The Importance of Feeding Your Dog a Balanced Diet

The importance of a healthy, well-balanced, nutritionally-complete diet for dogs has become increasingly clear recently. Unfortunately, that understanding has come at the cost of some ill pooches. Health issues are commonly caused by one of two culprits: commercial dog foods having too little (or too much) of a nutrient, or well-meaning owners putting their dogs on diets that lack the appropriate nutrients or contain dangerous ingredients.


Providing a balanced canine diet can be tricky because, despite being fellow mammals, the nutritional requirements of canines and human beings aren’t the same. Commercial formulations are generally preferable to homemade because they have been engineered specially for canine physiology. The trick to ensuring that your pooch eats healthy dog food is finding the right commercial formulation, and that can be harder than it seems.

Homemade Diets

There are two popular classes of homemade diets: raw and cooked. The philosophy inspiring the raw diet seems like it’s sound: Dogs have very recently (as the timeline of life goes) evolved from wolves, and wolves evolved to eat raw meat. Therefore, dogs are evolutionarily predisposed to eating raw meat (and bones and fruits and veggies), like the little wolf-creatures they are.

The thing is, look at a Chihuahua; as closely related as domestic dogs remain to wolves, they’ve all undergone a good bit of divergent evolution. Not only can raw dietsbe nutritionally insufficient, they canalso be downright hazardous. Raw meat poses an infectious pathogen risk to both dogs and humans. Additionally, bones pose a choking hazard, can break or damage teeth, and are capable of obstructing or perforating a dog’s digestive tract. Human food and human grade dog food aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Cooked dog meals eliminate the pathogen risk but are still virtually always, like raw diets, nutritionally incomplete without supplementation. And that supplementation practice can be extremely complex. The cook has to be aware what specific nutrients a dog requires, what nutrients are in each meal to begin with, in roughly what quantities, and how much of those that aren’t there that need to be added. Precision counts too, because while nutritional deficiencies can have long-term health consequences, too much of a vitamin, mineral, or protein can be toxic.Recently, a study found 95% of homemade recipes to be nutritionally unbalanced. Plus, there’s the risk of cross-contamination from all those human foods that are poisonous to dogs.

Commercial Dog Foods

Considering all of the risks, research, and hassle accompanying attempting to formulate your own balanced dog meals, several times a day, every day, it’s a small wonder that commercial preparations are far more popular. But sadly, as mentioned, those commercial foods are also not without risks.

To clarify, a good portion of commercial dog foods are safe. But there have been issues. Specifically, nutrition-related incidences of commercial food issues include those with too few nutrients, excessive levels of nutrients, or recipe formulations that have been demonstrated to be insufficient. For instance, a number of higher-end “grain free” brands were recently linked to an increase in canine dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be fatal, likely due to a deficiency of taurine. (Fortunately, taurine can be found in animal livers such as beef liver and turkey liver.)

The point is, even the commercial brands can make mistakes, which adequately demonstrates the risks of people without doctorates in veterinarian nutrition making up meals for their dogs. The best bet for fresh, safe, delicious, nutritionally-complete dog food is to find a reputable provider of cooked, human grade dog food with a formulation that’s overseen by a veterinary nutritionist.

About Grocery Pup

Grocery Pup was founded by dog lovers, and for them, on the principle that dogs deserve safe, healthy, nutritious, delicious food every bit as much as we do. To reach as many of our furry friends as possible, they specialize in quick, convenient, reliable home delivery of their amazing human grade dog meals. Every bite of Grocery Pup’s canine cuisine, which includes sensitive stomach dog food, has been vetted and approved by a veterinarian nutritionist. And all of it is prepared to tail-wagging perfection with flavor-sealing sous-vide technology in a human-grade kitchen.

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The Safe and Healthy Alternative to a Raw Dog Food Diet

Supporters of the raw dog food movement are without a doubt coming from a place of love for their pups. They point out that raw food more closely resembles the meals that dogs and their canine ancestors would have eaten, so unlike kibble, a raw diet is exactly the sort of fare that dogs have evolved to eat. And those supporters are absolutely right.

That being said, does the fact that Spot or Lassie’s wolf ancestors ate nothing but raw food really mean that a raw diet is the best or healthiest way to go? And, if not, is there a healthy dog food alternative? For the answers to these questions, read on, dog lovers.


Why a Raw Diet Isn’t a Great Idea

For those unfamiliar with the raw diet, it’s just what it sounds like—a mixture of uncooked foodstuffs. The most commonly touted formula for a raw meal is a 5:1:1 ratio of raw meat, fish, or poultry; veggies; and a carb like rice, sweet potatoes, or oats.

In defense of raw diet proponents, the raw regimen does have elements that are superior to a diet of kibble. For instance, raw food is generally easier to digest, it retains more moisture, and you tend to know exactly what’s in your dog’s bowl. That’s the good.

As for the bad: Raw food can have a heightened risk of harboring harmful bacteria. Having watched them eat things best not considered or discussed, we know that dogs have tough tummies. However, that doesn’t mean “invincible tummies.” Dogs can and do contract any number of nasty pathogens from eating bad food, just like us. And it’s not just owners serving up questionable chicken.

