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February 2024

What Do Dogs Eat? What Should I Feed My Dog?

Health & Nutrition

A nutritional, balanced diet is key to maintaining your dog's health. There are different ways to ensure your dog is getting everything they need. We're focusing here on super premium dog food, raw food, homemade dog food and supermarket dog food.

Whether it’s wet, dry, raw or homemade food, our pets require a mix of:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Vitamins & minerals
  • Water

There are many different varieties of food available that cater to your pet’s needs depending on their breed, age and health. Consider the different types when deciding what you should feed your dog.

What Should I Feed My Dog?

You may have heard some terms flying around when people talk about their pet’s diet and here, we will break them down and the show the benefits of different diets.

What Is Super Premium Dog Food?

Super premium dog food is created using high-quality ingredients. It's completely balanced for your pet, providing all the essential nutrients they require without hidden fillers. Due to the research and care that goes into creating this food, there are many different varieties to suit different health needs and life stages of all pets. Here's a breakdown of the different types of super premium dog food.

Breed Specific Dog Food

Developed based on the specific attributes of your dog’s breed, breed-specific dog food takes into consideration what your dog was initially bred for and any health issues they may be prone to. This food provides balanced nutrition depending on what your dog needs to be their best. Find some examples here.

Natural Dog Food and Holistic Dog Food

Natural and balanced, these foods are jam packed with fruit, vegetables and meat as well as nutrients essential to your pet’s health.

Natural or Holistic pet food consists of only natural ingredients without chemical alterations. It generally has no added colours, flavours or preservatives, just the best ingredients nature has to offer.

Puppy Food

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Super premium puppy food gives your best friend all the essential nutrients required during this precious stage of your dog’s life, helping them grow and develop into happy adults. Puppy food is also available in natural, holistic, grain free and breed specific diets so you can be sure your dog is starting off on the right paw. Find some examples here

Mature Dog Food

Depending on the breed, your dog is considered ‘mature’ from about seven years old or for large-breed dogs as early as five years old. Mature food varieties are designed for older dogs who have started to take life a bit easier and, as a result, had a change in their nutritional and calorific needs. Senior or Mature foods contain ingredients that address your pet’s health needs as they get older, such as glucosamine to support their joints, as well as other vitamins and minerals that help them age gracefully. Find some examples here.

Prescription Dog Food

Like humans, our dogs may have special needs that can be addressed within their diet. This is called 'prescription dog food' or 'prescription vet diets'. Special needs varieties can assist your pet with factors such as:

  • Growth
  • Health maintenance
  • Weight loss
  • Allergies
  • Dental/oral care
  • High activity and joint care

Find some examples here.

Raw Food

Many pet owners have turned to feeding their pets a raw diet and the good news is, there are products that help you do this safely, ensuring your dog is still getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients. BARF, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, is a diet based on fresh, raw animal meat, bones, fruit and vegetables along with other tasty nutrients like live probiotics, cold pressed ground flaxseed and kelp powder.

BARF food comes in patty form and is either sold fresh or frozen in the fridge at your local PETstock store and is a great alternative to feeding a premium pellet. Find some examples here.

Hot Tip

Bones should be raw and twice as big as your dog’s head. Remember, you want your dog to chew on the bone not chew it up, so remove it after a few hours. This will also avoid attracting flies.

Homemade Dog Food

Cooking for your dog as their sole source of food is not encouraged unless under the direct supervision of your vet. It is recommended to feed your dog balanced pet food as manufacturers put a lot of research into developing it to ensure it delivers all the vital nutrients for your dog.

In saying this, there are food supplements that can assist you to create a homemade diet. When added with fresh, raw meat, these supplements help provide your dog with a nutritionally balanced diet. They can also have a significant impact on pets who suffer from ailments that can be assisted with a specific diet, such as itchy skin and arthritis.

If you are looking to feed your dog a homemade diet, make sure you do your research – it is important to know what you can and cannot feed your dog as well as the core nutrients they rely on.

It's also a good idea to speak to your vet before you make the transition to a homemade diet and seek their advice on the diet you are planning to feed your dog. As a minimum, remember:

  • Your dog's diet must be balanced between meat-based protein, vegetables, grains and good fats.
  • Only use good-quality foods and avoid fatty cuts of meat.
Hot Tip

Scraps and leftovers should only ever be given sparingly as treats.

Supermarket Dog Food

Supermarket dog food is usually found in the pet food aisle at the local supermarket, and many are also available at your local PETstock. The cost per bag (or can) of a supermarket-stocked dog food brand is less than its super premium counterpart as it's generally classified as budget food.

When feeding a supermarket food variety, owners are usually required to feed a greater volume to their dog as the nutritional quality is lower. This generally equates to more waste (and more cleaning up of dog poo) along with a higher frequency of purchase.

Supermarket pet food is a good alternative if your budget will not stretch to super premium food and PETstock has a good range of supermarket brands. These are also available in large bags, so you are able to stock up and save. Find some examples here.

We recommend chatting to the friendly team at your local PETstock store as they will be more than happy to run through all the options available and provide the nutritional content and recommended feeding guides to help you choose the best food your buddy and your price range.

What Shouldn't I Feed My Dog?

Harmful and Toxic Food for Dogs

There are certain foods that can be fatal to dogs and should be avoided completely.
These include:

  • Cooked bones (they're a choking hazard)
  • Onions
  • Grapes and sultanas
  • Avocado
  • Lily plants
  • Coffee/tea
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • High fat or calorific human food, including barbecued or cured meats.

Also avoid feeding fatty marrow bones and only feed raw eggs in moderation.

FAQs for Dog Food and Nutrition

What dog food option is best for my dog?

It depends on your dog and your budget. We recommend chatting to the friendly team at your local PETstock store as they will be more than happy to run you through all the options available and provide the nutritional content and recommended feeding guides to help you choose the best food your dog and your budget.

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What's the difference between dry dog food and wet dog food?

As long as you’re feeding your dog a premium diet, the nutritional value of dry and wet food is quite similar. However, pets who eat a wet-food-only diet may experience dental disease, as wet food tends to cause plaque and tartar build up. The manual action of chewing dry kibble can help reduce this. A good solution is to feed your pet a dry food diet with wet food mixed in; your pet will love the combination of textures and it’ll help keep their gums and teeth healthy!

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