Not Fit For a Dog to Eat

Not Fit for a Dog to Eat: The Dog Food Dilemma

 By Aya Katz
[Note: This article was originally published on Hubpages.]

The first dogs were wolves. Maybe they weren’t the strongest wolves in their pack. Maybe they were the runts of the litter, the misfits unable to make it among their peers. Too dependent to become lone wolves, but too weak to hold their own among their kind, they found easy pickings among the garbage that always surrounded human habitations. They were not too proud to beg. They were not too proud to grovel. And they were certainly not too proud to eat leftovers. They lingered on the periphery of human villages, and whatever the humans discarded they took.

Humans first tolerated them, and later, as with all our dependents, a bond grew between the two species. These wolves were willing to lavish love and affection, loyalty and trust on humans to an extent not available in human to human relationships. Because of the inequality of the relationship, the bond between man and dog is greater than the bonds between and among dogs or the bonds between and among humans.

If you seek unconditional love, a dog is your best bet. The price for eternal loyalty is small indeed: you have to feed your dog. Up until recently, this was fairly easy. Whatever you did not need or want from your table, you gave to the dogs.

Our Friend the Dog

Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Secret to a Dog’s Empathy

We all have the same feelings. Sadness, happiness, anticipation, surprise, irritation, joy, merriment, grief, shame… these are all mammalian feelings. As such, you would think any two people would be able to share their feelings. But in human to human relationships, there is a wide disparity in intellectual development, frame of reference, belief system and arbitrary preferences.

It’s just as evident to most humans as it is to most dogs what another person is feeling, when they can read the nonverbal signals, the facial expression, the carriage, the gaze direction and the hundred and one other tell-tale signs. The problem with humans is that it is not enough for them to know how someone else is feeling. They want to know why. After they find out what event triggered the feeling, they tend to try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and see if they would feel the same. If they are very similar to the other person and share his frame of reference, they will come out with a pronouncement such as this: “I know exactly how you feel.” If, on the other hand, their frame of reference is quite different, they will say: “But why? Why are you sad? There’s nothing to be sad about.” Or conversely: “I don’t understand why you’re so happy. What do you have to be happy about?” And they will hound the other person until the other person at least pretends to feel differently.

Dogs don’t do that. They know that humans and dogs have vastly divergent frames of reference. Dogs hear and smell things that we don’t and are privy to information relayed to them from other dogs miles away. Humans have a very complicated internal life that involves all sorts of abstract concepts that are of no interest to dogs. When a dog notices that his human is sad or happy or playful or gloomy, he responds to the feeling, without any attempt to understand its cause. In this way, dogs achieve perfect empathy.

If you ever want to be close to another human being, you might try the canine approach. Stop telling yourself that you understand your friend and that all you need to know is what happened. Tell yourself this instead: my friend and I live in different worlds and want different things and operate by a different set of rules. But my friend is sad today, so maybe he’ll feel better if I lick his face.

A Diet for Carnivores

Wolves and dogs are carnivores, This does not mean that they can’t consume any vegetable matter. We have all seen dogs chewing on grass and eating vegetables. Sometimes they have vitamin and mineral deficiencies that are best supplemented by plant matter. Nevertheless, as carnivores, their primary dietary need is to consume the flesh of other animals. If you care about your dog, you will see to it that meat is a big part of his diet.

Now this does not mean that you have to feed your dog exclusively on sirloin steaks and filet mignon. If you are very rich, you might do that, but most of us can’t afford that for ourselves, and this means the same for our dogs. Your dog is dependent on you. For economic reasons alone, he can’t be expected to eat any better than you do. But… how much worse must he fare?

What Your Dog Wants in a Dog Food

I am not a dog myself, but from observing the dogs I have known, here is a list of things that dogs look for in food:

  • odor — It should smell like meat. In fact, it should smell period. Many of the dogs I know like slightly rancid smelling meat. Give them a bowl full of freshly chopped chicken heads, and they will bury them, and then dig up the ones you gave them a week ago to eat.
  • texture — It should have a flesh and bone type of texture, so that the dog has something to gnaw on for hours after the more fleshy bits are consumed.
  • fat content — It should be high in fat. Dry dog food is not acceptable, not because it isn’t wet — as in covered with water. It is not acceptable, because it’s not oily and soaked through with fat.

Do dogs know what’s good for them?

Sure, you may be thinking, that’s what dogs want. But should we give it to them? Do dogs really know what’s good for them? After all, how many books on nutrition has the average dog read?

