All About Dog Nutrition with Cam Wimble

Cam Wimble’s vocation is to tell dog parents what their pets should eat. In other words, he’s a dog nutritionist shelling out advice so your canine companion can live its longest, healthiest life.

The natural pet food expert has been creating therapeutic diets for all breeds the last couple of years and noticed there was a parallel between human medicine and veterinary medicine where nutrition largely goes unnoticed and tends to be a key determinant of health. Cam noted, “A natural diet for all dogs should aim towards, on the most basic level, a fresh food diet.”

Here, we spoke to Cam, who shared how he works with his clients, essential nutrients your dog should be getting, and why fresh food is an ideal way to go.

Here, we spoke to Cam, who shared how he works with his clients, essential nutrients your dog should be getting, and why fresh food is an ideal way to go.

What do you consider when prescribing a diet to your clients?

No matter what your dog looks like or its breed, the ideal diet that you should aim towards is fresh food. The general base is a good proportion of meat. If your dog has allergies or health issues that are prominent within that breed, you can account for that. You can also gather a lot of information about the dog's health from the quality of the breeder that the owner went to. And it's important for me to find out about the dog's individual lifestyle.

What are some important nutrients that dogs should be getting in their diet?

The diets that I tend to create for healthy dogs will rarely include a supplement. I try to avoid them and use natural food sources as often as I can.

Calcium is very important, which is in raw meaty bones. So many people are terrified of raw bones, but they are great for cleaning teeth. And because many people are scared of raw bone, periodontal disease is the most prevalent health issue that dogs face.

Ultimately, what people should focus on is a basic balance—a decent proportion of meat, a little bit of organ meat, and then a variety of fruits and veggies. Vary the ingredients how you would think of your own diet, rather than thinking of it like some complex balancing act.

What are your go-to's when it comes to fruits and vegetables?

Berries are my go-to fruit in a dog's diet: blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. They're known antiangiogenic, which angiogenesis is the formation of blood vessels to organs and tumors. So antiangiogenic ingredients restrict the formation of those blood vessels, which restricts tumor growth. I also like apples, which contain quercetin and is a natural antihistamine. Many dogs have summer allergies and take human-grade antihistamines, but apples are a really effective natural replacement.

What should pet parents be mindful of when considering a fresh food diet?

The majority of health issues that dogs face are metabolic disorders, which arise through the incorrect use of the dog's digestive system and feeding it the wrong things. Dogs can get infections in the urinary tract or an inflamed pancreas because they're not digesting the right things. So if you want to restore metabolic health, nutrition is an amazing therapy, but you do need to be really strict with it.

On your website, you have urinary recipes, pancreatic recipes, and kidney recipes. What is the importance of following these protocols for dogs with these issues?

Different breeds all have different predispositions to specific health issues. That basically means that due to selective breeding and funneling genetics into different lines of dogs, they can have joint issues or skin issues. So you can tailor diets to make them less likely to suffer from those. Let’s say you have a Great Dane. You can create a diet where their joints are more protected. There are more ingredients that you can include in their diet, like cooked mushrooms or grate raw broccoli into their food.

Are you a proponent of food sold at the pet store versus cooking it yourself?

If you are buying fresh food, rather than dry food or wet tin food and it’s commercially made fresh food for dogs, then I have no problem whatsoever. But by taking on a bit of the responsibility of making some homemade meals yourself, you become more informed and learn about your dog. You know what they can eat, what they should eat, what your dog reacts to, and all of that information. And all of that time you spend learning about your dog ultimately brings you closer together.