Dog Food versus Table Food

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

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Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 9:54pm PST 
Hi all. I need a little help with the food I'm giving my labrador. She seems to have gone tired of eating dog food now, but I'm not sure if its safe to just give her table food. Any suggestions?

Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 3:30pm PST 
No table scrapes do not always give a dog what they need to be healthy. Maybe as a treat once in awhile. But I would not use it as the dogs only food

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 5:43pm PST 
If the scraps are something that could be part of a balanced diet for a dog then they are fine. No onion, macadamia nuts, Xylitol, grapes, too much salt or fat is a start. I was surprised to find out most herbs and spices are just fine for dogs, nutmeg is not good for dogs however.

Dogs are carnivores and if your dog is fed kibble then carbohydrate rich stuff like rice and potato isn't a great choice. Vegetables and fruits won't be digested unless well cooked or pulped and aren't particularly great but many dogs like them and do well on them. Meat is where it is at.

So if the stuff you are *substituting* for some of the kibble is at the most half carbohydrate/fruit/veggie and half meaty stuff like egg, meat, fish, organs and possibly dairy then go for it. Better would be to skip the plant products completely. You could substitute about 25% of the kibble *calories* for this incomplete food by calorie count without worry that you are compromising her nutrition.


Do you even- lift?
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 9:46pm PST 
Unless you're interested in switching to a well researched, balanced raw/home cooked diet, no, it's not a very good idea to just give her random table food. You'll very likely end up with a diet lacking in some nutrients, and like Maxwell said, dogs are carnivores and need a meat based diet, which probably isn't what you'd end up with if you gave random table scraps.

As far as supplementing a kibble diet with other foods, I would be careful about giving your dog alternatives when she refuses kibble. You can very easily create a picky eater by teaching her to wait you out. People have ended up with dogs that will go for days without eating because they know eventually they'll get something they like better.

I would start putting food down twice a day for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pick the food up and don't feed her again until the next mealtime, regardless of how much she's eaten. Healthy dogs won't starve themselves, and eventually she'll get hungry enough to eat the food she's given. The longer you let her be a picky eater, the worse it will get.

Benjamin Button- of dogs
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:41am PST 
You can add things like plain meat, eggs, cottage cheese, or canned sardines in water(without salt preferably). I wouldn't let it exceed 1/3 of their diet though.

Benjamin Button- of dogs
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:42am PST 
double post

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 9:43am PST


I'm working on- three toys!
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 3:52pm PST 
One well-known vet has posted a video listing what foods she would feed from best to worst. The absolute worst, even after kibble, was table scraps. I think a couple things are particularly problematic: the fact that dogs can't easily digest many veggies/carbs unless they're chopped or cooked to practically mush, the fact that a particular ratio of phosphorus to calcium is needed, and the fact that meat and fat are more important in a dog's diet than in a human's diet.