A disturbing FDA study that tested 196 raw pet food samples found Listeria monocytogenes or salmonella contamination in 47 of them. There are some additional risks, as raw meals made by pet owners and even some pet food companies can be nutritionally unbalanced, especially if an informed veterinarian nutritionist (with your pup’s best interest at heart)wasn’t involved in the creation of the meals.

The Healthy and Safe Alternative

So where does that leave us? The takeaway you’re (hopefully) left with after considering the benefits and drawbacks of a raw diet is that the best-case doggy dinner scenario is one that retains the benefits of a raw diet but without the risk.
Thankfully for dogs and their people, that’s an entirely doable scenario. The key is feeding your dog a diet of human grade dog food that has been professionally created and gently cooked via sous-vide. Overcooking results in food that’s not only less appetizing, but it also reduces the profusion of vitamins and minerals, resulting in less healthy food. And if it’s not tastier and healthier than the alternative, what’s the point?

The options for giving your pooch sous-videcooked, healthy dog food are the same ones you have for the obtaining of your own meal: You can make it or buy it. As sous-vide equipment isn’t common kitchen accoutrements and can be a bit of an initial investment, delivery of humangrade, sous-vide dog food from a reliable and responsible company such as Grocery Pup seems to be the most popular preference. Additionally, by ordering your pup fresh dog food from Grocery Pup, you can rest assured he or she will be eating high-quality, well-balanced meals in tasty flavors that were created with a veterinarian nutritionist.

Whatever you choose, if the result of that decision is your best friend getting food as healthy and delicious as he or she deserves, you’ve done it right.

About Grocery Pup

Grocery Pup is your pup’s dream come true. For dog lovers by dog lovers, they specialize in home delivery of delicious, nutritious sous-videcooked meals for your fuzzy friends. It’s perfect for fussy eaters or pooches who need sensitive stomach dog food. Grocery Pup is proud to provide your pup pals with a healthy, well-rounded diet created with a veterinarian nutritionist. Grocery Pup meals are crafted from human-grade whole food ingredients and cooked in a USDA-certified human grade kitchen. This means you’ll find no rendered meats, fillers, chemicals, or by-products in any Grocery Pup product. Instead, you’ll find real, high-quality ingredients your pup will love.

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Healthy Ingredients for Your Pup’s Diet (And What to Avoid)

Ever look at the ingredient list on your pet’s food? It can be hard to discern which ingredients are healthy for man’s best friend and which have considerably less nutritional value. If the health of your dog is important to you, here is a list of healthy ingredients to include in your pup’s diet and less nutritional elements to avoid.


Nutrition-Packed Ingredients

These ingredients are considered healthy for dogs and can be eaten alone or included in a snack or meal. Check your dog food for these ingredients to see if your dog is receiving enough nutrients in his or her diet.


Great in fresh dog food and as a snack, carrots are packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamin A, along with a crunchy texture that dogs love. In fact, this texture can act as a cleaning tool against plaque and build-up. Carrots are safe for sensitive stomachs and are low in fat and calories.


Peas are often included in high-quality healthy dog food because of their protein and vitamin value. While too much of a good thing can be unhealthy, peas in moderation are healthy for dogs.

Lean Meats

Dogs are carnivores by nature and need lean meats in their diets. Turkey, pork, and beef are all good sources of vitamin B and amino acids. If you’re feeding your pup a meaty snack, check to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through. Turkey is great meat to look for in sensitive stomach dog food.


Just like humans, our furry friends need vitamins and iron, too. Liver is a popular ingredient in healthier dog food and snacks because it contains more essential nutrients than muscle meat. Reminder: Liver does include a high amount of vitamin A, which can be hazardous in large amounts for dogs. Be mindful to not overdo the liver treats or feed your dog too much liver.

Ingredients to Avoid

While these ingredients are not considered healthy for man’s best friend, they are often included in feed grade dog food. If your current dog food brand carries any of these ingredients, it’s time to switch to a healthier diet for your pup’s health.


These are often included to cut costs in making dry dog food. These don’t have much nutritional value and often appear as corn, wheat, oat, and soybean. Fillers can cause sensitive stomachs to be easily upset, making it hard for your dog to receive the nutrition he or she really needs.

Rendered Meat

This element appears more often than you would think in dog foods. Rendered meat is made by combining animal by-products in a grinder to blend it all together and then is heated to remove the excess fat and grease. The resulting product is considered rendered meat and used in animal feed and pet foods. Dogs need lean meats, not animal by-products, for a healthy diet.

About Grocery Pup

Grocery Pup is changing the way we feel about dog food. They provide human grade dog food, allowing you to feed your pup a healthy, well-rounded diet without the hassle of making it yourself. Their dog food is designed by a veterinarian nutritionist, crafted from whole food ingredients, and cooked in a USDA-certified human-grade kitchen. You’ll find no rendered meats, fillers, chemicals, or by-products within their products. Instead, you’ll see real ingredients that you can understand.

