By, Katy Cable-TWR
A 2 min. read
There's a 50 year-old rumor that's still going strong amongst dog owners. Maybe you've heard it too. It's the one that says feeding your dog table scraps is a big-bad "No-No!" Well I'm here to squelch that myth and shed some light on the surprising truth.
It always astounds me when I'm talking to pet parents about their pet's food and I encourage them to let their dogs eat table scraps! First let me clarify that when I say table scraps I'm referring to human-grade fish, meat, fruits & vegetables. -NOT nachos and hot fudge sundaes. People are always surprised until I explain the true facts. Facts which confirm how the brilliant marketing machine driving the commercial pet food business has brainwashed us all.
Today, it is estimated over 95% of all pet owners around the globe are feeding their pets dry, commercial pet kibble. What blows my mind is that a large majority of these people honestly believe this dry kibble is all their pet needs to be healthy and thrive throughout their entire lifetime. Furthermore, they believe that supplementing this kibble with “human food” would be extremely harmful.
My how times have changed. Here's how this ridiculous "fake news" got started in the first place. Back in 1964, pet food manufacturers were having a difficult time selling their newly invented processed pet foods. At the time, pet owners by and large were feeding their pets foods from their own kitchens. In an effort to sell product, the pet food industry pumped loads of money into launching one of the most influential campaigns the pet world had ever seen: the “Ban All Table Scraps from your Pets’ Bowls” campaign!
Every consumer was bombarded with newspaper, magazine, radio and TV ads warning of the dangers of eating "table scraps!" Pet owners were urged to introduce this new "balanced diet" of "processed" commercial pet food. Now, over 50 years later, this brilliant campaign is still going strong. So much so that even today, a majority of pet owners are still skeptical of offering their pets anything but big-brand commercial pet foods.
It seems like a no-brainer to me. Feeding any living creature a diet of entirely dried, processed kibble for their lifetime is a bad idea. It may be the reason 1 out of every 2 dogs is dying of cancer at far too young an age. Diabetes, obesity, and other obesity-related illnesses are also skyrocketing. And it isn't just our pets suffering. A large percentage of Americans are also being plagued with the same diseases. I believe to find the reason why, one needs to look no further than our cups, bowls and plates. Food is either healing or it's hurting. For those who are still doubting, read on:
A 2005 study conducted on Scottish Terriers at Purdue University confirmed my suspicion with some astounding findings. The results showed that simply adding some fresh vegetables to dry commercial kibble actually prevented and/or slowed down the development of transitional cell carcinoma (aka bladder cancer)!
In the study, some dogs ate a diet of strictly dry commercial pet food, while others got an assortment of vegetables added to their food at least 3 times a week. When the study concluded, here's what the researchers found:
Dogs that were fed ANY type of green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, or peppers had reduced the risk of developing bladder cancer by 90% and the dogs that consumed any yellow – orange vegetables like carrots reduced the risk by 70%!
(http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/1/100.full ) (Raghavan, Knapp, Bonney, 2005)
Imagine that! A floret of broccoli could stomp out the risk of cancer by 90%. -Pass Fido the broccoli please.
Still skeptical? I tell pet parents reaching for that bag of dry kibble, "At best, you're feeding your dog a balanced diet made up of processed food. It would be the equivalent of you going your entire life eating a good, nutritious bowl of fortified cereal or protein bars. For optimum health, you still need to mix in a salad, and real FRESH foods now and then!" That seems to be quite obvious.
In 50 years we've seen our world drastically change. There has been an increasing demand for quick, inexpensive, easy, convenient food. (In other words: PROCESSSED!) We have gotten away from cooking real foods and turned to microwaving packaged foods. On the other hand, our resources and food supplies are dwindling. Livestock is being pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Most grains, fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides and GMOs, and our over fed bodies are literally starving. Now more than ever, it is crucial for us to consume organically grown produce to flush out and detox our bodies from all the pollutants and toxins.
Here's what you can do: Let your dog DIG IN!+ Use fresh foods as a "topper" to add to your pet's meals. Dogs are carnivores so let them indulge in some of your chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, fish, etc. (Set aside a few bites for your dog before you douse your dinner in A1 or BBQ sauce. 😜)
-And save those organs too! Cut them up in small bits and freeze them to add to future meals. While you're at it, flash steam some fresh veggies then cut them in small pieces and purée them in a blender with a little water. Spoon a bit of this highly concentrated, easy to digest mixture over meals. Add fresh blueberries, apple, and other seasonal fruits to meals or use as healthy treats loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
+WITH ANY CHANGE IN DIET, ALWAYS INTRODUCE ONE NEW FOOD AT A TIME. NEVER ADD MORE THAN 10% NEW FOOD TO EXISTING DIET. GO SLOWLY TO AVOID GIVING YOUR DOG AN UPSET TUMMY. HOLD OFF ON THE SALT, SUGAR, SAUCES, AND SEASONINGS. STAY AWAY FROM FOODS THAT ARE DANGEROUS FOR DOGS. -See below
A few words of caution. Dogs have been known to stop eating their kibble and "hold-out" until the delicious human food is offered. Or, they can start jumping in your lap each time you sit down for a meal. To avoid having these problems, add small amounts of food to their own bowl at meal times or offer fresh nibbles as treats. Never feed your dog off your plate at the table or you're asking for trouble.
It's time to put an end to this crazy mindset about food and look at the writing on the wall (-or the numbers on the scale!) It's up to us to be educated, informed pet advocates and DEMAND the pet food industry be better! We have already made tremendous progress. Most pet food stores and big box retailers now carry fresh foods in refrigerators. Just take one look at all the slick new packages of dog food lining store shelves and our impact is evident. Huge brands with numerous food varieties including: "grain-free" , "single-protein", "farm-raised", "grass-fed" "fresh vegetables", "limited-ingredient" "all-natural" "GMO-Free" etc. This demonstrates our demands for higher-quality food are being heard.
As exciting as this is, we are still outnumbered by skeptics watching those misleading TV ads who DIDN'T GET THE MEMO. And old rumors die a long, slow death. So, let's lead by example and get each and every pet owner on board. Adding some "table scraps" to better quality commercial pet food allows us to stretch our dollars, and most importantly, allows our pets to lead longer, healthier lives. Bon Appetite!
6 Human Foods That Are Toxic and Potentially Fatal for Your Pets
☠️Chocolate and Chocolate based products.
☠️Plants containing allium, including onions, garlic, leeks and chives
☠️Vitis vinifera fruits, including grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants
☠️Foods and product containing the sweetener xylitol
☠️Ethanol in alcoholic beverages