Since nutritionists are very particular which foods they put into their bodies, I was curious to find out what these healthy food aficionados feed their beloved pets. So I talked to 11 nutrition experts from around the country, and was quite surprised what they feed their four-legged friends.
“I cook for everyone else in the house, and our beloved pooch is no exception. I mix foods like roasted chicken, scrambled eggs, and canned tuna along with her food. I’ve created a bit of a monster, but she’s the best dog in the world.”
–Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, FoodNetwork.com Healthy Eats contributor and owner of Dana White Nutrition.
Four-legged family member: dog Violet Pickles
“Bulldogs are GASSY, which means paying a ton of money for food is worth it because it helps suppress the gas. We always know when he’s been eating table scraps fed to him by my 3 year old. He doesn’t have to say a word but we know…”
Four-legged family member: Winston the bulldog
“My cockapoo does eat dog food (dry/crunchy type), but he loves cheese, whole grain cereal, pasta, and fruit like mango and berries. I like to be sure that gets some fruits or veggies in since I’m not sure about what exactly is in his dog food.”
–Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It.
Four-legged family member: Webster the cockapoo
“My boyfriend and I mainly feed our cats Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. We like that the ingredients are more wholesome, as the first ingredient is chicken. We were occasionally switching up the dry food to give the cats some variety, but we found out that Nermal has food sensitivities and that this food is safe for him to eat—so we mainly stick with it.”
–Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ
Four-legged family members: cats Garfield and Nermal
“I love to give my Havanese crunchy carrots as a treat. Rich in Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye, skin, and immune health, but also low in calories, unlike many store bought dog treats. As an added bonus, the crunch makes them excellent for her dental health and they are a yummy treat we can share together!”
–Gena Seraita, RD, CDN, New York City based clinical dietitian.
Four-legged family member: Dylan the Havanese
“Our German Shepherd is itchy and has a sensitive stomach so we feed him a hypoallergenic raw food that doesn’t contain grains or fillers. He gets 1 pound in the morning and 1 pound at night. We also add a squirt of omega-3 fish oil to his dinner bowl for a shiny coat!”
–Danielle Omar, Integrative Dietitian at Foodconfidence.com
Four-legged family member: Ezzo the German Shepherd
“When our Vizsla was little he had a lot of stomach issues and wasn’t gaining weight, so I started cooking all his meals instead of giving him dog food. To this day every meal consists of a veggie (like broccoli, string beans, Brussels sprouts), carbohydrate (such as a sweet or regular potato, rice, pasta), and a protein (like chicken, ground beef, eggs, or sardines). I have always made sure that there was plenty of fat in the meal, adding olive oil if needed. Henry is now 15 years old and going strong.”
–Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet.
Four-legged family member: Henry the Vizsla
“We’ve always fed our dogs Nutro brand dog food due to its quality. Right now, we have the chicken, whole brown rice and oatmeal recipe. For our old Lab Tucker, her formula contains extra omega-3’s as well as the glucosamine and chondroitin. Labs have a tendency to have bad hips as they age. We rarely feed our dogs human food and when we do, it is just meat or fruit. I’m happy to report that every dog we’ve had has lived a very long, disease-free life.”
–Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD lemondnutrition.com
Four-legged family members: dogs Tucker and Kahlu
“We feed our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel kibbles for fiber, along with wet dog food. On top of that, my mother-in-law provides cooked chicken breast from Whole Foods for Sam. Half the time he eats around the kibbles and wet food to just get at the chicken. Smart boy.”
–Abby Langer, RD, owner of Abby Langer Nutrition https://abbylangernutrition.com
Four-legged family member: Sammy the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
“My black and white Cocker Spaniel can’t hear very well anymore, but you could crack open a banana on the other side of the house and she’d come find you. The smell even wakes her up from a nap. Now every time we eat bananas in the house, everyone knows Cookie gets the “banana butt.” And, since she’s old and I obviously think about everyone’s gut flora, she gets a little Greek yogurt on her kibbles a couple times a week. She licks the bowl clean!”
–Leslie P. Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD, CSCS, co-author of the upcoming book Born to Eat (May 2017).
Four-legged family member: Cookie the Cocker Spaniel
“I have a Mini Golden Doodle named Murphy and I love to feed him Skinny Pop because he eats it in the cutest way… He delicately takes a kernel with his front teeth. Then there’s lots of crunching with his mouth open. Murphy also gets a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese on his kibble. My mom started that and now he won’t eat without it!”
–Christy Brissette, MS, RD, 80 Twenty Nutrition www.80twentynutrition.com
Four-legged family member: Murphy the Mini Golden Doodle
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.
*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.