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Welcome to week two of Fenrir’s 12 Week Challenge! This week we’ll be discussing the do’s and don’ts of your dog's diet. Just like yourself, it’s important to feed your dog a healthy and well rounded diet.


We’ll do a deep dive into what your dog really needs to thrive. You’ll learn about macros such as protein, but also micros like vitamins and minerals. It may feel a little overwhelming at first, but that’s what makes this a challenge!


You’ll also learn what is and isn’t okay to give your dog. Most of you already may have a good grasp on this, but you never know what you might learn.

So, let’s get into it and see what you can do for your dog’s diet!

Nutrition Macros

Some of you are already familiar with the term “macros” if you’re into working out or weight lifting. You’ll recognize protein as your most important macros, but there are others. All of them are important for your dog to be healthy. Let’s take a closer look below.





Humans often think of carbs as bad, but that simply isn’t true. They’re a very important part of your diet and your dog’s diet as well. Without carbs, your body wouldn’t function properly. They’re the main fuel source for nearly every function.


Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all sources of healthy carbohydrates. It’s a good thing they’re so common in foods, because they’ll make up a large percentage of your dog’s diet. About 50-60% of their food should come in the form of carbs.


Make sure you’re always checking the back of dog food bags before purchasing. There are percentages on the back that tell you how much of each macro is present. It doesn’t just have to be in their kibble though. There are a wide variety of foods you can share with your dog or use as treats, but we’ll get to those a little later.


So, for what reasons is this macro so important?


Produce isn’t only full of healthy carbs, it’s also full of fibre! About 5% of the carbs in a bag of dog food will consist of fibre. It’s important to help maintain the digestive system and to keep bowel movement regular. This helps to prevent bloating and stomach upset.


Eating healthy, unprocessed carbohydrates can help to prevent weight gain. Vegetables aren’t just good for you, they’re good for your dog too! The fibre in carbs will help keep your dog feeling fuller longer, so they’re less likely to overeat or beg for scraps. They’re also low in calories, but nutrient dense and full of water, so they can snack on more without you having to worry about them gaining weight.


As we said before, carbs are fuel for the body. Have you ever skipped breakfast and then felt sluggish? That’s because your body didn’t have what it needed during the day! The same goes for your dog. All of that running and playing takes energy. They need to fill up too so that they’re ready to go.


Protein is another important part of your dog’s diet. It’s the building block on which their body is built. Just like you, if your dog is to grow, they need protein to do so. That’s why puppy chow is formulated differently than adult dog food. All of that fast growing requires extra protein.


Depending on your dog’s life stage and health, you’ll be looking at their food consisting of anywhere from 18-32% protein. Compare that with the average human only needing about 20% protein in their diet and you can really see the difference!


Protein is used to help build bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. So, it’s especially important to make sure your puppy is getting enough. It could be a serious issue if they aren’t. It can lead to stunted growth and other developmental issues as they reach maturity.


It’s also used to repair injuries in the body. You need proteins to rebuild torn skin or muscle after an injury and so do they. Proteins even play a role in hormone regulation and digestion! Without proteins, there wouldn’t be the enzymes necessary for the body to process food.


Even carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body relies on this macro. Red blood cells contain a protein compound that is needed to carry oxygen while circulating. So much in the body depends on having enough protein.


Fats will make up only a small portion of your dog’s diet, but that doesn’t make them any less important. The 5.5% is very important and shouldn’t be skipped out on!


Your dog’s body can’t produce fatty acids on its own, so they need to eat those fats in order to get them. Think of things like Omega 3s that are found in fish. They’re an important part of a balanced diet and shouldn’t be overlooked. Fat is not inherently bad.


Certain vitamins are only fat soluble and cannot be absorbed by the body without fat. Vitamins A, D, and E cannot be processed without the help of this macro. A lack of fat means malnutrition as the body cannot absorb what it needs to stay healthy.


Fats also help in hormone production, so your dog needs these and proteins to stay healthy! They’re also another source of energy for the body which is important as fats help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels after means. Carbs and proteins can’t function properly without fat!


The brain is fatty tissue and connected to the entire nervous system. Neither would function properly without this important macro! So, while it’s important not to overdo it, there’s no need to fear fat and try to cut it from your dog’s diet.

Nutrition Micros

Most people know about macronutrients, but did you know about micronutrients? These important nutrients are needed in trace amounts for the body to function properly. You’re most likely familiar with more of them than you think. Vitamin A, all of the vitamin Bs, vitamin C, and calcium are all micros.


