Introducing whole foods into your dog’s diet is super beneficial for his or her overall health and lifespan. A great way to get started is by slowly introducing puppy friendly whole foods into your dog’s diet. When creating a meal, you want to include the following nutrients:
Protein should make up the highest portion of your dog’s diet. Beef, chicken, turkey and lamb are great sources. If you are going to include fish, be sure it is from a source that is mercury free (i.e. smaller fish like salmon, sardines and shrimp).
Essential Fatty Acids are key to maintaining your dog’s health. You want to make sure your dog gets the right ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Cooking with olive oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil is safe for your dog. You may want to consider supplementing with a high-quality fish oil as Omega-3 fats are harder to get into your dog’s diet through whole foods alone.
Carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits and grains are a great source of energy for your dog and the fiber content aids in digestion. An excess amount of carbohydrates, however, can lead to obesity, a shortened lifespan and disease. Just like with us Mommas, fat does not make your dog fat, it is the excess carbohydrates in the forms of sugar, grains and flour. Therefore, you do not want to overdo this nutrient in your pup’s diet.
If you are going to switch to a more whole foods based diet, you MUST consult with your veterinary professional to ensure that your dog is getting the right combination of nutrients, vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. Supplements will need to be included.
Further, while switching to a whole foods diet can be costly and time consuming, toppers are a great way to easily include some whole food goodness into your pup’s diet. Just top your dog’s kibble with some cooked meat and vegetables.
|Dog’s weight in pounds
||Amount per serving for cooked recipes
||1/4 cup – 1/3 cup
||1/3 cup – 1/2 cup
||1/2 cup – 3/4 cup
||3/4 cup – 1 cup
||1 cup – 1 1/2 cups
||1 1/2 cups – 2 cups
||2 cups – 2 1/2 cups
||2 1/4 cups – 2 1/2 cups
||2 1/2 cups – 2 3/4 cups
||2 3/4 cups – 3 1/4 cups
Here are a dog puppy friendly recipes to get you started:
Potato Fries Recipe for Dogs
Do you ladies give your pups sweet potatoes? Sweet Potatoes are full of antioxidants to help ward of cancer and the effects of aging. They also contain vitamins A, C, B6 and fiber.
In a medium-size bowl toss together the sweet potatoes, grapeseed oil and cinnamon.
Place on a wire rack set over a sheet tray, and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the sweet potatoes are dry and crispy. Allow to cool before serving.
Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
While grapes may be poisonous to your pup, grapeseed oil is safe and packed with antioxidants. It is also relatively flavorless with a high smoke point. You can also substitute coconut oil if you prefer.
A pinch of cinnamon is super anti-inflammatory in moderation but be cautious. If your pup has a super sensitive mouth it could irritate it.
Family-Friendly Chicken Kabobs
Kabobs are a healthy, delicious meal that can be shared with the entire family. Chicken in particular is a highly digestible protein for your pup, which is rich in niacin (promoting a healthy cholesterol and heart) and selenium. It is paired with bell peppers to provide your dog with some immune strengthening vitamin C and zucchini which is super low in calories.
Cook the brown rice according to package directions.
Soak the bamboo sticks for at least an hour in warm water (to prevent burning on the grill).
Assemble the kabobs starting with zucchini, pepper and chicken. Aim to get four pieces of chicken on each kabob and end with a bell pepper followed by a zucchini.
Marinate in the grapeseed oil and oregano for at least 30 minutes.
Grill each kabob by making quarter turns to get all for sides. It generally takes about 4-5 minutes per side.
Serve two kabobs per family member with 1/2 cup brown rice.
Quinoa and Broccoli Meatloaf Recipe for Dogs
Meatloaves are a must in our household. They are super easy to cook and can be made in bulk to freeze for a quick dinner. Just remember to stick it in the fridge to thaw before you head off to work! Here, ground beef is combined with quinoa, a grain that is high in protein and helps prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Broccoli is included because cruciferous vegetables are full of antioxidants and protect against disease.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Coat a 9 by 5 loaf pan with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Boil a small pot of water and cook the broccoli in it for 3 minutes. Note you may also steam in the microwave.
Transfer the broccoli to a food processor or blender and puree.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Combine with the ground beef, broccoli puree, coconut oil and quinoa. Shape into a loaf in the pan.
Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes, until the top is brown.
Cool for at least 20 minutes and serve to your hungry pup.
Note that as broccoli can be difficult for some dogs to digest, it is purred into the loaf. Coconut oil is then added as a healthy fat to improve your dog’s skin and coat, digestion and immunity.
Puppy Pizza Bites
Gatsby has been obsessed with pizza since he counter-surfed his first piece of pepperoni. As this is not the healthiest fare for him, I love to bake him these puppy friendly pizza bites for an occasional treat. They look and smell so much like the real thing that you might even be tempted to take a bite!
In a large bowl, mix the yeast, warm broth and honey. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Add the flours and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 5-6 minutes. Note steps 1 and 2 can be done in a mix-master.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl (I like to use coconut oil) and allow to proof in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 20 bite-size balls. Form the balls into bagel shapes and place on a parchment lined-sheet. You may need to use two sheets as you want the balls to be placed at least an inch apart.
Cover the bagels with a kitchen towel and allow to proof an additional 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Top the bagels with tomatoes and cheese.
Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.
Serve one as an occasional treat for your dog. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
We encourage you to cook a home-cooked meal for your doggy. Share a photo of it with the other doggy mommas in our private Facebook group. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for the recipe! 😉