

Understanding that dogs are carnivores, is critical to understanding nutrition requirements. Carnivores need to feed on meat. Dog nutrition must come mainly from...

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Organ meats

The Canine Ancestral Diet is true canidae food. Mother Nature's way of feeding dogs is alive and well today. The history of canine nutrition can teach us how to feed dogs in the present day. This has always been true and will remain true forever.

Other Sources of Nutrient Dense
Nutrition for Dogs

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Vegetables and fruits in very small amounts
  • Herbs

For optimal health dogs should meet their energy ( glucose ) requirements from breaking down the proteins and fats from meat. Small amounts of carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables and selected herbs, can provide an extra source of vitamins and minerals, important antioxidants, phyto chemicals, a wee bit of protein and fiber.

Most commercial dog foods and even some raw dog food blends contain way too much carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables. This means the dog is burning carbs ( glucose ) for energy rather than proteins and fats. This causes insulin levels to rise too high and too fast, potentially resulting in more health problems over time. Check this page about ketogenic diets for dogs as it regards health and disease recovery.

Other plants and common herbs that everyone knows, can be a source of natural medicine and health supportive canine nutrition for your dog. Parsley, dandelion and mint are common herbs that can be added in small amounts to increase the nutritive value and healing potential of dog food.

When serving vegetables, fruits and herbs to dogs in the raw state, please puree first to breakdown the cellulose. Gently cooking vegetables will soften them and increase digestibility, but will destroy some nutrients and enzymes. So it's a bit of a trade off.

  • raw ---> more nutrients, less digestibility
  • cooked ---> better digestibility, less nutrients

The best way to give your dog the benefits of vegetable and plant matter is in the form of green tripe. This is the predigested stomach contents of a herbivore prey animal such as lamb, sheep, cows, bison, deer and others. Check your local pet store for frozen green tripe.

Understand dog food nutrition facts as it applies to the way of all carnivores, is not hard once you get the basics down. Look at what you're feeding your dog now and see if it fits the definition of food. Ask yourself if your dog's food contains enough nourishing and nutritive components which when ingested and assimilated through the digestive process are able to...

  • sustain life
  • generate energy
  • promote growth and
  • maintain the health of the body

Well? What's your answer?

Other Natural Dog Food Options

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