You Wouldn’t Feed That To A Dog – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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I’m sometimes shocked at what people will feed their dogs.
Table scraps are usually not good for your dog. I’ve seen some families that scrape whatever is leftover from their dinner plates into a dog’s bowl. The dogs eat it right up because it is much more flavorful than regular dog food. Invariably, these dogs are obese. And they get terrible diarrhea and gas. In addition, many things that people eat are harmful for dogs to eat. Do a search on the internet some time for foods and ingredients that aren’t good for dogs. Imagine being fed food that wasn’t good for YOU to eat! Would you want that done to you? And why is is OK to slowly kill your dog with toxins and calories? Worse, some people think it is funny to give dogs intoxicating substances, such as pot or alcohol. That’s dog abuse. And some people think it is OK to give dogs small bits of things that we know are poisonous, such as chocolate, just because they think it is cute and the dogs like it. No, it isn’t cute at all. And I’ve known of people who will give spoiled food to a dog. That’s just mean and being a cheapskate.
Fad diets are also a serious problem. I met one woman that said she was only feeding her dog green beans. She didn’t believe in feeding dogs meat, because meat was “cruelty”, and she wanted her dogs to not have allergies. What a nut. Over time, that kind of thing will kill a dog. Similarly, I have known people that were obsessive about their own diets, so they were also obsessive about their dog’s diets, too. The dogs were weighed on a scale every day, and the food was adjusted every day. The food brand and blend was regularly changed, too. So the dogs become finicky, sometimes not eating for a couple of days, because they like one food better than another. And when the dogs won’t eat, then these owners give in, but add human food to the dog food. That then makes things even worse.
Puppies and nursing females have different dietary needs than other dogs. Special dog foods have been created for them. I’ve also seen people get overly obsessive about not letting their puppies get fat, so they put them on ridiculously low amounts of food, not realizing these puppies are miserable. I’ve seen puppies that were being underfed so much that they weren’t the proper height for their age. Once the diet was sorted out, they then grew very fast to their proper size. Even veterinarians have been known to give stupid puppy feeding advice. And I’ve also seen serious behavior problems, including aggression, as a result of fooling too much with what puppies eat, how they eat, when they eat, and at the rate they are allowed to consume the food. Please STOP!!! Please, just give your puppy a consistent, good diet, in a peaceful environment and let them get their nutritional needs met.
Elderly dogs have their own nutritional needs. I know of an older dog that was being fed a very low quality commercial dry food. When he would lift his leg to pee, he would sometimes fall over and you’d need to go over and help him to stand up. When I had the owner switch him to a higher quality diet, with more anti-oxidants and better protein, he stopped falling. Elderly dogs also lose organ function over time, so at about 5 years of age and older, you should discuss diet with your veterinarian, and have urine and blood tests done annually to postpone age related diseases. Some dogs need to be put on medical diets… so DO IT!
Some dogs are allowed to eat garbage. Literally. I’ve seen homes where the dogs were allowed to get into the garbage and eat what they found. Do I even need to explain why that is a bad thing?
And lastly, it is important to not allow your dog to eat things that aren’t meant to be eaten. Dogs will lick antifreeze off the pavement; eat dead birds and rodents they find in the yard or at the park; chew animal bones they find in the wilderness; eat poisonous plants; and so forth. Many plants, insects, fish and other sea animals and plants, and some animals such as toads and snakes, have predator defenses that involve poisons. It’s important to realize the world isn’t pet safe. It is your job to watch out for your dog. And some places will have human waste that is dangerous for dogs, especially parks where people smoke or consume illegal drugs. Pills, used needles, and portions of various drugs can be found in many parks, and all of these are life threatening to a dog.