"TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT" - Pet Nutrition for the Cautious Pet Owner

Every pet parent wants to ensure their animal is happy and healthy, but sometimes with all the conflicting information we receive, it’s hard to figure out what the "right thing" is, especially when it comes to feeding your pet. You might find yourself asking questions like “should my dog eat just raw meat or grains too?” and “Can my cat eat x?” We compiled some burning pet questions right here, and hope this will shed some light on the complex issue of food.

Should my pet eat raw meat?

It seems simple; wild dogs and cats subsisted by hunting and scavenging other animals. They ate raw meat, so can’t I feed the same thing to my pet? Well it’s no surprise that your Poodle has some biological differences to the wild animals it is descended from. While raw meat diets are becoming more and more popular for dog owners, keep these things in mind:

1. Always implement diet changes for your dog with the advice of your veterinarian, don’t just start throwing your dog ribeye steak without confirming with them that it is alright and planning a course of action.

2. Avoid Denatured meats - this meat processed by manufacturers for raw dog meals is incredibly controversial, as it can often come from dying, dead, or diseased animals. Not to mention, the meat is processed with activated charcoal and charcoal liquid, which has the potential to negate many of the nutrients in denatured meat.

3. Ensure you serve your pet quality ingredients and balance their nutrient intake. Use fresh ingredients, and don’t forget that our pups need a good amount of fiber, fat, minerals, and vitamins and not just straight protein.

girl sits on bed with pug dog and laptop

As for cats, while feral cats eat raw mice, they don’t live as long as house cats. What we don’t know is what part diet has to play in this. Is it possible that a raw meat diet is so protein rich that it strains the kidneys in the long term? We just don’t know, which is why more research needs to be done on the benefits and drawbacks before it is more widely recommended to feed your cat a purely raw meat diet.

Can my pet eat _______?

Homemade diets are becoming quite trendy, as pet parents worry about the additives these supermarket pet foods contain, as well as the dozens of scandals that have plagued the pet food industry.

But it is important to know what you can and can’t feed your pet in a homemade diet. There are certain foods which people commonly eat which are potentially toxic to dogs or cats. 

Things to avoid include:

Apple seeds

Apricot stones


Cherry stones

Sweets and chocolate - especially chocolate - toxic to dogs and cats – also any sweet food containing the toxic sweetener xylitol

Coffee - ground and beans



Chewing gum – potential to cause blockages and sugar free gums often contain xylitol

Hops - used in beer brewing

Macadamia nuts

Moldy food - may contain Mycotoxins 

Mushroom plants

Mustard seeds

Onions and onion powder

Peach stones

Potato leaves and stems (green bits)


Rhubarb leaves


Tea – as it contains caffeine

Tomato leaves and stems (green bits)



Yeast dough

Learn all about what your animal food needs, from managing health issues to the ups and downs of different pet foods, in our Pet Nutrition course.