Your dog does not have an absolute understanding of its nutritional requirements, but neither do you, and quite frankly, neither do the people who write books about nutrition.

The dog evolved in a particular environment, and what your dog likes is what’s good for him, to the extent that what is available now is similar to what was available then. This does not mean he recognizes all toxic substances as such. If, for instance, chocolate is bad for him, he may not be aware of that. You might want to monitor his intake of foods that hadn’t existed until quite recently and for which the dog has not evolved any protective mechanisms.

Nevertheless, for most intents and purposes, I’d trust a dog’s preferences in diet over those of a nutritionist, since the canine preferences have been tested over tens of thousands of years, whereas nutritionists spout new theories every decade.

Commercial Dog Foods

Image Credit: The Wikipedia
Image Credit: The Wikipedia

What Dog Food Manufacurers Want in a Dog Food

I don’t believe that dog food manufacturers are trying to kill dogs or to shorten their lives. For the most part, they are trying to do a good job to satisfy the market demand for high quality dog food. Nevertheless, it is important to understand where the interests of dog food manufacturers and the interests of dogs might conflict. This conflict is made all the more serious because dogs do not pay for their own dog food, so the ultimate consumer is not making the purchasing decision.

What do dog food manufacturers want in a dog food?

  • long shelf life — Manufacturers don’t want dog food to spoil on its way to the store. They don’t want it to lose its value while it waits on the shelves to be bought. This is perfectly understandable. Foods with high fat content go rancid more easily than foods that have had the fat removed. That is why most dog food is dry, and any fat content it has is superficially sprayed on after baking.
  • inexpensive ingredients — Because dog food must be less expensive than human food to be competitive in the marketplace, dog food manufacturers look for ingredients that will not cost them much to acquire. What they use are mostly the by-products of human food manufacture that humans don’t want. In a sense, they use left-overs, just as we do at home, in order to feed dogs. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes in when too many of these leftovers are from grains, and not enough of them are from animal flesh. The chief ingredient in many dog foods is corn. Can dogs eat corn? Sure. But should that be their one and only food source? No. Fresh corn is not a sufficient source of all the nutrients a dog needs, but corn meal, which is what commercially produced kibble mostly consists of, is even less nutritious.
  • nutritional cachet — Dog food manufacturers are very much aware of the nutritional concerns of dog owners. Whatever vitamin, mineral or other nutrient the kibble is deficient in naturally, they tend to supplement. They add artificially produced vitamins and minerals to the final product. This is why most dry dog food smells like medicine, not food. This nutritional supplementation allays the concerns of dog owners, but leaves many dogs with a product they can barely stomach as their one and only food source, especially when owners believe that leftovers and table scraps are bad for dogs.

The dog’s preferences in dog food never even comes into play. Some humans are very picky about dog food, but their concerns have nothing to do with what their dog might want. Those humans who are critical of dog food and buy special products are sometimes making the wrong choices based on their understanding of current nutritional theory. They often complain that dog food contains too much animal fat or not enough rice, as opposed to corn or wheat. Animal fat is good for a carnivore. There is no requirement that dogs have to eat rice. Animal by-products are seen by many as undesirable ingredients. In fact, that’s what dogs have been eating all along. People used to go to the butcher shop and get the leftover meat that nobody wanted, the chicken heads and feet and other unmentionables to feed to their dogs. Those are the things dogs hunger for, if they can’t have steak or hunt rabbit on their own!

The problem is not really with the dog food manufacturers. The problem is that dogs have no say in their diet, but nutritionists do.

Dog Food Compromises

Feeding your dog table scraps isn’t a bad thing to do, provided that you yourself are eating good food. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to feed your dog on jelly donuts and chocolate eclairs, but if that’s all you’re eating, then you are probably in really bad shape, too.

However, if you have a reasonable amount of meat and especially of animal fat in your diet, sharing scraps with your dog is not a bad thing. If you don’t have enough scraps, it might also be okay to use commercially produced dog food as a filler, but to supplement it with real food. Add drippings from your roast to the kibble. Add chicken skins or any gristle that you don’t want. If there was no meat on the menu today, throw in a raw egg or two. Most commercial dog food isn’t poison. It doesn’t contain “bad” ingredients. It just doesn’t have enough good ingredients. It doesn’t provide all the nutrients your dog needs. But you can solve this problem by making sure that your dog gets plenty of the right kinds of food from your table.

