Are you feeding your pet a balanced diet?



Some believe that a balanced diet means that every meal must be "complete and balanced". This is not so and in fact, it flies in the face of natural feeding laws! You just need to make sure that your pet is getting a balance of all the nutrients they need over a 10-14 day period.


This is good news because it means you don't have to worry so much about making sure that every meal is complete and balanced. Phew! And that means, you can have more flexibility around what you feed your pet.


What is "complete and balanced" anyway?


A complete and balanced diet for your pet is one that provides all the nutrients (in the right amounts) they need every meal, every day. Most of the commercial pet foods on the market use "complete and balanced" to market their food. Usually this statement is used in conjunction with the reference to "AAFCO" - that is, the Association of American Feed Controls Officials. AAFCO sets minimum nutrient requirements for pet foods.


But a diet that is AAFCO approved doesn't mean it's healthy. A lot of AAFCO approved foods are quite unhealthy due to their highly processed nature and inclusion of pet grade foods; synthetic vitamins and minerals; artificial preservatives, colours and flavours, excessive carbohydrates and more disease-promoting ingredients.


There is much more to a healthy diet than every single meal, every single day being complete and balanced. Feed your pet everything they need through feeding a real food species appropriate diet over a 10-14 day window, and you can be pretty confident that your pet is going to be healthy.


Here's an example of what a healthy diet (balanced over time) might look like for your dog (with additional supplementation where necessary):


Sunday -

Breakfast - Doggy porridge

Dinner - Meat and veg


Monday -

Breakfast - Fruit

Dinner - A meat meal: muscle meats and organ meats. Optional: egg, fish, vegetables


Tuesday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Meat and veg


Wednesday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Legumes and veg


Thursday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Food scraps (dog appropriate of course)


Friday -

Breakfast - Bone broth or raw meaty bones

Dinner - Vegetables: a combo of starchy veg eg sweet potato and green leafy veg. You could also throw in some brown rice or some oats and some yoghurt.


Saturday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Milk and eggs


Here's an example of what a healthy diet (balanced over time) might look like for your cat (with additional supplementation where necessary):


Sunday -

Breakfast - Small, oily fish eg sardines, mackerel, herring

Dinner - Meat and sweet potato


Monday -

Breakfast - Human-grade commercial diet eg Ziwipeak

Dinner - A meat meal: muscle meats and organ meats.


Tuesday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Muscle meats, organ meats and asparagus


Wednesday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones

Dinner - Small, oily fish eg sardines, mackerel, herring


Thursday -

Breakfast - Human-grade commercial diet eg Ziwipeak

Dinner - Food scraps (cat appropriate of course)


Friday -

Breakfast - Bone broth or raw meaty bones

Dinner - A meat meal: muscle meats and organ meats.


Saturday -

Breakfast - Raw meaty bones or human-grade commercial diet eg Ziwipeak

Dinner - Milk and eggs


You could even throw in a fast day or a day when just one meal is fed. This will depend on your dog or cat's activity levels, breed, metabolism, sad hungry eyes etc.


Other foods can be beneficial, and sometimes necessary, to ensure optimum wellness.


Would you like further insight into what foods are best to include in your pet's diet for optimum wellness and longevity? Grab your copy of my Read Food Diet Checklist For Your Pet here.



Ruth Hatten is an animal naturopath and pet nutritionist. She is based on the Sunshine Coast and also travels frequently to see clients in Brisbane. She also offers the majority of her services online, helping animals across Australia and all over the world. Find out more here.