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Canine Nutrition Basics

It is important to understand canine nutrition basics if you want to improve your dog's health. Dog food nutrition needs to provide the fundamental necessary elements for sustaining a healthy dog. It all boils down to food. A dog must have nutrients to survive. But we want him to do more than survive. We want him to thrive!

The Cow
The Hamburger
The Chicken
The Chicken Kibble

What is Food Exactly?

Have you ever really thought about that? Take a look at the pictures above. When you think about food, what do you think about? Do you imagine that delicious burger on your plate ready to eat, or do you think about a cow? Which one is really the food?

Well, the cow is the real thing of course, and the hamburger is the cow processed in such a way that you can eat it. But if you process the cow into something else, you no longer have the whole cow. You are left with some of the original benefit, but have lost most of it through processing of the meat, not to mention the bun and other condiments.

Well, the same goes for your dog. The chicken is the actual food. The chicken kibble is the processed end result of combining chicken with other ingredients. Some of those ingredients are OK and some of them aren't.

The bottom line though, is not whether the ingredients are good or not good. It's the fact that the ingredients have been cooked at high temperatures. Next all the moisture is extracted and what's left, is put in a bag so you can buy it off the store shelf, at some later date. Is that real food? No!

How Does the Dictionary Define Food?

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.

These Are the Necessary
Components of Dog Food Nutrition


Protein and Carbohydrates



Vitamins and Minerals







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. Do this by feeding dogs a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods. Feeding a wide variety of whole foods will also help to make up for possible nutrient deficiencies caused by feeding...

Understanding that dogs are carnivores by species nature, is critical to understanding nutrition requirements, as it applies to dogs. 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.

Other Sources of Nutrient Dense
Dog Food Nutrition

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Vegetables and Fruits
  • Herbs

Dogs should meet their energy ( glucose ) requirements from breaking down the proteins and fats from meat.

However, 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, phytochemicals, a wee bit of protein and fiber. The key is to use very small amounts of these. 

Most commercial dog foods, some raw food blends and well intentioned people, add way too much carbohydrates to their dog's diet. This will cause insulin levels to rise too high and too fast, potentially resulting in more health problems over time.

Other plants and common herbs that everyone knows, can be a source of natural medicine and health supportive nutrition for your dog too. Parsley, dandelion and mint are common herbs that can be added in small amounts to increase the nutritive value 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 vegetative matter is in the form of green tripe. The predigested stomach contents of a prey animal.

Understanding dog food nutrition facts naturally, the way of all carnivores, is not hard once you get the basics down. 

Natural Dog Food Options

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