Are your table scraps good for your dog? It depends on what you’re eating. Man and dog have shared a diet for centuries. If your food is not fit for a dog to eat, then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it, either!

(c) 2010 Aya Katz

 

Comments

38 comments on Hubpages

maven101 5 years ago from Northern ArizonaLevel 1 Commenter

We have been giving our table scraps to the ravens…We keep our dog ( a Jack Russell ) in the house because of marauding coyotes, and never considered feeding him any table scraps because 1: We didn’t want him begging at the table and 2: The mess he would make eating those scraps and trying to bury bones under pillows and such…After reading your excellent and informative Hub we are rethinking that option…like mixing selective scraps with his normal meal of kibble…

Thank you Aya, you always have something interesting and informative on animals to share with us here on HubPages…Larry

 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Maven101, thanks so much for your comment. Yes, it would be bad to have scraps buried among the pillows, I have to agree with you there.

Jack Russells are my daughter’s favorite kind of dog. She gets to play with them at her riding instructor’s house. (Our dogs are a mutt of no certain parentage and a chocolate lab.) I bet your dog will thank you profusely for adding the selected scraps to his kibble!


 

nhkatz profile image

nhkatz 5 years ago from Bloomington, Indiana

Aya,

Much of what you say about dogs is true. But you make them

seem more finicky than they are.

We have two dogs, Montana, a purebred Australian shepherd,

and Lazarus, a mongrel with some of the appearance of a beagle and the personality of a Labrador retriever.

Many of their scraps come from the children who are finicky

eaters and keep leaving most of their meals. The dogs are

excited by Ireah’s hot dogs and Dagon’s pancakes (no meat, but full of milk and eggs), but they’re equally happy to get peanut butter sandwiches. I haven’t known many dogs

to turn up their noses at vegetable fats. Come to think

of it, I don’t know many who would turn down a donut, or a

chocolate eclair, for the same reason.

But there is something curious about nuts. Montana loves nuts. Nothing makes her like me more than when I am eating

a bowl of shelled walnuts. But when I try offering a walnut

to Lazarus, he seems not to understand. This is a moist/ dry

issue. There is plenty of fat. Montana knows it is there.

Lazarus does not, because of the texture.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Nets, thanks for your comment. I wasn’t intentionally making dogs out to be more finicky than they are. I realize a dog will gladly eat a donut or a chocolate eclair. I’m just saying that’s probably not the best choice for the dog, though not on account of the fat. As for the nut issue, that’s a new one to me. I’ll have to experiment with macadamia nuts and my dogs. I wonder if Montana can smell the fat, while Lazarus cannot.


 

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NCLevel 1 Commenter

I have started feeding my older dogs human food. They have rice, meat (or sometimes canned dog food) and vegetables mixed. Chicken livers are usually my choice since it is affordable and sweet potato, pumpkin or broccoli. The dogs are looking great and are acting like pups again. Great Hub.


 

EmpressFelicity profile image

EmpressFelicity 5 years ago from Kent, England, UK

Lovely hub! I think the same thing applies to cats as to dogs – we feed our cat scraps of leftover meat as well as commercial tinned cat food and they thrive on it. Your section on empathy nails precisely why it is that when you’re feeling a bit down, animals are often far easier to spend time with than people.

  • H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

A house dog is an intimate friend. So he should be feed up as a family member keeping in mind his taste of interest in eating food.

 

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia

A great article, full of common sense. I cannot abide those who try and force dogs and cats onto vegetarian fare. True enough a portion of veg will do some good because as you rightly point out dogs/wolves will eat some grasses, fruits and berries just as chimpanzees will consume the odd monkey and gorillas some insects.

  • Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Suziecat7, thanks! Looks like you found a diet that is right for your dogs! Having them acting like pups again is well worth it.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

EmpressFelicity, thanks! I haven’t much experience with cats, as unfortunately I’m allergic to them, but I imagine that the dietary issues are very much the same. Sounds as if you have found what is right for your cats. The empathy that we get from other animals, and that we often can’t get from our own kind, is well worth it. But I also think that we can improve our empathy for other humans, if we can somehow stop expecting them to be just like us.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

H.P. Roychoudhury, thanks! I quite agree. A house dog is a family member, and we should keep in mind his tastes when serving food.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Peter Dickinson, thanks! I think the whole issue of whether a particular animal is mostly carnivore or vegetarian is by and large about proportions, not absolutes. So our dogs eat mostly meat, but have some other vegetable matter in their diet. My daughter and I eat a combination of meat and vegetables and fruits, just like Bow, my adopted chimp son, but Bow’s portion of meat is smaller and more symbolic, and he eats more fruits and vegetables than we do. We all eat some of the same foods, but in different proportions.