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Quick, Easy DIY Dog Treats Made from Whole Ingredients

Dogs are what they eat, just like humans. What we feed our dogs matters to their longevity, health, and happiness. We all want to keep our 4-legged friends around as long as possible, feeding them healthy dog food that is preferably human grade in nature will keep your bestie by your side longer.

Human grade dog food means that everything used to make it is safe for human consumption, and includes no by-products, rendered meat, chemicals, or fillers. It’s just simple ingredients and whole food.


If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you want your friend to? Get started on the journey to feeding your pup healthy, real ingredients with these dog treat recipes that take under 10 minutes to make.

Chicken and Apple Pupsicle

This summer treat couldn’t be easier. Cool your dog down on hot summer days by combining small apple chunks and chicken broth into a concoction that your pup will love. You’ll need:

  • 2-3 medium-sized apples
  • 24-32 ounces of chicken broth (if store bought, avoid added salt, onions, and garlic)
  • Several ice trays or small plastic containers

Slice apples into chunks and place into your designated container. Pour chicken broth over apples, fill about ¾ of the way. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours. Make your pup’s day by giving them this icy treat.

Pumpkin and Ginger No-Bake Treats

If your dog is afflicted with an upset stomach routinely, it’s probably time to give sensitive stomach dog food a chance. For occasional stomach irritation, these treats are crafted from ingredients that settle sensitive stomachs. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 15-ounces of pumpkin puree (Can use canned or fresh. However, DON’T use pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2.5 cups of old-fashioned oats plus extra for rolling
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon of ginger

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree and the water together, stirring to combine. Pour in oats and mix well. Roll balls sized for your pup in your hands, and then roll into extra oats until they are lightly coated. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours.

About Grocery Pup

Grocery Pup is changing the way we feel about dog food. They deliver human grade dog food straight to your door, allowing you to provide your pup with a healthy, well-rounded diet without the hassle of making it yourself. Their dog food is designed by veterinarians, crafted from whole food ingredients, and cooked in a USDA-certified human-grade kitchen. You’ll find no rendered meats, fillers, chemicals, or by-products within their products. Instead, you’ll see real ingredients that you can understand.

Find the dog food your pup will beg for at

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Human Grade Dog Food Vs. Feed Grade Dog Food

You love your dog and want to provide them the very best. That should include meeting their food needs with healthy options. The most beneficial food for your dog is a healthy dog food that is crafted from fresh, whole food. If it is human grade dog food, all the better.

The differences between human grade and feed grade are staggering if the health and safety of your pet are important to you. Not only can it contain ingredients that humans wouldn’t eat, it often includes ingredients that are unsafe to be consumed by humans due to their known side effects.

Human Grade

Ingredients must be suitable and safe for human consumption. To be considered human grade, food must be manufactured in a USDA inspected facility that produces only human grade food. According to Petfood Industry, “The use of the term ‘human grade’ is only acceptable to the product as a whole. Every ingredient and finished food must be stored, handled, processed, and transported in a manner that is consistent with current good manufacturing processes (cGMPs).”

Feed Grade

Feed grade, on the other hand, cannot legally be sold as human food as it can/could contain ingredients proven harmful to humans, such as:


One way that pet food companies cut corners and cost is including by-products in their food. Doing so reduces the cost of production while maintaining high protein quantities in the food. By-products are the castoffs other than meat that make their way into commercial dog food. The spleen, kidneys, fatty tissue, the brain, blood, bone, undeveloped eggs, stomach, and intestines are all items that could be included in feed grade dog food. By-products can also include road kill, expired meat, and diseased animals.

Rendered Meat

The process that animal by-products go through in order to be used in feed grade food is called meat rendering, which reduces by-products into a gray, fatty meat mass. The by-products are placed in a huge grinder that thrashes the meat and blends it all together. It is then heated for hours until the grease and fat float along the top of this concoction. The finished product is considered meat and by meal—and placed into feed grade pet food.


One more way to cut cost and increase profit margins is the addition of fillers to your pet food. These feature very little nutritional value but are relied upon to make the expensive components of the product stretch further. Fillers can include corn, wheat and rice bran, oat and soybean hulls. Healthy, fresh dog food should never include unnecessary fillers.


This is a deception crafted to make you believe you are getting more out of your pet food than you are. According to petMD, an example of this is, “a cat food may have fish broth as the first ingredient, corn gluten meal as the second, fish as the third, and animal fat preserved with ground yellow corn as the fourth. It looks as if fish is a big part of the food, but this is a corn-based product.” Here the food producer has split corn into two ingredients so it’s listed further down the ingredient list.

About Grocery Pup

Grocery Pup is changing the way we feel about dog food. They provide fresh dog food delivery, allowing you to feed your pup a healthy, well-rounded diet without the hassle of making it yourself. Their dog food is designed by veterinarians, crafted from whole food ingredients, and cooked in a USDA-certified human-grade kitchen. You’ll find no rendered meats, fillers, chemicals, or by-products within their products. Instead, you’ll see real ingredients that you can understand.

Find the dog food your pup will beg for at

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