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Fresh Foods for your Dog:
The Ultimate List 

The best dog diet is built around the ratio 5:1:1:1, which means 5 parts raw meat, 1 part raw bone, 1 part fresh organ (such as liver, kidney, or heart), and 1 part vegetable matter. This ratio provides a balanced and biologically appropriate diet for dogs. However, it's important to note that the inclusion of plant matter in a dog's diet is still a topic of debate. Some experts believe that dogs can benefit from certain plant additions, while others argue that dogs have a limited ability to digest and utilise plant matter. Ultimately, it's up to the individual dog owner to decide whether to include plant matter in their dog's diet.

Functional foods are foods that provide additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition. These foods contain bioactive compounds that can positively impact the body's functions and promote overall well-being. Functional foods often have specific nutrients, antioxidants, or other beneficial substances that can support various aspects of health, such as immune function, digestion, cardiovascular health, or cognitive function. Examples of functional foods for dogs include blueberries, turmeric, coconut oil, and green leafy vegetables. It's important to note that while functional foods can be beneficial, they should be part of a balanced diet and not used as a substitute for proper nutrition.

When feeding your dog, it is important to provide a variety of foods to balance its diet and give it the nutrients needed to thrive. Rotate the main protein sources and include a range of organ meats, as each contains a unique nutritional profile vital to your dog's health.

Meat examples (the availability of these meats will largely determine your dog’s diet)

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Duck

  • Goat

  • Horse

  • Lamb

  • Pork

  • Possum

  • Quail

  • Rabbit

  • Seafood

  • Turkey

  • Venison

  • Wallaby

  • Hare

 

Organs

(Offal are the multi-vitamins of the fresh food diet should always be included unless medically indicated i.e. Dalmatians.)

  • Liver 5% of the diet

Other Secreting organ make up another 5%, this includes the likes of:

  • Spleen,

  • Kidney,

  • Pancreas,

  • Thymus,

  • Testicles & Ovaries,

  • Brain & Eyeballs.

 

Some animal parts are actually muscle meat (not secreting organs) that we use as the offal and can be included at around 20% of the meat ratio; examples include:

  • Tripe,

  • Tongue,

  • Heart,

  • Giblets,

  • Lung,

  • Gizzards,

  • Tendons,

  • Ligaments

  • Cartilage

dog with bowl of meat and chicken.jpg
dog eating meaty bone.jpg

Functional extras:

Extras are foods that don't fit into other categories, such as kefir, probiotic yoghurt, bone broth, and eggs -- simply add them to your dog's bowl every day, or occasionally, for variety.

 

Plant matter

Remember that your dog's digestive system is not designed to process vast amounts of plant matter.  They don’t have the necessary enzymes to break through the tough cell walls of plants.  It is important to process the plant matter in such a way as to assist digestion.  We call this making the food more bioavailable.  These are some of the ways you can process the plants:

  • Ferment

  • Freeze

  • Cook (steaming will retain most of the nutritional value)

  • Finely chop, grate or blend

Vegetables

  • Asparagus

  • Beans

  • Beets/Beetroot

  • Bell Peppers

  • Bok Choy

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Carrots

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Collard Greens

  • Dandelion Greens

  • Garlic – safe in typical feed amounts

  • Kale

  • Kelp 

  • Cooked Mushrooms (any you eat yourself)

  • Peas

  • Pumpkin

  • Sauerkraut

  • Seaweed (Spirulina)

  • Spinach

  • Squash

  • Sweet Potato

  • Swiss Chard

  • Watercress

  • Zucchini

 

Fruit

  • Apples

  • Avocado (Flesh)

  • Banana

  • Berries

  • Blackberry

  • Blueberry

  • Cranberry

  • Cucumber

  • Kiwi Fruit

  • Mangoes

  • Pineapple

  • Raspberry

  • Watermelon

Seeds and Nuts (must be ground or overnight soaked)

  • (No Macadamia)

  • Almonds

  • Brazil Nuts

  • Cashews

  • Chia Seeds

  • Flaxseeds/Linseeds

  • Hemp Seeds

  • Hazelnuts

  • Pecans

  • Pine Nuts

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • Sesame Seed / Paste (Tahini)

  • Sunflower Seeds

 

Others

  • Brown Rice (Cooked) 

  • Coconut Water

  • Oats (Cooked/overnight soaked)

  • Parsley

  • Quinoa (Cooked)

  • Turmeric

  • Wheat Germ

  • Wheat Germ Oil

broccoli, apples, blackberries, oats, parsley, almonds, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, be

Bone examples 

Feeding your dog edible bones 4 to 7 times per week will meet their calcium needs. Monitor your dog's stool to avoid overfeeding bones. Signs of too many bones include constipation, crumbly stools, or stools that turn white quickly. Reduce bone quantity if you notice these issues, as calcium needs vary by dog.

  • CHICKEN, Wings, Necks, Frames, Feet, Thighs, Whole Chickens

  • BEEF Brisket, Necks, Ox Tails

  • LAMB Brisket, Neck

  • TURKEY & DUCK Neck, Frame, Feet, Wings,

  • RABBIT Whole, Frames, Heads, Limbs

  • PORK Necks, Tails

Raw meaty bones are edible bones that should be fully consumed, unlike weight-bearing leg bones from large animals which are too dense and hard to eat safely.  Refer to my article on Raw Meaty Bones for the full low-down and benefits.

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