 

Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 5 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Hi Aya, firstly yes dogs and cats sense your feelings and I as owner of both appreciate this 100%. Dogs (I have a labrador and a westie) respond particularly to voice and if there’s a row in the house, I find they hate it and respond with affection i.e. feet licking etc.. My dogs only eat chicken and sausages which is amazing as I now keep chickens and neither dog is concerned or bothered with chasing the live chicken! Great hub thanks.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Jamiehousehusband, thanks! Chicken and sausage is a great combination of food, and I’m sure your dogs are grateful for this diet! One of my dogs is a chocolate lab, and he gets along well with our chickens. The other is a terrier-like mix, and she’s a hunter, so we must keep her away from the chickens. It’s great that your dogs both get along so well with chickens.


 

angel115707 profile image

angel115707 5 years ago from Galveston, TX

ummm I am experienced with animal nutrition–do not feed them sausage or high salt high fat food–they will die painfully.

unless they are hiking 30 miles do not feed high fat

here are great foods to feed your dog:

human grade ground turkey

buffalo

rice

and small cut fresh veggies mixed in with the food you cook

cooked eggs

do not add salt except a tiny smidgen to any of it…

seek out food that is not primarily meat/bone meal and corn meal…that is terrible

and If I have to describe the horrible type of death high salt and fat causes you will feel so guilty you won’t sleep for a week

  • Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Angel115707, thanks for your comment. I have been feeding dogs leftovers all my life. I don’t eat a high salt diet myself, so my dogs don’t get much salt, but I would say that their diet and mine contains a reasonably high percentage of fat. I find that when they are eating a high fat diet, they tend to be more slim and fit and they are also more active that way. Are you thinking of primarily sedentary dogs? Mine are active and frisky.

 

angel115707 profile image

angel115707 5 years ago from Galveston, TX

Aya, it depends on the size and living conditions. If it is a smaller dog, by the time it is 5 or 6 years old it will develop a type of pancreatic problem, where it suffers severe bowl movements, and howls in pain, following almost debilitating paralysis of the rear half of his/her body, if the small dog survives it is placed on diet food for the rest of its life, which is very sad.

If it is a larger dog, it is ok to feed it some fat in its first year, IF it is fence free, and can roam all day in fields running freely. If it is fence free, fat can help their coat and stamina, but as the dog ages, it doesn’t properly absorb the fat as nutrients, so if your dogs are approaching older years, as in even 4+ it is a good idea to decrease the fat slowly, chicken skin is not a good food to feed your dogs, puppies maybe…I spent my summers in veterinary clinics, so I have seen the effects of high fat….don’t ever advise that to any one….


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Angel115707, thanks for coming back and engaging me in this interesting discussion. I truly appreciate that your intentions are entirely good, and that you want to prevent needless suffering.

Here’s the problem. I don’t know how old you are or how many dogs you have seen through their entire life cycle. I also don’t know how many different countries you have lived in, and how many different ways of treating dogs you have experienced.

I am about to hit the half century mark this summer. My family has always had dogs. We have lived in Israel and we have lived in the United States. We had dogs in both countries, and we observed the practices of caring for dogs in both.

In Israel, the dogs were relatively lean, but the people were a little chubby when I was growing up. I don’t mean morbidly obese, just chubbier. Dogs were on a high fat diet in Israel, eating butcher scraps and leftovers, including drippings of fat. People ate a high carb diet. They ate both meat and bread, but bread and other carbs predominated. The bread was really good in Israel, whereas meat was not as good as in the States. What beef tastes like depends on how it is raised and butchered. Israelis weren’t as good at that as Americans.

In America, in contrast, the dogs were fat, but most people were thin (except for some who were morbidly obese due to hormone problems). Americans ate more meat than Israelis, but their dogs fed on kibble, mostly carbs, and were fat. (I’m talking about experiences from the 1960s here.)

My current dogs are a female who is eight years old going on nine, small and of mixed breed, and a three year old chocolate lab male. I observe that during periods when I don’t have many scraps to give, my little dog gains weight on dry food. When she gets more fat in her diet, she grows leaner.

Anyhow, we’ve been through this with many dogs, and none of them have developed pancreatic cancer at the age of five or six. What are you basing your recommendations on? Years of raising dogs or your education as a nutritionist?