They’re also minerals like zinc, iron, and fluoride. Have you ever looked at a nutrition label for the iron content or a certain vitamin? Then you’re already pretty familiar with some of these. You eat them all the time and so do your dogs.


These are much more weight and age dependent than macronutrients, so if you’re concerned about a vitamin deficiency, it’s best to talk to your vet. They’ll be able to help you come up with a game plan to get your dog’s diet back on track.


The most important thing to know about all micros though is that they help with bodily processes, general wellbeing, and they even help prevent diseases! Your dog may not need a lot, but these nutrients are mighty.

Recommended Food Intake

One of the biggest questions dog owners ask is “How much should my dog be eating?” Lucky for you we’ve provided you with a sheet to help calculate how much food your dog needs! It will depend on things like age, activity level, breed, and general health. So, only you have the answer to this question. Our sheet will guide you through the calculations and help provide you with the answer. Though, if you have any concerns, it’s always best to contact your vet.

Nutrition Dos and Don’ts

Of course you want to share snacks and treats with your furry friend, but you have to be careful. Your dog’s digestive system is different from yours, so they can’t eat all of the same things even if there are quite a few things you can share with them. We’ve even provided you with a handy “cheat sheet” for the do nots!

Do Share Your Veggies

Do Share Your Veggies

Vegetables such as cucumbers, green beans, asparagus are all high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories, so they make for a great treat! You can also share things like carrots and broccoli. Try blanching or steaming them, so that no extra sugar or salt is added during cooking.

Do Share Your Fruit

Do Share Your Fruit

Just like vegetables, fruits are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories, so they’re a great choice for snacks. You can try things like apples, watermelon, blueberries, and even bananas! These should be able to be served raw, so if you’re having a snack, feel free to share.

Do Share Proteins

Do Share Proteins

Fish such as salmon, shrimp, and tuna all make for a good protein source and salmon is a great source of healthy fats! You can also share plain, boiled chicken or turkey. Just make sure to trim the fat from the turkey before sharing as too much can cause pancreatitis.

Small Amounts of Dairy

Small Amounts of Dairy

Milk, cheese, and plain yoghurt are okay as a very rare treat and in small quantities, but they should not be given regularly. Dogs have low levels of the enzyme lactase present in their digestive system. Lactase is what allows humans to process the lactose in dairy. Due to the low levels present, dogs cannot digest large quantities well and a lot of dairy can cause vomiting, bloating, stomach upset, and even diarrhoea. Some dogs are even lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be given any dairy at all.

Don’t Share

Don’t Share

Here’s where your handy dandy cheat sheet is going to come in! There are a lot of foods that your dog cannot have. They’re toxic to dogs and can be deadly, so it’s best to not even chance it.

Some would add raw meat to this category, and with good reason. Raw meat can in fact be harmful to dogs. If it’s not fresh it can contain: Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and more. Also, most processed meats like sausage contain amounts of salt that are not recommended for dogs and are harmful. However, there are many who feed their dogs a raw food diet containing: fresh meat, muscle and organ meats with great success. If you are planning on feeding your dog a raw food diet, we suggest educating yourself on the topic and transitioning your dog slowly.


Hidden in the Nutrition Label

We don’t always consider what ingredients might be hidden in the foods we eat or share with our dogs, but it’s very important to check the labels on things! Some added ingredients can make your dog very sick and no one wants to make a trip to the vet due to sharing a treat.

Ice Cream

It’s tempting to give your dog ice cream on those hot summer days, but you shouldn’t. All of the added sugar is difficult for them to process and can make them ill. Even if you purchase sugar free ice cream, your dog may not be able to safely eat it. Sugar free ice creams may contain a sugar substitute called Xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs (as well as most other animals). It can cause liver failure and dangerously low blood sugar levels if ingested.

Peanut Butter

It’s no secret that dogs love peanut butter! It’s an ingredient used in commercial treats as well as homemade ones. It also gets put into Fenrir Hammers and other toys. However, when looking to pick out a jar for your canine companion, you should opt for an all natural variety. A lot of peanut butter at the store is full of added sugar and salt; both of which can make your dog very sick.


Nutrition is a big part of your dog’s life and we hope you learned something from us today! It’s not as daunting a task as it may seem. You do it for yourself even when you don’t realise it, so the next step is to include your dog and help them balance their diet.


Next time you’re at the store, stop to check out some bags of dog food and treats. What macros do you see? What do the percentages look like? What vitamins and minerals are included? Perhaps you’ll even feel compelled to find a higher quality dog food.


We hope to hear from you, so don’t forget to message us or send a photo to one of our social media pages! We’ll see you next week for our third challenge.

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