Our dog is now a senior citizen. He has been for awhile. He’s now 16. Even though he’s slowed down, he eats well and gets around well. I hope we’ll be able to keep him a little longer. But I realize every day is a gift.
So I’m paying more attention to what we feed him. One approach that’s worked is to cut back on the commercial food and up his intake of organic people food. (He likes people food a lot better.)
However, I’ve also found that it’s not practical to cook for a dog. I work and my schedule is busy. So we also feed him USDA-certified organic canned food. But he eats a lot of healthy table scraps. This includes raw organic chicken. (Raw feeding dogs is controversial. So check with your vet before doing this.)
Since our family eats a relatively healthy diet, I don’t see how it can hurt to throw him some table scraps. Our pet now gets small helpings of cooked organic, free-range chicken and organic rice and vegetables.
Should You Feed Your Dog Commercial Food?
You could make the argument that we’re “spoiling” our dog. That would be true if we wanted him to eat only commercial food. But that’s not our goal. Plus, I’m beginning to question whether the kibbles we buy in big bags are all that good for dogs in the first place.
Processed food isn’t good for humans. So it only stands to reason that dried dog food, filled with chemicals and far removed from anything an animal would find in the wild, can’t be all that healthy.
It’s hard to believe a dog food supplier can improve upon what nature has to offer. I highly doubt a bag of dog food contains all the micro-nutrients our dog would need, in the right quantities. Also, if dog food contains corn or soy, it’s highly likely these come from genetically modified seeds. One study done in France showed that laboratory rats that were given GMO’s developed huge mammary tumors.
This isn’t conclusive proof that GMO’s cause cancer in dogs. But canine cancer has reached epidemic levels. Right now, half of all dogs who celebrate their 10th birthday will be diagnosed with cancer.
Can I Feed My Dog Human Food Every Day?
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Have pet owners been sold a bill of goods in terms of believing they need to feed their dogs commercial food? Apparently so, according to Mike Sagman of the Dog Food Adviser website.
Sagman notes that commercial preparations are heavy on the grains, but light on the meat. This means dogs on a processed diet will eat many more carbohydrates than dogs hunting in the wild. Also, he points out, the quality of the meat is not high. It likely contains a roundup of the waste found in a slaughterhouse.
But Sagman doesn’t tell us to stop buying commercial dog food. Instead, his site recommends specific brands.
Others dog owners, however, believe their animals should eat closer to what they’d eat if left to their own devices. Most of their food would be the result of a successful hunt. I have to admit I agree more with this camp.
So, what do you feed your dog?
Dog Food vs Human Food
Another website, called the Whole Dog Journal, offers a very doable approach. As you can guess, this advice is a more holistic type of canine diet. You don’t eliminate the kibble altogether. Instead, you greatly reduce it and feed your dog some high-quality protein.
One recommendation is feeding your animal mostly dog food (about 75 percent of his daily intake) while providing meat for the rest of his calories.
Right now, I feel as if we’ve struck a balance. We feed organic table scraps when we can. The rest of the time we give our dog USDA-certified organic canned dog food. Below, you can see the brand we use.
Feeding a Dog a Human Food Diet
Eggs are highly recommended. Most dogs also love eggs. These can be either raw or cooked, according to the site. But Whole Dog Journal believes a dog only needs one egg a day, an amount that should be even less for smaller breeds.
Plain yogurt can also be added to your dog’s dry food for additional protein. Fruits and vegetables that aren’t spoiled, but would otherwise be thrown away, are another good option. (I figure the anti-cancer compounds found in organic produce will only help my dog stave off cancer, which has become epidemic among canines, as well as humans.)
In order to avoid obesity, the authors of Whole Dog Journal urges you to watch your pet’s total calorie intake very closely.
Can I Feed My Dog Human Food Instead Of Dog Food?
Our dog always seems to know when I’m preparing meat, and he always keeps a close watch while I’m cutting chicken breasts. This behavior is reinforced when he gets a scrap or two, usually parts of the meat that contain the tough, fatty pieces we don’t like to eat. (However, he doesn’t mind.)
Initially, my husband didn’t think he should be consuming raw meat, due to the potential risks of infection. However, wild dogs do not have access to cooked meat. I do make sure the meat is not spoiled and fit for human consumption before giving it to him. This is balanced out with vegetables and organic grains, as well as his kibbles.
Most veterinarians advise against sudden dietary changes, even if it just involves using another brand of kibbles or canned dog food.