We have to trust our experiences, which are based on fact, because nutritional science is still in its infancy, and many of its doctrines are politically based. Nowadays, they even tell people not to give milk to cats or snakes, because of “lactose intolerance”. But people have been giving cats and snakes milk for centuries. Do you really think it makes sense to ignore historical evidence just because some nutritionist said something?

 

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and ArizonaLevel 3 Commenter

Thanks for a great article and some lively comments.

Our vet is writing a book — or was until the economy went down — and he sent the gist of his future book through to all of his clients. It was eye-opening — as to what causes cancer and other diseases for dogs and cats. If we love our animals, it’s good to read a variety of educational material from university-trained people and material such as you have written from your experiences and your knowledge. Good information.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Thanks, Pamela. I’d be very interested in reading the book by your veterinarian. I hope the economic situation will not keep him from publishing it. There are many new ways to publish a book so that it goes directly to the reading public and by-passes the less efficient publishers.

 

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I remember in the 60’s in the UK Mars started Petfoods in Melton Mowbray. Before that I used to buy horsemeat in great slabs (died green) for my Lab. My dogs have always lived to a good age and have always had scraps mixed with their food except chicken and other sharp bones. I don’t cook with salt and I NEVER give them chocolate or grapes, they are toxic to dogs. Just my humble two pennorth.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Thanks, Gypsy Willow! It’s good to share our experiences with dogs and see the many different diets that can keep a dog healthy and fit. Did they dye the horse flesh green in order to keep human beings from consuming it?

 

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Absolutely, this is strange as our French neighbors eat it regularly and obviously enjoy it. My Lab certainly did. The French eat frogs and snails too, no accounting for taste!

  • Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Gypsy Willow, so many of our taboos about what to eat are cultural and have nothing to do with either nutrition or taste!

 

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 3 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Oh my how I was angry when I heard about the atrocity known as “vegan dog food.” Thanks for this article, and I most certainly know that dogs know what’s good for them!

 

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 3 years ago from Oklahoma

I agree with Angel. Dogs have inherited their ancestors taste in food but just like humans don’t need as much fat in our diet as our forefathers, neither do dogs. Overweight animals live a shorter less healthy life.

My dog is 13 and on a veterinarians care due to old age. He can no longer eat bones because they are harder to digest especially by an older canine. He gets very little people food and mostly Nutro dog food for mature dogs. Good dog food has added vitamins making sure they get proper nutrition.

My dog acts like he’s only five years old even though he’s getting on in years. He’s a Boston Terrier.

  • alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

This whole business of special food for a dog seemed a bit bizarre to me when I first came to the U.S., considering a lot of people are starving out there. In the Philippines, where I came from, we always fed our dog scraps from the table and they were fine with it. And that’s just what people and dogs did for ten thousand years they’ve been together. Not quite understanding why a dog would need a special diet since they’ve evolved to eat ours. Voting this Up and Interesting.


 

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

Great hub! I have been confused by so much conflicting advice about what to feed my dog ever since I got him last year. Some people simply hate commercial dog food, and recommend either the very expensive, hard to find stuff, or making it yourself. Other people swear by the commercial dry dog food since it is good for the teeth. Others say you shouldn’t give a dog variety because it will upset their stomach.

Eventually, I let the dog decide. He wasn’t eating the dog food, although he would if he got hungry enough. I know I like variety and I’m sure he does too. I started giving him the scrapings off my plate when I was finished with it. The little tablespoon was enough for him to make the dry dog food more palatable.

I’m not sure about fat though – I think it is possible to give the dog too much fat. Generally, when I trim fat off meat, I throw it away. Do you think I should give it to him?


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Millionaire Tips, thanks for your comment. I’m sure that your dog appreciates you sharing what is left over on your plate. As you said, even just a little mixed in helps that commercial stuff taste better.

As for fat, I think you should feel free to share that, too. We have all been misled by the “lipid hypothesis” that fat in the diet is bad for us and will lead to fat on our bodies. It does not work that way. Fat is hard to digest, so we, and our dogs, burn calories while turning it into nutrients we can use for energy.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Pamela, thanks for your comment. I am so glad that your dog is doing well and acting young for his age.

About fat: eating fat does not make us fat. It’s true for dogs as well as humans. For an overweight dog, as well as an overweight human, increasing fat intake while cutting down on carbs can do wonders.


