All Things Dog Blog
Varied Diet : Healthy For You + Your Dog


I’ve known Luciana from Sassy Treats for a good number of years. Her passion for canine nutrition is legendary! She’s also quite handy if your steel marquee is windmilling off in a windstorm by the ocean, but that’s another story. Proper canine nutrition is an area that is far too often misunderstood by people. Here’s some tips from an expert.

When I ask dog owners what their pet eats I so often hear: “Oh, I give him/ her the premium brand of dry dog food [enter premium brand name here].“

Then I ask: “What else do you feed your dog?”
[Enter blank expression here] followed by something like: “But that’s all they need!”

Then I ask: “Do you think you should buy and eat only one packet of food every day of your life just because the packet says it has all your nutritional needs”
[ Enter horrified look here] followed by “That’s ridiculous.”

Why do people think we are so different from other living creatures?

Horses, pigs, rabbits, cows etc  all need pasteurized grazing land. If we fed them exclusively on one dry food, their immune systems would be compromised and they would get sick, leading to vet care and prescription medication. Even if we fed them exclusively on one type of fresh  green, the same would happen.

Lions, Quolls, Dingoes, Wolves, Tigers etc all hunt different animals and eat them in their entirety to provide all the different protein sources, essential amino acids and nutrients to keep their immune systems kicking over.

Dogs are primarily scavengers…some will hunt down small animals like lizards, rabbits and small mammals  (especially wild dogs), but for the most part, if they come across it they eat it… berries, grasses, rotting bits, bones, faeces, dropped fruit, grubs in the grasses…

When I express how much my dog loves banana, strawberries, chewing on a corn cob, or even eating a peach or apricot I am often met with surprise. “Can dogs EAT that?” Yes, but avoid the stone fruit seeds. Is it ok to feed your dog apples?  Yes… but again avoid the seeds. Stone fruit and apples seeds contain cyanide which is toxic in LARGE amounts and REGULAR feeding. It can accumulate like theobromine (in chocolate).

So… what is a  large amount? How long is a piece of string (size/ weight/ age/health status of your dog)? If you toss your dog your apple, half finished once in a while (not every day or week) your dog should be fine. If you’re worried, chop the apple off the core and put the core in your worm farm.

Dogs can eat almost anything we consider food and their health will benefit from including a wider spectrum.

As we are so close to Easter, I feel compelled to add in that sugar/ palm oil mix cheap chocolate that comes out at Easter time. The more cocoa (home to theobromine) in the chocolate, the more toxic to the dog. Usually this means that higher quality the chocolate is actually worse for your dog.

If your dog does get hold of a bit of chocolate you’ve dropped on the floor way before the 3 second rule could ever come into play, don’t freak out! Don’t run to your vet! The chances are your pooch will be ok. JUST DONT FEED your dog chocolate because in quantity per kilogram body weight of your dog, it’s toxic.

If you’re ever concerned about any food your dog has eaten, monitor closely.

These are the questions your vet will ask:

  1. Is your dog behaving normally? (walking, playing, resting, breathing)
  2. Is your dog eating and drinking normally
  3. Has your dog had normal stools
  4. Is your dog’s nose wet?

If the only NO you have is #4: watch your pet for another 24 hours. It could be the body ridding itself the food that has upset them.

If your answer is NO for more than 2 questions, go visit the vet.

Feed your dog a varied diet and don’t blanket foods in or out without any research. 

People have been taught to think everything is all ok as long as you never change what your dog is eating, even if it’s the same highly processed kibble every day. This approach will usually lead to a vet visit (or 10) in the senior years with sickness based on systemic/ chronic trace element/ vitamin / protein/ fat disease…

All creatures need fresh food to do well and have a healthy immune system. Try researching the food before giving it to your dog instead of ruling it out. Your happy, healthy, shiny eyed dog will thank you for taking the time to look after her as you promised you would the day you brought her home.

Luciana Callaghan
Animal Nutritionist & Owner of Sassy Treats Pet Food

Sassy TreatsSassy Treats has become a Multi award winning company producing hand made, organic and natural meals and treats for dogs and cats and horses, with no preservatives, flavours or colours delivered to your door, or available at selected stores. All meals are fortified with cold pressed Omega 3 rich oils for happy, healthy, shiny eyed, energetic dogs and cats with great breath and beautiful coats.Made in Australia using Australian organic and fresh ingredients and recyclable packaging, the many varieties of meals are snap frozen and home delivered.

4 Responses to Varied Diet : Healthy For You + Your Dog

  1. Kate says:

    A word of caution: I recall a TV vet story about a labrador requiring emergency surgery because s/he had swallowed numerous corn cobs, resulting in ablockage.

  2. zoe says:

    Thanks for your input Kate! Yes, I agree. Definitely watch the inedible portions of food as they could be dangerous for your dog if swallowed.

  3. Ills says:

    dogs love raw vegies and fruit. Whatever I have they love-mandarins, oranges, bananas, peaches, apricots, apples, carrots. raw pumpkin is a treat

    • zoe says:

      How I wish my picky Pluto would enjoy some fruits and veg more! I’m a vegan and she never chooses to partake in my veggies.

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