Do you think a dog being a "garbage disposal" indicates a poor diet?

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!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Charlie &- Zelda

Love at first- sniff <3
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 11:53am PST 
Just wondering about opinions on this.

I have two dogs at home eating a stellar diet, and while they will eat just about anything I give them, they rarely ever get into things they shouldn't. They also don't pick trash/nuts/icky stuff up off the ground when we walk. They LOVE food, but they're not obsessed with shoving everything into their mouths.

I walk 3 different dogs during the week who eat low quality food (Nutro for 1, Purina for the other 2), and I've noticed that they are literally garbage disposals. I spend half the walk dragging them along because they're constantly stopping to eat something, and then prying their mouths open to get a lot of it out of there. These dogs shovel everything in their mouths from dirt, smashed berries, nuts, poop, plastic, and trash, and they seek these things aggressively while walking.

This behavior disturbs me. I've had to pry Zelda's mouth open before to get half a pizza crust or a cooked chicken wing that someone left lying around.. but not garbage and random seeds and nuts.

Edited by author Fri Jun 1, '12 11:54am PST

Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 12:03pm PST 
Maybe, maybe not. We went through this with Scruffy. He was ravenous and eating anything remotley edible that he could find inside and outside. Turns out he has Kidney Disease and undersized kidneys. He is now on holistic kidney support and he is doing well and has pretty much stopped trying to eat random stuff he finds.

Edited by author Fri Jun 1, '12 12:10pm PST

Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 12:53pm PST 
Honestly I don't see any correlation between a garbage disposal dog and poor diet. My dogs will eat anything that resembles food and are raw fed...they just love food. I will say that when Maggie was eating kibble (5 years ago) she refused to eat anything, treats were even out of the question. Since switching her to raw she became a food fanatic (it is thought that she had underlying conditions).

I think is depends on the dog though - I worked a lot of food drive into my young girl Tika, so she will work for food of any sort...so I kind of created that monster lol!


I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 12:55pm PST 
It could mean a nutrient deficiency, even one that can come from organ malfunction like what Scruffy is describing, that can happen even with a good diet. It can also mean that the dogs have no set feeding time. After awhile they're not sure when food may be coming so they scarf whatever they can whenever they can.
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 1:11pm PST 
I think it could. But some dogs just love to eat. Jax never over ate or ate anything inappropriate. Kali & Koby on the other hand are vacuum cleaners. I think Kali would eat until she exploded, like a piece of popcorn. Lolol

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 1:21pm PST 
Think it depends more on the dog than the diet.

Mulder will go dumpster diving if I'm not careful, and Ridley... Ridley eats anything that isn't nailed to the ground shock

Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 4:04pm PST 
I don't think so. Huck is fed Fromms with canned Fromms, Evo, Evangers, etc as a topper and Missing Link and would still eat anything that was sort of edible.

Lets GO
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 4:23pm PST 
Shadow gets a mid quality kibble, raw chicken, and assorted veggies. Not a perfect diet but a good one. Two days ago she ate the fabric cover of a toy after disemboweling it. Apparently the stuffing is not tasty. I think some dogs like the act of eating. If I let her she would swallow anything she could pick up.

Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 7:48pm PST 
Yes and no?
My dogs eat a good diet, and one of the two kibble-fed dogs (formerly a fatty fat fat) will eat ANYTHING. The one who eats homemade will also eat just about anything. So, it could be that they are just dogs, and will eat about anything regardless of diet (the Shiba likes whatever the other dog is eating, regardless of what he gets fed. He is all mineminemine). Or there might be a true nutritional deficiency in those dogs, since I have met some with deficiencies that would aggressively seek out other foodstuffs.

Turd Burglar
Barked: Sat Jun 2, '12 5:09am PST 
Charlie gets a varied prey model diet and yesterday she decided she NEEDED to eat the muffin paper freshly off of a carrot muffin. It was on the computer desk and she was told "NO!" several times but persisted. She does this with ANYTHING that resembles food... So while it COULD indicate a poor diet, I also just believe that some dogs are just gluttons.
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