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4 Alternatives to a Commercial Dog Food Diet

There are some dogs that simply can’t process commercial dog foods. While higher end commercial food may be recommended, sometimes a dog needs an alternative.

What if a dog, no matter the brand of food, simply continues to put on weight?

Some owners believe that the dog, being part of the pack, needs to eat the way the rest of the pack eats.

Listed below are some of the more controversial diets for dogs.

Prepared Meals

Owners who prepare their dogs meals every day comment on the reduced amount of gassiness and lethargy brought on by commercial dog foods. The trick to homemade meals is balance. Ensuring the dogs nutritional needs are met, is important to keeping the dog healthy and energized. Proteins, fruits, vegetables and starches don’t need to be served at every meal, as long as the proper amounts balance at the end of the week.

shutterstock_153482201Raw Food

This is a growing trend among dog owners who believe that canines benefit from eating raw food, just like they did before they were domesticated. Some of the benefits of a raw diet (raw meat and veggies) include shinier coat, cleaner teeth and more energy. Some draw backs include risk of illness with raw meat (lysteria, e.coli, salmonella etc.) and the diet isn’t nutritionally balanced.

Paleo Diet

Much like the raw diet, the Paleo diet (for both human and canine) is grain-free and dairy free. Like the raw diet, following the paleo lifestyle poses the risk of being nutritionally unbalanced. However, in a Paleo diet, the meat is cooked which reduces the risk of bacterial illnesses. Another plus is cost. Cooking a dog’s meal is less expensive than purchasing the grain filled commercial brands. The Paleo diet is considered anti-inflammatory, presumably referring to the inflammatory properties of grains in commercial dog foods.

Vegan Diet

Eating a vegan diet means no animal products of any kind. While a majority of the vegan community believes that the consumption of animal flesh is cruel, inhumane, and unhealthy, there is a health risk by not allowing their dogs to eat meat. Dogs are omnivores. That is how they are designed. They need the nutritional balance of a meat based diet to maintain optimum health. It is important for dogs to ingest vitamin D3 which is derived from animal protein.

Whether upgrading to the highest level, grain free commercial dog food or contemplating a vegan diet for a favorite four legged friend, careful research and planning needs to be done. Nutritional balance is most important. Be sure to talk with a veterinarian before drastically changing a dog’s diet. Suddenly switching from commercial food to gourmet cooking may throw a dog into a massive gastric tantrum.

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Written by Renee Moen
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