The best diet for dogs
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The Best Diet for Dogs

Here at THK I have focused on the health of ourselves, but what about the health of our pets? I have actually been receiving pleas for help in regards to animal health, so I think it’s time to delve into the world of pet nutrition. Yes, you heard me… pet nutrition. So here is a post about the best diet for dogs.

In my previous job I had the pleasure working with some of the top holistic veterinarians in the country, and was able to pick up quite a few things that I wanted to share with you all today. You may be wondering what exactly a holistic veterinarian is… and I will tell you – a veterinarian that uses nutrition and alternative healing methods to treat their four legged patients, instead of the typical Western standard of care.

Just for a fun tidbit before we get into the nitty gritty, one of my FAVORITE stories I heard was from a doc that worked with organic dairy farmers. She started having the cows fed flax seeds, and as a result, they significantly (almost to the point of no existence) reduced their methane gas emissions! Talk about what an impact on global warming that is!


Reducing Methane Naturally


Anyways, back to the lesson 🙂

In this day and age animals are developing similar conditions to humans such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, eczema and seizures, and it is no surprise when we look at the quality of food. It is in the animal’s DNA to hunt and eat wild game, as well as to graze on plants such as grass for specific health needs. So why do we think that it is normal to feed them synthetically created “dog food” with names such as “kibbles and bits,” which contain soy, preservatives, corn syrup, colors etc.? Do we think just because these animals are now domesticated they no longer need the same very basic fuel that they relied on since the beginning of creation?

This is a very serious question that we are now just starting to address once our favorite friends are becoming sicker and sicker and turning up with problems like eczema, allergies and hair loss. Just like us humans, we need to readdress their diet and feed them what they really need to be healthy, and that is REAL food. Therefore, the following are some guidelines for the best diet for dogs. This will help to ensure that they express their healthiest form, or to allow them to recover from their current state of illness or disease.


Changing Diet, Changing Health


The Best Diet for Dogs

From the veterinarians I have worked with, they have said that the best diet is raw. This would include fresh food made from scratch, including raw eggs, meat, vegetables and bones (if available). A typical ratio per meal is 1/2 raw meat and/or raw eggs, and 1/2 vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans). In addition, feed your animals ONLY purified water.

I goal is to feed them 100% raw food, however, if a dog has consumed cooked food (such as commercial dog food) for a long period of time, the dog may have a weakened digestive tract and it may be wise to slowly transition the dog back to raw food (rather than jumping into a 100% raw diet). This could be started with lightly steamed vegetables instead of raw.

Avoid feeding the dog red meat as hamburger (which usually contains the worst meat scraps, including ground up diseased parts); use whole, unground meat (or ground yourself); avoid all cooked meat; use organic, grass-fed only. Use raw, organic eggs – avoid cooked eggs.

Avoid all “dog food” in cans or bags unless they are live-source, raw, hypoallergenic, organic brands. Conventional dog food is typically from low-grade, highly questionable meat byproducts and food sources with added coloring and toxic preservatives, not to mention synthetic nutrients that are difficult to assimilate. Especially be wary of food that contains “ethoxyquin,” a toxic preservative which can cause liver damage. If you want to go with dog food, check out my post about the Best Natural Dog Food Brands.


Image by Lawrence Manning


Sunlight Exposure

So we know how much we love to sunbath, but have you thought about your pup? Be sure that your dog or cat receives at least 1/2 hour of sunlight daily (preferably more). This is very important to their health, and should not be overlooked. In addition, they should spend at least some time over healthy ground (grass, sand, dirt) to receive the earth’s healthy Schumann frequencies. These frequencies provide negative ions that are necessary for discharging harmful positively charged materials in the body. Yep, they are JUST like us.




Additional Nutrients for Optimal Health and Healing

Just like us, animals also need additional nutrition for optimal health. It is vital to increase their nutritive state if they are overcoming any sort of health problem or illness. Therefore, adding supplement powders and superfoods into their diet is often very important. By adding these much needed nutrients you will be able to improve the mood, coat, dental health and energy of your animal – results verified from the vets themselves 🙂 *Remember only organic, raw, high quality brands should be used.

  • Greens Mix Powder: 1 to 3 tsp/day (supplies broad-spectrum, live-source vitamins/minerals including trace minerals and every nutrient needed to sustain life). Make sure to use a high quality, raw brand.
  • Colostrum Powder: 1 to 3 tsp/day (supports a healthy immune system, high energy and vitality)
  • Flax Oil or Flax Seeds: 1 tbs/day (critical Omega 3 fatty acids needed for a healthy brain, kidneys and a shiny coat. In cows this has been shown to reduce the production of methane gas)
  • Nutritional Yeast 1 to 3 tsp/day (the ultimate vitamin B complex, glutathione supplement needed for liver detoxification and almost every function. Has shown to reduce or eliminate the presence of fleas)
  • Unheated, Raw Sea Salt: 1 tsp daily (unheated raw sea salt needed for natural HCL production. THE disinfectant that has shown to take care of parasitic infections and skin irritations)


Super Nutrition


Special Conditions

Now here are some fun nutrition tips that I picked up. These brilliant veterinarians utilized FOOD-Based Nutrition to deal with quite serious conditions with animals. In particular, I remember one who was working with horses, who witnessed literally miracles with her colts by using colostrum powder. In addition, she also typically used a product called OsteoVen by Premier Research Labs for their hooves – great success! So here is a bit of a compilation of products as a guide.

