Profile Image
Pet Insurance
15 Feb 2016

Nutrition for your best pal

While it’s tempting to feed your furry pal lots of treats, it’s best to feed them food that is specifically made for dogs. Feeding them table scraps means they may also be consuming more calories and fat than necessary and, if they become overweight, are at greater risk of health complications such as diabetes which is not only hurting your best friend, but a costly disease.

Puppy dog nutrition

Generally young puppies eat three times a day and older puppies twice a day. The first year of a puppy’s life is critical – they need protein for muscle growth and organ development; calcium for growing bones and joints; and Omega fatty acids for energy and a healthy, shiny coat.

Wean your pup on to new food gradually, ideally over 7 days. Choose a puppy food that is made from quality ingredients with a high protein content to help provide the energy and protein they need, and meet their vitamin and mineral requirements. Look for a range that contains DHA, which is important for brain and vision development.

Adult dog nutrition

For many dogs, all food is good food! Dogs generally love to eat, but you need to make sure your pet is getting the correct balance of vital nutrients they need to live a happy, healthy life. When your dog’s digestive system is functioning smoothly, a typical meal takes 7 to 10 hours to pass through the digestive system. Check packaging and nutritional panels for ensure for a complete and balanced meal.

Feeding your dog wet vs dry food

Wet food offers different benefits to dry food. Wet food often contains less fillers and preservatives, the nutritional quality is generally higher, and most dogs prefer the taste, so there is less spoilage. However, dry food helps to scrape plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth and is easy to store.

Foods to avoid

Human digestive systems work differently to those of the canine family, so foods that are considered healthy for human consumption could actually be deadly for your pet. As you may have already discovered, your furry pal will try to devour virtually anything put in front of them. Unfortunately, this includes foods that can be dangerous or deadly. Here’s a just some of the foods that dogs should avoid:

  • Alcohol
    Even minor spills by humans are a health risk for pets. Just a small amount of alcohol can result in a change in behaviour, breathing problems, cardiac arrest, induced coma or death.

  • Chocolate and caffeine
    Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are both poisonous for dogs. The chemicals are diuretics and can cause dramatic fluid loss through vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive urination. Be extra careful during Easter!

  • Avocado
    Avocados contain persin, a fatty acid that is hazardous for dogs. Symptoms of avocado poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory distress.

  • Onions
    Onions contain thiosulphate causing damage to the red blood cells causing them to burst.

  • Sultanas, raisins and grapes
    Whether they are fresh grapes or dried as sultanas and raisins, keep these out of reach.


Everyday Pet Insurance

Everyday Pet Insurance

Find out more about how Everyday Pet Insurance, and how our range of covers, can help if your dog becomes unwell or has an accident.

Everyday Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time prior to 17 July 2023 and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436 (Hollard), arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and promoted and distributed by Hollard’s Authorised Representative (AR) Woolworths Group Limited ABN 88 000 014 675, AR 245476 (Woolworths). Everyday Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time on or after 17 July 2023 and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by PetSure and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s AR, Woolworths. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing, or choosing to continue with the product. PDS and Target Market Determination available at