 

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, CanadaLevel 4 Commenter

I had my 2 Newfoundland dogs on a Raw diet and they loved it. Unfortunately I’m no longer able to afford to feed them a raw diet. I do however still give them vegetables, cooked liver, cooked fish and they do get table scraps. I have noticed since they’ve gone off the raw diet that their teeth are not as clean.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Alocsin, thanks! I come from Israel, and where we always fed dogs butcher scraps. They did just fine! In fact, they were leaner than the humans, who ate a lot of bread and cakes.


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Wesman Todd Shaw, thanks for your comment! Vegan dog food is a very silly idea.

  • Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Just Ask Susan, you sound like a very caring dog person. I’m sure your Newfoundland dogs appreciate everything you do for them. We can’t always afford to give a dog the very best. Sometimes we can’t afford that for ourselves, either. But dogs can tell when we share what we’ve got, and I think they are grateful for that.

 

ripley614 3 years ago from Washington

I’ve had pure bred & mutts over the years. One in particular lived for 18 yrs, his primary diet? Leftovers, twice a day, every day & kibble in between. His favorite was pancakes, eggs & sausage. Burgers, no onion, was a close second. The only medical problem he ever had was arthritis. By all means, if your dog (or cat) will eat it, give it to him. My only question is, would you want to eat the same thing everyday?


 

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Ripley614, thanks for sharing your experiences. It seems dogs thrive on leftovers.

Would I like to eat the same thing every day? No, not exactly the same thing, but I’ve been accused of falling into ruts. I think variety is good, but having your favorites on a fairly regular basis can also be good.

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Smarter than Aya 2 years ago

Omg! I stumbled upon this page looking for dog food recipes. I have to say, I can’t believe you are advising people on what to feed their dogs and you’re unaware that dogs can’t have walnuts or macademia nuts or ANY NUTS for that matter. No onions or garlic and no avocado. Please don’t advise people on what to feed their pets unless you know what you’re talking about. A little research goes a long way. BTW, how did your dog enjoy the macademia nuts you were going to give it? Is it still alive? OMG…shaking my freaking head.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 2 years ago from The OzarksHub Author

Yes, my dog is still alive. Eleven years and counting. Now, have you ever done any actual, hands on research on the things you were told dogs should not eat? Or did you just blindly follow the experts?

We are told many things that are not true. It is not necessarily smart to believe someone just because they have authority. People have been feeding their dogs table scraps for generations. Artificial dog food and nutrition experts are a new invention.

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About Aya Katz

Aya Katz is the administrator of Pubwages. When she is not busy administering, she sometimes also writes posts like a regular user.
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4 Responses to Not Fit For a Dog to Eat

  1. Sweetbearies says:

    One YouTuber follows a plant-based diet, but has cautioned people not to feed their animals this way. She said one effective way to find cheap meat for her cats was going to the deli counter at the end of the day and asking if they had any remnants of chopped meat to sell her. She got several pounds for a cheap price and cooked it up for her cat. This might not be high quality cuts of steak, but some of it was steak and chicken remnants. So I suppose there is a way to get fresh meat for your dogs and cats if you stop by the deli and ask for discards.

    • Aya Katz says:

      That is a good way to get inexpensive meat if you live where there is a deli or a neighborhood butcher shop. In Israel, where we lived, we could go to the butcher shop to get chicken heads. I think it is harder here, because meat seems to be centrally butchered and the scraps probably get used for human consumption in ways we are not even told about.

      • Sweetbearies says:

        Jill Stein kind of goes way off the charts, but one thing she did support was more local farms that raised meat the way you mention. I think the centralization of all food has made us reliant on grocery stores for everything. When my mom was young they raised chickens and sold these. This is part of what made her decide to go vegetarian, having to kill many chickens, which grossed her out. But for the majority of people who do eat meat, I think it would be healthier to buy locally raised chickens. She lived a very rural life, and they did not even live on a farm. But their cousins had a small dairy farm. Some people might still live this way in Kansas, but when we visited in 1995 she was surprised by all the new housing developments where there was once rural land.

        • Aya Katz says:

          I agree that the decline of the family farm is a bad thing, and I think it has everything to do with government expansion. More government expansion will not bring it back, so I disagree with Jill’s methodology, rather than where she hopes it will take her.

          Oddly, enough, though, where we lived in Israel was fairly urban, and still we had access to chicken heads at the local butcher shop. This is even though the butcher did not raise the chickens himself.

          I think, from my reading of books like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn that there used to be local butcher shops in highly urban areas in the US, too.

          Maybe the way meat is processed has undergone change way beyond the issue of rural versus urban settings.

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