Asking yourself ‘what do dogs eat’ for the picky eater who’s always turning their nose up when dinner is served? Or are you just looking to spoil your pooch with the most delicious canine meals ever? Here are some great food ideas for dogs.
Does the way to a dog’s heart go through their stomach? If so, it’s sometimes difficult for owners to find the right path. Since we can’t ask our four-legged friends directly, we need another way to find out what dogs like to eat. Luckily, thanks to pet nutrition experts, we do have a good idea about the foods that a dog’s taste buds will love and their tummies will approve of.
If you’re wondering what makes your pet’s tail wag in pure joy at dinner time, here is all you need to know about what their favourite meals are made of.
Are dogs omnivores?
Dogs are classified as omnivores, which means they can satisfy their nutritional needs by consuming both meat and plant-based foods. Our canine friends can digest both animal proteins and carbohydrates, and some aspects of their metabolism have more in common with other omnivores like us than the carnivorous cat.
Plus, their molar teeth can just as easily chew on a bone as grind down plant material, and their intestine length sits somewhere between the shorter guts of carnivores and longer herbivore ones.
Are dogs carnivores?
While dogs are technically classed as omnivores, they’re often thought of as carnivores. After all, dogs are members of the order Carnivora, and wolves, their closest relatives, consume mostly meat. However, dogs are not wolves. After about 15,000 years of co-habitation with us humans, dogs have become well adapted to a diet that, like ours, combines meat and plant-based ingredients.
So, if you want to keep your dog’s taste buds satisfied while offering them balanced meals, make sure you include both in their diet.
What do dogs eat?
But what exactly do dogs like to eat? To help you answer this question, we’ve put together a list here. Many of these foodstuffs will be ingredients in your dog’s normal diet, and you can also give some as an occasional treat.
It’s important to recognise that each of the foods below will not contain everything your dog needs to keep happy and healthy, so feeding just one food type exclusively (even meat) can result in nutritional deficiencies. Only by carefully combining different foods to give the right amounts and proportions of nutrients can you achieve a balanced diet. So to keep your canine friend in good condition, feed them a complete and balanced dog food, and remember that treats should not make up more than 10% of their total calorie intake.
Here are a few ideas of foods that dogs like to eat:
What do dogs like to eat, but shouldn’t?
Sometimes, dogs will try to get their paws on completely the wrong thing. Here are some of the foods that are best kept out of your dog’s bowl, even when they’re keen to try them out.
Your dog can eat raw meat or raw eggs, but there are a few reasons why they shouldn’t. Harmful bacteria are destroyed in the process of cooking, which is why it’s recommended to opt for the cooked version of meat and eggs. Plus, the bacteria can infect humans too, so it’s best to be safe and not give in to puppy eyes until after the meal has been thoroughly cooked.
Feeding your dog table food is one of the unspoken rules of many households, but it can be a bad idea. If scraps are offered in addition to regular meals, your dog might be getting more calories than they need, and may become overweight. If scraps make up too much of your dog’s daily food intake, they could also unbalance a balanced diet.
Also, not all human foods are beneficial to dogs. Just think of all the oils, condiments and sauces that make our meals so delicious – none of these are recommended for a dog’s diet. What’s more, some common human foods such as onions are toxic to dogs, so it’s safer to avoid giving your dog food scraps as a general rule.
Yes, you’ve read that right. There are quite a few dogs that can’t help but raid the cat’s dinner. Although dogs can eat cat food, it is not recommended. Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, meaning that cat food tends to be higher in fat and protein than dog food. Given the different nutritional content, dogs who gobble down their feline friend’s dinner may have a tummy upset if they have a sensitive stomach. If dogs are fed cat food long term, they may be more at risk of obesity or digestive problems such as pancreatitis. This is why it’s better to discourage any interest your dog might have in the cat’s food.
Our gardens are full of seemingly harmless plants – that is, until our pets want to take a bite. Keep your dog away from tomato and potato leaves and stems as they can be toxic. There are also many other plants dogs should completely avoid – check out our list of poisonous plants for dogs and discover other harmful substances and foods in our article.