*Always consult with a holistic practitioner

Renal Failure: 

Cardio ND by Premier Research Labs: immune-specific support for the kidneys

RenaVen by Premier Research Labs: helps clear kidney waste and support kidney function

Parasitic Infection:

Unheated Sea Salt: 2 tsp in the food and water daily (increases HCL production – a natural disinfectant)

Broken Bones:

Colostrum Powder: supports the immune system

OsteoVen by Premier Research Labs: provides the key minerals and nutrients needed for the bone. In addition, contains anti-infective properties.


Colostrum Powder: 1 tbs daily mixed in Papaya juice

Using Nutrition to Heal

Heart Worm:

Cardio ND by Premier Research Labs: immune specific formula with garlic, cayenne, hawthorne, motherwort etc.

Unheated Sea Salt: 1-2 tsp daily. Increases HCL production, natural disinfectant.

Urinary Tract Infection:

Oregano Oil: broad-spectrum, anti-infective.

Head Trauma:

NeuroVen and CereVen by Premier Research Labs: nutrition specific to the neurological system.


Nutritional Yeast: Rich in B Vitamins, especially B1, which has shown to be a natural insect repellant.

Unheated Sea Salt

Skin Concerns:

Flax Oil: natural source of fatty acids

Unheated Sea Salt

Colostrum Powder: Increases the immune system, rich source of MSM, and contains immunoglobulins.



Now let’s keep the conversation going by sharing your best holistic treatments for your favorite pets! Since not all animals are the same and I am personally not an expert, there is always room for suggestions and improvements. Is there a diet that you have found to work well or a great success story that we should all hear about? Write below!

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  • Reply Kibby December 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    FABULOUS article! Thank you so much for sharing. I use the raw pulp from my juicing and add to dog’s food (carrots, greens, apple, ginger, beet) – they LOVE it and dance for it. I also make them green smoothies – which again they ADORE and coming running when the Vitamix turns ON. I add turmeric to the food daily (1/2 tsp) along with flax oil. Their coats are shiny and helps with any joint issues (I have one Siberian Husky and two husky mix dogs.) They love the chlorella tabs I had out occassionally.

    Great to know about the colostrum (I have some and will add to their food tonight) along with nutritional yeast. Check out my article “FAMILY TREATS”: to see pictures of my dogs and a recipe that I make them for their “TREATS” – it’s good enough from wholesome foods and superfoods, that I eat them too.

    Feel free to post anything like this again as you are inspired to do so. This is a fountain of “much appreciated” information. Thank you!!! 🙂

    • lauren
      Reply lauren December 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Ahhh!! What amazing tips Kibby!! I love that they drink green smoothies how very HOLY KALE of you 🙂 Going to go check out your pups now…

  • Reply Claudia December 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Great article! I have some questions, along with raw meat and eggs, can they also eat fish and chicken? What about a healthy grain like quinoa, can they eat that, that would have to be cooked right?

    • lauren
      Reply lauren December 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      HI Claudia, I have not heard about raw chicken as it has a higher incidence of a presence of bacteria. As for fish, dogs did not typically eat fish, so I would stick with raw lamb, beef, and buffalo. As for grain, it can be an inflammatory food, and dogs were not designed to eat cooked grain, so I would gravitate away from that as well.

      • Reply Jessica August 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        Since quinoa is technically not a grain but a seed and gluten-free, does that alter the response?

        • lauren
          Reply lauren August 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm

          Hi Jessica, I actually do not have first hand experience with using quinoa, but often do not find it necessary to include.

  • Reply » Thoughtful Thursday Kibby's Blended Life January 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

