What Can I Feed My Dog Instead of Dog Food? 2024

Dogs are omnivores and, as such, can eat various things as their main diet. While dog food is the most common and convenient option, there are many other things you can feed your dog to provide them with the nutrients they need.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of those options and give tips on transitioning to feeding your dog something else.

How Much Food Does My Dog Pet Need?

Determining Your Dog’s Caloric Needs

Calculating their caloric needs is the first step in determining how much to feed your pup. Depending on your pup’s size, age, breed, and activity level, this will vary. Generally speaking, smaller dogs will require less food than bigger dogs. Puppies also need more calories because they are still growing and developing. Older dogs may also require fewer calories as they become less active with age.

Once you estimate your pup’s caloric needs, it is important to find a high-quality dog food that meets those needs. First, check the packaging for information about daily caloric intake; this will help you make sure you’re not overfeeding or underfeeding your pup. If you’re unsure which type or brand of food is right for your pup, ask your vet for advice on what would work best for them.

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food

Healthy Treats & Supplements

In addition to their regular meal, don’t forget about healthy treats and supplements! Treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake—but even that small amount can add up quickly! It’s a good idea to check with a veterinarian before introducing any new treats or supplements into your dog’s diet to ensure they get the proper nutrients in the right amounts.

What Do Dogs Usually Eat?


Kibble is probably the most popular dog food as it provides a balanced diet with all the nutrients and vitamins required for a healthy lifestyle. Kibble can be purchased from pet stores in either dry or wet form.

Dry kibble is typically cheaper and easier to store, but wet kibble can be more palatable for some dogs. Kibble generally contains grains, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to provide a complete nutritional balance.

Canned Food

Canned food is similar to kibble but is slightly higher in protein and moisture content than dry kibble. It often comes in smaller cans or pouches served directly from the container or mixed with other ingredients such as vegetables and grains.

Canned vegetables are usually more expensive than kibble but can be an excellent option if your dog has difficulty eating dry kibble or has special dietary needs.

Raw Food

Raw food diets are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners who want to feed their dogs a natural diet that mimics what they would eat in the wild. Raw diets typically consist of raw meat, bones, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other supplements like vitamins and minerals.

Raw diets can help reduce inflammation and improve overall digestion in some dogs; however, raw diets need to be carefully monitored by a veterinarian because they may contain harmful bacteria that could lead to illness if not handled correctly.

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food

Foods Concerning Dog’s Age

8-16 Weeks

Puppies need a high-quality diet specifically designed to meet their developmental needs. You should look for food that contains at least 20-30% protein and 10% fat or higher. The food should also be rich in essential minerals and vitamins like calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A and D3. Avoid foods with artificial flavors and preservatives, as puppies have sensitive digestive systems that can easily be upset by these ingredients.

When it comes to feeding your puppy, you should aim for three small daily meals until they reach six months. Then, you can transition them to two larger meal per day when they get older than six months. Sticking to regular feeding times is important as this helps puppies establish good eating habits early on. Make sure your pup has access to water all the time and monitor their weight regularly so that overeating does not become an issue later on in life.

16+ Weeks

Once your dog reaches 16 weeks, you should increase the protein content in its diet. This can be done by feeding them higher-protein kibble or adding lean meats such as canned chicken, turkey, or beef. Protein helps keep your pup healthy and strong and provides them with energy for playtime and exercise.

Adult Dogs

The amount of food you feed your adult dog will depend on several factors, such as breed size, activity level, age, and individual metabolism. A good rule of thumb is to offer 1/3 cup (two ounces) per 20 pounds of your pup’s body weight each day—about one cup (six ounces) for every 30 pounds—and adjust accordingly if they’re gaining or losing weight too quickly or too slowly. You should also factor in any treats you give them throughout the day; too many extra calories can add up quickly.

Senior Dogs

While puppies need more protein than seniors, protein is still very important in an older dog’s diet. Protein helps maintain muscle mass, which can be beneficial if your dog is less active than it used to be. Look for high-quality sources of animal proteins like beef, rotisserie chicken, or fish packed in water. Make sure the food you choose has at least 18% protein content—the higher, the better.

Your senior pup will also need a certain amount of fat in their diet, but not too much; too much fat can result in weight gain and other health problems down the line. Aim for around 8–15% fat content. If your pup already has a few extra pounds on them, look for a food that contains more fiber and fewer calories so that they stay full without taking in too many extra calories.

