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Why Feed Your Dog a Variety Of Different Proteins?

Husky Dog Gets A Delicious For Executing The Sit Command. Traini

Here at BarkinBISTRO, we believe that feeding your pup a variety of different meats is important for many reasons. We all know that “variety is the spice of life” applies to many things and also to your pup.

There is no such thing as a ‘complete and balanced’ meal every day of the week. Can you imagine working out what vitamins, minerals, fats, protein etc are in your own meal? It just wouldn’t happen folks which is why we recommend feeding your pup a variety of different meats. Balancing meals ‘over time’ is what we recommend for our pups and what you do yourself for optimum health and nutrition.

Should dogs eat the same food every day?

Would you like to have the same meal every day?  Of course not and sadly most conventional vets recommend the same dry or wet diet full of unnecessary carbohydrates for our pets every day, which is probably why we see so many unwell pets. Unfortunately, most Veterinary Universities are sponsored by large corporate companies that are great at making chocolate products but in our opinion, not dog food! In the wild, a fox would not choose just to eat rabbit every day, they need and choose a variety of foods that are “in season”. The same applies to our dogs, feeding different foods each week/month keeps our pups healthy as each meat has different nutrient values.

Rotating different proteins

Rotating different proteins can also help your pup avoid developing intolerances to certain foods:

  • Beef is an excellent source of vitamins B12, B6, B2, protein, niacin, selenium, phosphorous and zinc. It also has choline, iron, potassium and pantothenic acid.
  • Chicken is high in protein and provides potassium, phosphorous and magnesium.  Chicken is also lower in fat than some meats.
  • Duck is higher in fat than some meats and full of Vitamins A, B, C, and D plus important omegas and protein.
  • Turkey is also a good source of protein and full of copper, magnesium and folate.
  • Lamb can be higher in fat than poultry but is a great protein and is mainly grass-fed. Lamb is full of protein, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, B6 and iron.  

By rotating different proteins you are offering your pup a great variety of foods which will give optimal health.


Vitamins are divided into two categories – water-soluble and fat-soluble.

The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body tissues. If your dog gets too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, a vitamin excess can accumulate over time.

The water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C. These vitamins are not  stored in the body like fat-soluble ones, so they should typically be in the diet daily. If excess water-soluble vitamins are fed, the body will take what it needs and the kidneys will excrete the rest in the urine. This doesn’t mean excesses will never happen, but they are much less likely in water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin A

Enhances immunity and prevents eye problems and skin disorders. Important in bone and teeth formation. Protects against colds and infection. Slows the ageing process.

Meat Sources

Chicken, duck, beef, pork, sardines, liver, kidney, brain.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Promotes growth, improves mental attitude, aids digestion, helps strengthen the nervous system and prevents stress.

Meat Sources

Liver, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Is needed for red blood cell formation, aids growth, and reproduction, and promotes hair, skin and nail growth. Important in the prevention and treatment of eye issues.

Meat Sources

Liver, heart, kidney, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Essential for proper circulation and healthy skin. Increases energy, and aids digestion.

Meat Sources

Rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Enhances stamina, prevents anaemia, helps heal wounds, fights infection, and strengthens the immune system.

Meat Sources

Liver, heart, kidney, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Aids in absorption of fats and protein. Mildly diuretic, helps prevent kidney stones. Helpful in treating allergies, arthritis, and asthma.

Meat Sources

Liver, heart, kidney, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic Acid)

Works to produce red blood cells and helps iron work correctly in the body. Controls blood levels of amino acids. Important for pregnant bitches.

Meat Sources

Liver, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Helps prevent anemia. It protects the nervous system, improves concentration, and aids digestion.

Meat Sources

Liver, heart, kidney, rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Helps calcium and iron formation. Enhances immunity. Helps to prevent cancer. Aids in the production of anti-stress hormones. Antioxidants are essential for proper tissue growth and repair, plus adrenal gland function.

Meat Sources

Beef and pork spleen, beef and lamb lung, pork liver

Vitamin D

Essential for calcium and phosphorus utilisation. Prevents rickets. Needed for normal growth of bones and teeth. Helps regulate the heartbeat. Prevents cancer and enhances immunity. Aids thyroid function and blood clotting.

Dogs can’t manufacture vitamin D from sunshine like we can, so they need to get it from their diet. 

Meat Sources

Grass-fed meat and chicken, sardine and oily fish, liver, kidney, and eggs.

