Article: Dog food: good or bad?: table scraps

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Image Dog food: good or bad?
By Lance Gardner on October 5, 2010

I would not feed that even to my dog! Believe it or not, you may very well be feeding some very bad stuff to your critters, and not even know it. So how do we go about choosing a good dog food?

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woodspirit
Mar 14, 2011 11:57 AM CST
I regularly give my beagle a little deboned chicken, or other leftover food. But my husband gives him snacks of cheap hot dogs and bologna a few times a day. He has had some gut trouble and even had to go to the vet because of an intestinal infection.. But he has had 2 more occurances; we just had the antibiotics on hand so didn't have to go back to the vet.
We have now left off the hot dogs and bologna and so far, so good, but not long enough to tell for sure if they are the problem. What do you all think? Confused
ImageLance
Mar 14, 2011 2:10 PM CST
Name: Lance Gardner
coastal plain Virginia
Question authority, guide in wisdom
The quick answer is that I would not feed processed foods such as that to any animal, including people or dogs. In general, the less processing, the better for any critter, regardless the number of legs.
Specifically for table scraps, many table left-overs can be beneficial, but only if they have not had lots of stuff added to them like salt and added flavors, are still in good condition, and don't have possible hazards like bones. You need to be aware of which foods are possible poisons or toxins, such as onions and chocolate or anything with caffeine. You also need to keep track of the calories, and make sure you do not get overweight dogs. For those reasons, it is many times easier to limit or not use table scraps, as it can be difficult to keep track of what you are giving to your dogs.
Processed meats have lots of the stuff none of us needs, such as nitrates, salt, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. Dogs can be much more sensitive to these, especially a small dog, because their body size relative to how much they eat is much smaller. Essentially some of what we eat is diluted by how much we eat, but since dogs are so much smaller, they can be a lot more sensitive to the foods they receive, and it can be difficult to realize you just gave them the equivalent of a person eating a full package of hot dogs.
If you have noticed a difference in how your beagle is responding to the diet change, that is perhaps your best evidence. Let me know how it turns out.
Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation. The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations.
Dogs; Family Fun Unplugged; Perennials, Annuals, Veggies; Happy Birthday Wishes
careyana
Mar 14, 2011 11:27 PM CST
Name: Carey
Austin, TX
Very much agreed Lance.

Our favorite for ours is a small dollop of natural peanut butter. That's a special treat in our house!

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