What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food

What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food

What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food

What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s fast-paced world, we often wonder if our canine companions are getting the nutrition they need. While dog food is a convenient option, there are numerous alternatives to consider. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the diverse options available to answer the question, “What can you feed a dog besides dog food?”


Our beloved dogs deserve the best nutrition to thrive. While commercial dog food is a popular choice, diversifying their diet can be beneficial. We’ll delve into 25+ alternatives that can supplement or replace traditional dog food, ensuring your furry friend enjoys a healthy and balanced diet.

What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food?

When considering alternative foods for your canine companion, it’s important to remember that dogs have specific dietary needs. While balanced commercial dog food is designed to meet these needs, there are safe and nutritious options that can supplement or replace traditional dog food. Here are more details on what you can feed your dog besides dog food:

1. High-Quality Homemade Meals

Creating homemade dog meals is a labor of love that allows you to provide your furry friend with a tailored diet. You can use a variety of ingredients, including lean meats like chicken, turkey, or beef. Add vegetables such as carrots, peas, or green beans, and incorporate grains like rice or quinoa. Homemade meals can be an excellent way to ensure your dog gets the best nutrition.

2. Raw Food Diet (BARF)

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet consists of raw meat, bones, and vegetables. This diet aims to mimic a dog’s ancestral diet, promoting overall health. However, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist before transitioning your dog to a raw diet to ensure it’s properly balanced and safe.

3. Commercial Raw Dog Food

For the convenience of a raw diet without the preparation, consider commercial raw dog food. These products are formulated to provide the benefits of a raw diet while ensuring your dog receives all the necessary nutrients. Opt for reputable brands that prioritize quality ingredients.

4. Canned Sardines

Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse for dogs. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve joint health and contribute to a shiny coat. When offering sardines, choose boneless varieties packed in water to avoid unnecessary additives.

5. Cooked Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids. You can prepare scrambled or boiled eggs as an occasional treat or mix them into your dog’s regular meals to boost their protein intake.

6. Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese is a dairy option that many dogs find palatable. It’s packed with protein and calcium, making it a valuable addition to your dog’s diet. Additionally, it’s gentle on their digestive system.

7. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a favorite treat for dogs, providing a good source of protein and healthy fats. Ensure you choose unsalted peanut butter without artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.

8. Yogurt

Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a probiotic powerhouse that supports digestive health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Many dogs enjoy a spoonful of yogurt as a treat.

9. Fruits

Several fruits are safe for dogs and offer essential vitamins and antioxidants. Apples (without seeds), blueberries, and watermelon chunks are excellent choices. Remember to offer fruits in moderation due to their natural sugar content.

10. Vegetables

Dogs can benefit from certain vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. These options are low in calories and rich in fiber, making them suitable for dogs watching their weight.

11. Rice

Boiled rice is a gentle, easily digestible carbohydrate that can be served plain or mixed with cooked meats for a balanced meal.

12. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a nutritious and filling option for dogs. Cook it plain without added sugar or flavorings to ensure it remains healthy.

13. Pumpkin

Canned, unsweetened pumpkin puree is a valuable addition to your dog’s diet, providing fiber that aids digestion. It can be particularly helpful for dogs with digestive issues.

14. Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is nutrient-rich and can enhance the taste of your dog’s food. It’s especially beneficial for picky eaters.

15. Organ Meats

Liver and kidney meats are nutrient-dense, offering essential nutrients like iron and vitamin A. However, these should be cooked and served in moderation due to their high vitamin content.

16. Freeze-Dried Treats

Freeze-dried treats are convenient, nutrient-packed snacks ideal for training or as occasional rewards. They come in various flavors to keep your dog engaged.

17. High-Quality Kibble

If you prefer commercial dog food, opt for high-quality kibble with real meat as the primary ingredient. Look for brands that prioritize your dog’s health and well-being.

18. Specially Formulated Diets

Dogs with unique dietary needs, such as allergies or sensitivities, may require specially formulated diets recommended by a veterinarian to address specific health concerns.

19. Insects

Surprisingly, certain insects like crickets and mealworms are safe and nutritious for dogs. These protein-packed snacks can be an environmentally friendly addition to your dog’s diet.

20. Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and provides essential nutrients like calcium. It can be an occasional treat for your dog.

21. Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil supplements, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can improve your dog’s coat health and support joint function. Consult with your veterinarian for the correct dosage.

22. Baby Food

Plain, unseasoned baby food without harmful ingredients can serve as a quick and easy meal option for your dog. It’s especially helpful for dogs with dental issues or those recovering from illness.

23. Fresh Water

Never underestimate the importance of providing your dog with fresh, clean water at all times. Hydration is key to their overall health and well-being.

By exploring these alternative food options, you can add variety and nutrition to your dog’s diet. Remember to consult your veterinarian before making significant changes to your dog’s nutrition to ensure their specific needs are met.

What Can You Feed A Dog Besides Dog Food A Comprehensive Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat fruits and vegetables every day?

Yes, many fruits and vegetables can be part of your dog’s daily diet. Just ensure they are safe and served in moderation.

Is a raw diet safe for all dogs?

A raw diet can be safe for most dogs, but it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to ensure it meets your dog’s specific nutritional needs.

How can I transition my dog to a new diet?

Gradually introduce new foods to your dog’s diet to avoid digestive upset. Mix the new food with their current diet and increase the proportion over time.

Are there any foods dogs should never eat?

Yes, some human foods like chocolate, grapes, and onions are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

Can I give my dog supplements?

Supplements should be administered under the guidance of a veterinarian to address specific health concerns or deficiencies.

Should I consult a vet before changing my dog’s diet?

Yes, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian before making significant dietary changes to ensure they are appropriate for your dog’s health.


Now that you know the answer to “What can you feed a dog besides dog food?” you can provide your furry friend with a variety of nutritious options. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before making any major dietary changes, and always prioritize your dog’s health and happiness.