Helping Our Dogs Eat with Gusto!

We all enjoy watching our dogs eat with gusto!

And it’s true — our bodies, our clarity of mind, our ability to be strong, energetic and healthy, has much to do with what we eat! Fresh food, a variety of foods and what we really ‘enjoy’ eating is essential!

When feeding our healthy dogs, we must know, our dogs are for the most part a hungry species! So let’s see if we can bring a balance to the dogs with the ravenous appetite, that ones that can ‘eat you out of house and home’ — versus those dogs who simply want nothing to do with food and “will eat only if I hand feed” him/her.

From the moment we take our dog friends into our lives, we are concerned and conscientious about their whole body care and wellness. They melt into our hearts and lives, we begin to know them all so well — better than we know ourselves!

So ask yourself these questions: What does my sweetest dog like to eat? What does my dog ask for, what foods are favored? (NO, not potato chips!) Why is my dog hesitating to eat? Is the food fresh? How does this food appeal to their sense of smell? Is my dog happy and satisfied after eating? Are they asking and wanting more to eat soon after breakfast? We know the answers to these questions, we just need to STOP and answer them. Their diet then becomes much easier.

Like us, our dog friends need to eat a minimum of twice a day. A good wholesome breakfast and the same for dinner. Our tiny babies (tiny/small dogs) more often than not require small frequent meals, 2-4 times a day to keep both their sugar levels and pancreas stable. A snack before bed seems in order. Wouldn’t you agree?

Wholesome foods (fresh and when possible organic) to give your dog-friend: proteins, carbohydrates (non-gmo grains), most fruits (NO grapes, raisins, currants, avocado, cherries, peaches, plums, persimmons, green stems/leaves of tomato), vegetables (NO onion, garlic, mushrooms, rhubarb leaves, raw potatoes or potato plants) and fats (organic oils: Arctic/Norwegian or Alaskan fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and others).


Raw diets are a complete mixture of both skeletal muscle and organ meats, and along with bone, vegetables and fruits are the typical components of most frozen prepared raw diets for dogs. They are formulated to be a complete diet, providing all daily requirements. A variety of proteins and organs should be offered because the body can actually become allergic to certain foods, given each day, every day and their bodies can become deficient! Raw diets can be costly and too rich for some of their more sensitive bellies. Too, digestibility can be so rapid and efficient that the sense of fullness and contentment is lacking. Behavioral issues, like surfing the counters and restlessness have been identified as such!


At this time, I choose to eliminate homemade diets as a sole source of nutrition. Taking responsibility to provide each and every mineral, vitamin, and food component is extremely time consuming and with the slightest elimination of even a trace mineral, severe consequences can occur! A few years back, taurine was ‘reduced’ in the processed cat foods and this deficiency resulted in many cats being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy — directly related to this quantity change in this one amino acid. Home cooking can be an excellent supplement or replacement for canned food and can also be used to add moisture and human-grade food to their diet.

1. Roast a whole chicken with the skin on it. Use organic chicken if possible.
2. Steam the vegetables. We recommend carrots, green beans, squash and zucchini.
3. In a large pot, cook the grains* (organic white rice, brown rice, quinoa or barley) in equal amounts of
low-salt chicken broth and fresh water. Use spring water when possible. Note: Organic WHITE rice is
preferred because it is the most easily digested. *Grains are NOT recommended if allergy and/or
chronic disease are present.
4. Once all ingredients are done, add the white meat of the chicken and steamed vegetables to the large
pot with grains.
5. Let cool.
6. Add a ladle of soup to the DRY food. Let sit for a few minutes then mush the soup into the DRY
pellets with your hands so that no single component of the soup can be easily picked out by your dog
friend. Serve with Love! 
You can refrigerate unused portions for 2-3 days, or freeze.This is an excellent source of real food and calories! Real, fresh and delicious!


Moist dog foods, canned foods, processed foods, are made to simulate ‘real food’, providing a moist food source, as well as possibly being more easily digested. A healthy dog drinks well and canines are considered a ‘thirsty’ species. In the wild, food always included blood, body fluids and moist meat, organs and bone, etc. — hence the concept of providing food that is moist and easy to digest! However, QUALITY is important! This digestibility depends not only on the moisture content, but also on the composition of the canned food. If the ingredients are poor quality, the building blocks (amino acids, fatty acids, single sugars etc.) needed to function and thrive may be missing.


Dry dog food, which is processed food, is dehydrated and extruded, giving the resulting kibble a long lasting shelf life and a crunch to it. The question has been asked — Does eating dry food help keep a dog’s teeth clean and healthy? Teeth and gums are challenged daily, needing brushing and flossing. Eating dry food and masticating/crunching dry food for a few minutes a day truly does NOT provide sufficient dental care! (See future blog on teeth care.) Dry food does, however, provide more sustenance, gives their bellies and stomachs more of a sense of fullness, contentment, and satisfaction! However — QUALITY and HYDRATION are so important! Our concern about wet food applies to dry as well. The more pure the ingredients, and fewer additives and preservatives — better digestion, absorption and use of all that they eat! Let’s make it easy for their stomachs — add water to their dry food and let it soak for a few minutes. This allows the pellets to be more easily digested.

Individually based, some of our dogs love dry and some of them prefer wet food. So it’s our job as their soul mates and caretakers to be cognizant of what they prefer and with our means, provide them with the best. Always remember VARIETY and QUALITY. Yes, tastes periodically change, let’s keep them excited and happy to be alive by changing things up now and then when we are preparing their meals! Our dogs will eat, and LIVE, with gusto!

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Healing Heart Veterinary Clinic