Vitamin E

An antioxidant which helps prevent cancer and heart disease and prevents cell damage. Reduces blood pressure and promotes healthy skin and hair.

Grass-fed meats are about four times higher in vitamin E than grain-fed.

Meat Sources

Sardine, kidney, liver, brain, nuts (NEVER MACADAMIA)

Vitamin K

Promotes healthy liver function. Helps bone formation and repair. Increases longevity.

Meat Sources

Chicken, eggs, sardine, liver.



Builds and protects bones and teeth, and helps maintain a regular heartbeat. Prevents muscle cramping.

Essential for puppies and young dogs,  it is important to feed sufficient calcium for bone and muscle development.

Meat Sources

Rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, sardine, raw meaty non-weight bearing bones link to some on your website here! Another subject to write about!


Converts iron to haemoglobin and protects against anaemia. Copper is needed for healthy bones and joints.

Meat Sources

Chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, beef, beef liver, shellfish halibut, haddock, sardine.


Needed in trace amounts for a healthy thyroid gland and to help metabolise excess fat.

Meat Sources

Seafood and oily fish.


Essential for metabolism and the production of haemoglobin.

Meat Sources

Vension, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, goat, beef, haddock, sardine and seafood.


Prevents calcification of soft tissue and helps reduce and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones. Helps prevent birth defects. Improves cardiovascular system.

Meat Sources

Beef meat, liver and pancreas, duck.


Very small quantities of this mineral are needed for healthy nerves, blood sugar regulation, normal bone growth and thyroid hormone production. Manganese is a very important mineral for ligament and tendon strength because it activates the enzymes that build collagen. 

If your pup tends to get tendon or ligament injuries (like cruciate tears), he may be manganese deficient.

Meat Sources

Mussels, beef liver and lamb.


Needed for teeth and bone formation, nerve impulse transfer, normal heart rhythm and kidney function.

Meat Sources

Chicken turkey and eggs


Regulates water balance and muscle function. Important for the nervous system and regular heart rhythm. 

Meat Sources

Chicken, turkey, fish and eggs


Provides an important trace element for the prostrate gland in males. Protects the immune system and helps regulate thyroid hormones.

Meat Sources

Beef, beef liver and other organ meats, lamb, sardine and shellfish


Promotes growth and mental alertness, and helps healing. Regulates oil glands. Promotes a healthy immune system.

Meat Sources

Oysters, beef and pork. 

What about fruit and vegetables?

There are lots of great fruit and vegetables you can add to your pup’s bowl, link to some of your foods here. Here at BarkinBISTRO, we like to add seasonal vegetables if possible.  Not all dogs enjoy fruit and veg, but if they do there are lots of vitamins and minerals which can certainly add to good health, especially in leafy green vegetables.  You may notice that your pup selects blackberries in the autumn – full of vitamin C and of course, they are free! They are very clever at selecting what they need. I started an article on Do Dogs Need Vegetables if you would like it!

What about nuts and seeds?

Certain nuts and seeds are a superb addition to your pup’s diet and we recommend the following, the best way to feed them to your pup is to put them in a blender until blitzed properly as dogs cannot digest whole nuts and seeds and they will come out the way they go in! 

  • Almonds: Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and riboflavin (aka vitamin B2). 
  • Cashews. Cashews contain heart-healthy fats as well as copper, magnesium and manganese. They have a high fat content so feed small amounts. A good amount is about 3-4 cashews or 1 tsp for a 20 lb dog and about a handful or 1 tbsp of cashew butter for a 50-60 lb dog. 
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a natural dewormer. They’re also rich in manganese, vitamin K, zinc and phosphorus.
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a good source of fibre, protein, calcium, iron and magnesium and they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as fibre.
  • Sunflower Seeds: Your dog will get plenty of vitamin E, selenium, niacin, B vitamins, fibre, protein and iron. The seeds should be shelled, raw and unsalted for sunflower seed butter.
  • Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds are easily digestible by your dog. They’re filled with antioxidants, are high in protein and provide 9 amino acids. They also provide a healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats including gamma-linolenic fatty acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seeds are also rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, vitamin E and B vitamins. 
  • Sesame Seeds. They contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E all great for immune system support as well as calcium and magnesium.


As with all things folks do your research and you should feel confident feeding your pup a variety of different proteins for optimum nutrition. By adding a variety of different proteins, your pup will likely not only enjoy food more but the addition of these different nutrients will enhance the diet.

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