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  • Reply heather August 30, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Hi, I just found this article on your site, hadn’t noticed it before! Cats should not eat any grains and next to zero vegetables. I would say it is more vital for cats do eat raw meat than dogs. I recently tried feeding my cats raw at least once a day with the best dried food I could find as back up. I recently had surgery so haven’t been out to buy groceries in ages, and my vegan husband refuses to buy meat, so will get back into it during the winter when there is less for them to hunt. They were not used to eating the raw meat I gave them, so would it would sometimes go to waste. I felt bad for not giving them raw food all these years. I’d read about it, then forget about it. For the cats I was buying mostly chicken organ meats which are very cheap, some raw chicken and occasionally fish. I rarely eat meat at home, and am squeamish about it so haven’t gotten beyond chicken. HOWEVER, my cats hunt and eat their catches, probably more than I care to know. Ideally, they love to eat a small bird or rodent and gobble it down within minutes. My observation is that the cats have trouble eating the small bits of cut up raw meat which is strange because they put the tiny kibbles in their mouth. Also, cats wouldn’t catch a cow, pig, sheep on it’s own, so it might not be a good idea to feed that them raw. Some people only feed their cats meat that they would be able to hunt on their own like rabbit, quail, and other small birds. A cat only needs to eat the amount of a medium mouse per day. I wish I could tell the cats to not catch birds, but I make them eat whatever they bring to me. Yes, cats will bring food for their beloved humans because they think we cannot hunt and need help. We had a visitor that got a hummingbird laid at their feet! I am lucky that I live on 5 acres and nobody on the property uses mouse poison.
    Another thing is outdoorsy time and exercise. There is a big fuss about cats destroying bird populations and that they should be kept indoors. From experience cats that live indoors are usually miserable, get terrible illnesses and die too young. Yes cats are naughty, but to assume that cats make that much of a dent in bird populations is absurd. Birds are at risk from habitat loss and pollution. Given that most ecosystems are broken, cats are filling in a niche of animals that would normally keep bird populations in check. Like with anything, predator takes out the weaker animals, makes the rest stronger and more aware of their surroundings. You can limit how long the cats go outside, keep them more in during nesting and brooding season. Train the cats to stick close to home, and always come when called. One of my cats will not come in if he does not want to, while the other comes within minutes of being called. As long as you know your area is safe, cats love to go outside and have their own lives. There is risk, but seeing cats die of renal failure and diabetes because they never got enough exercise or room to run and play is worse. Even a specially build cat run gives them some outdoor space. I know someone with 2 very old cats, one has cancer. But they look incredibly healthy because they have always been indoor/outdoor cats. They are fit, check out their territories, run and play. My cats are ten. One of them is incredibly fit and like a wild creature. The vet always always gives him an extra long exam just to feel the muscles and goes on about how remarkable this the cat is. Just like humans can run iron mans and be fit at any age, so can animals.
    Excellent point about sunlight, every morning my cats will sit in sunbeams for awhile before getting busy, eating or wanting to go outside. They will even move with the sunbeam.
    I have little experience with dogs but my heart breaks for them. I always see dogs in the back of trucks being hauled all over, but it does not look like they get many walks. Or dogs who are kept mostly indoors, spend their days in crates having been ‘crate trained’. Goodness, that is cruel.. Living in the country I often see dogs on private walks. I wonder how often they do this without their humans knowing? I worry about them getting hit by cars, but these dogs always seem to look before they cross the road. A bigger concern would be getting into a fight with another dog or wild animal. And dogs will go after livestock which could be serious. For me, if you have a dog, you must take it for walks, make sure it gets exercise, loads of exercise.

  • Reply Lynn September 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    My 14 year old dog was dx with lymphoma cancer in Jan 2013,vet talked radiation and chemo which might extend his life by 6-8 months,but I could not stomach the idea of putting him through that. Desperate and at my wits end I found Dr. Eisens Dog Cancer Holistic Answer book and started making his food, eliminated pesticides, vaccines and added two supplements. Today, 9/11/2013 there is zero sign of cancer. Making his own food with: no grains , no sugars, no pork, and a few other recommendations has changed my dogs life. He is off all his meds too. No more seizures, coughing allergies or heart murmurs. He acts like a puppy again, increased mood, playfulness and his movement is crazy, caught him in the living room jumping from one chair to another.

    My daughters Dotson suffers from terrible back problems to the point that they may have to put her down, so I started making her food too. Even her vet can not believe the change in her condition, she is pain free and moving around like nothing was ever wrong. Like my dog her condition changed in only a month or so of being off commercial dog food.

    In the last 15 years dog cancer has gone from being the 13th cause of death in dogs to the number 1 cause of death. Take it from someone who has been there, nutrition and your pet is extremely important. Commercial dog food, pesticides and poisons are unhealthy and will negatively impact your dogs life. This article is excellent.

    • lauren
      Reply lauren September 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Fabulous testimony Lynn!!! I Love hearing about the positive changes that can be made with simple things such as diet. It is so much more powerful than we think!

  • Reply Kini May 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    My Lhasa Apso’s (7 & 14.5yrs) have been on Wellness’ Grain Free dry & can food and steamed vegetables (as well as supplements) for a few months (from Pedigree). I saw a difference in their health and skin. Then came across your article…I started giving them colostrum powder daily, all medium to small (nickel/dime sized) lypomas began to shrink after 2wks. After a month I cannot locate any of them. The larger silver dollar sized ones on my older dog are now the size of a quarter. This stuff is amazing. The energy level in my older one has also increased and my younger one allergies have gotten better already. I’m now on a week of replacing the dry food with a raw organic egg and adding the raw salt daily. Thank you!

    Daily given:
    Wholistic Pet Organics Canine Complete
    Wholistic Pet Organics Colostrum Powder for Canines
    Dr. Mercola’s Spirugreen
    Raw egg, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, apples, coconut oil, raw pink salt, apple cider vinegar

    Treats: home baked/dehydrated sweet potatoes

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