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food

What Can I Feed My Dog Instead of Dog Food?

It’s no secret that commercial dog foods are expensive. But more and more pet owners are turning to homemade alternatives due to their cost-effectiveness, convenience, and health benefits for their beloved four-legged friends. There are many human foods dogs can eat as well. So let’s look at some of the most popular options for store-bought dog food that you can feed your dog.

Raw Meat Diet (BARF Diet)

The BARF diet stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” or “Bones And Raw Food.” This diet consists of raw meats such as beef, rotisserie chicken, lamb, turkey cooked, and fish. If you want to add variety to your pup’s diet, you can incorporate eggs and dairy products such as yogurt.

While this type of diet is known to be highly nutritious, it requires extra hygiene precautions since meat has the potential to contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Additionally, feeding your pup too much protein can damage its kidneys in the long run. Be sure to research the BARF diet thoroughly before making any changes to your pup’s meal.

Cooked Meal

You can opt for a quick meal if you’d rather not feed your pup a raw meat-based diet. For example, you can cook ground beef with vegetables like broccoli or kale; other options include boiled chicken with rice or sweet potatoes, cooked bones, scrambled eggs with veggies, or Tuna with brown rice. Eggs are arguably one of the healthiest foods. This can turn a picky eater into a consistent eater.

Just like people’s food, it’s important not to overfeed your pup as they will become overweight over time if they eat too much-cooked food. It’s also good practice to avoid adding salt or sugar and avoid feeding deli meats when cooking for your furry friend—these ingredients are unhealthy for them in high quantities.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diets

Not all dogs love meat—some pups prefer plant-based foods! A vegetarian/vegan diet is doable for dogs as long as it contains all essential nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for healthy living.

Popular vegetarian/vegan recipes include:

  • Tofu scrambles with veggies.
  • Chickpea burgers.
  • Oatmeal bowls with blueberries or apples.
  • Lentil stew.
  • Quinoa bowls with veggies like carrots and spinach.

Ensure that these recipes provide adequate nutrition before switching to traditional dog food recipes!

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food

Foods That Dogs Should Avoid

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. It is still unknown which component in the fruit causes the reaction, but it is not worth risking it. Even a small amount of grapes or raisins could cause serious health issues for your dog.


Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Depending on the type of chocolate eaten and how much is ingested, it may result in vomiting, diarrhea, or death at worst. Therefore, keep chocolate away from all pets as an extra precaution.


Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides, toxic elements that can cause severe damage to dogs if ingested. This damage can lead to severe anemia in some cases. Garlic also contains these toxic elements in smaller amounts than onions, so garlic should also be avoided when possible.

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol has a much bigger effect on animals than humans due to their size difference, and lack of tolerance for alcohol, so alcoholic drinks (even non-alcoholic beers) should never be given to pets under any circumstances as it can result in respiratory failure or death depending on how much was consumed.

Xylitol Sweetener

Xylitol sweetener is found in many products, such as sugar-free gum and candy, baked goods, energy bars, cereal bars, etc. Xylitol can cause a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels which could lead to seizures or even death if a dog consumes too much, so it’s essential to keep these products away from them at all times!

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food

Final Thoughts

Feeding your pup a healthy, balanced diet is essential for their well-being. However, if you’re looking to switch up what they eat, plenty of alternatives can provide all the nutrition they need while still being tasty.

From raw BARF diets to a cooked meal and vegetarian/vegan options, there’s something out there for every pup. Just be sure to avoid all the foods toxic to dogs and keep your pup’s health and safety in mind when selecting what you feed them.

Frequently Asked Questions


If you’re looking for a healthy yet filling meal to feed your pup, try mixing some red meats and vegetables with their chicken. For example, if they eat only dry food every day, adding wet canned Tuna would be perfect.


The average lifespan of dogs fed industrially processed food is 10.4 years, but those who eat homemade meals can reach 13+ despite their age! In addition, there are many other advantages to giving your pup a raw diet, including increased healthy longevity and better mental clarity.


The best way to get your dog what they want is by using its individual preferences. For example, some dogs love beef, pork, or lamb while others prefer chicken, and finally, some only enjoy dry food over moist ones- but don’t worry because each pup has a different taste.


The best way to make your dog feel better when they are having stomach problems is by giving them cooked white rice and pasta. Dogs can also eat plain old-fashioned white rice or pasta after it’s been cooked, which will help with any discomfort that may come from over (being too lazy).