Problem number one - I have two large dogs and they sure can consume a lot of dog food!
Problem number two - like any dog owner, I like to treat my dogs, but I don't want them to gain too much weight or start helping themselves when I'm not looking.
How have I resolved these two issues? I have started to make some of my own dog food, well, adding to their food, actually. I frequently use my crock pot to make meals and that same crock pot leaves behind yummy smelling liquid. Sometimes, I use this to flavor rice or make a gravy for biscuits. Other times, I use some of this to add nutrition and flavor to my dog's meals. I'll add leftover rice or potato or some stale bread to this broth. By adding this to my dogs' bowls, along with their regular food, I am stretching the food, I reduce my food waste, increase the nutrition of their food, and give them a yummy treat that isn't being given off of our plates.
I have also been known to add leftover bits of pasta, broccoli, carrots, and apple. None of these bits would be usable for us humans, but are a nice bonus for my pets. I should add, it makes me very popular, too!
By Leslie from CT
Editor's Note: Be sure to avoid foods that are toxic to dogs, like onions, garlic, grapes and chocolate.
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Depending on what kind of food you feed your dogs is one of the biggest issues.People think they are dogs and will eat anything, but if they are part of your family feed them like they are family. If you are feeding a food that does not have a real meat not a by-product as your first ingredient your dog is not filling his/her tummy. So they are going to eat a lot more food. I use Blue Buffalo with my dogs (basset hound and a Sheltie/Whippet mix) both about 50 lbs and I go through a 15 lb bag about every 3 weeks. the first ingredient is a real meat, no corn, soy, wheat.
My dogs are in much better shape, my shltie mix is 10 years old I've rescued her 8 years ago. She is in a lot better condition inside and out. Eats less, sheds less and poops alot less. Give it a try, a friend has a lab mix and they were feeding 71/2 cups a day, with Blue Buffalo they are feeding 3 1/2 cups. Real meat does a body good! Still not sure? Go to bluebuffalo.com and check it out. I swear by the food and would not use anything less and I'm on a fixed budget.
What you are doing is better than feeding them canned dog food for sure. I feed my dogs a high grade dog food too. Yes they do poop less and eat less and have less gas on that dry food. But everyone cannot afford Blue Buffalo it is one of the most expensive foods for dogs. I also give my dogs meat and chicken leftovers but in moderation (not everyday) and usually mix it in the dry dog food. If your dogs are getting plenty of exercise they shouldn't gain weight.
All dog food manufactures are out to sell dog food and most of the time the recommended amount of food on the back of the package is too much food for our pampered pets. It is best to just give 1/2 cup less or more if they get a lot of treats and the dog gets next to none in exercise. If you are happy with their diet and the dogs are doing fine then for you there is nothing wrong with adding leftovers to their diets.
Please don't feed your dogs people food without checking with your vet first. My stepdad killed 2 of their dogs by feeding them people food. That was one of the biggest issues in his & my mom's marriage because she could not stop him. His excuse was always that when he was a kid,they'd never fed their dogs dog food,they got table scraps-of course his dogs never lived long either.
Muffin, a cockapoo, lived to the ripe age of 12. Her last several years(after my stepdad retired & was home all the time) was filled with intestinal problems & diarrhea because he thought it was ok to give the dogs anything he ate & fed them from the table.His diet consisted of fatty,fried meat, potatoes,gravy,bread,butter,etc. The vet tried to tell him that her problems was because of the things he was giving her, but he wouldn't listen-he LOVED HER, & that was how he showed it. He would cry when she was so sick they had to take her to the vet, but he would do it all over again!The only reason he stopped giving her chocolate was because she nearly died from it one time. The vet was really upset with him over it!
Audie was a sweet, beautiful Queensland who died an agonizing death, alone at the vets, from acute pancreatitis - brought on by the junk food he fed her, specifically hot dogs! Even after Muffin died, he continued to feed Audie everything he ate,on top of her top quality dog food. When she began having intestinal & stomach issues & having to go to the vets to be put on medication for pancreatitis, the vet gave him a severe lecture & told him he was going to kill her. He promised to stop & behaved himself whem my mom was around, by giving her only a few of the specific treats she was allowed-she seemed to get better. When nobody was watching, he gave her people food.
Of course he was devestated! He cried & cried over it. They missed her so much, my mom finally agreed to get another dog - thinking he'd finally learned his lesson. So they adopted 2 Queensland mixed puppies - and guess what? Yeah, he started feeding them from his plate, because they lay under his chair while he ate. He loved them & couldn't stand to tell them no. My mom was so upset, but what could she do? He ignored her & did what he wanted to.
This might sound mean, but fortunately for the dogs, when they were about a year old he died from colon cancer. The dogs are now on a healthy diet & will probably live to a good age.
Most vets will probably tell you it's ok to give your dog a very few certain vegetables as long as they are cooked slightly (raw veggies are not good for dogs), a little of some fruits, cooked rice, etc. Fatty foods are bad for them & processed foods with nitrates are the worst. Really, it is best to give your dog a good quality dog food & check with your vet about the people food.
Commercial dog food has not been around forever as far I know. I feed my dog people food quiet often and the types of food I feed him are probably much better for him that some of the dog foods. I have no idea what some of the ingredients are. Boiled chicken, boiled beef, liver, carrots, broccoli, rice, pasta, eggs, green beans, apple, oats. I don't see how anyone could say this is bad for a dog. Moderation like anything else.
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I am always reading how people are finding ways of using up leftovers, I never have that dilemma. My solution - get a dog! I have two wonderful. healthy dogs who have been brought up on leftovers (always plentiful as we have a family of 7). I always ensure the leftovers are suitable and have been doing this for years. Not only will you be providing a home for one of our many unwanted canines, but you won't have a leftover problem!
By Sarah from Somerset, UK
How lucky for you that your dogs do not experience any adverse effects from table scraps. My 11 year old golden, Maggie, is very sensitive and any table food with the exception of wild rice causes her to experience stress colitis. She has bloody diarrhea (which doesn't come out of the carpet) and usually it results in expensive vet bills as well as prescription dog food. I would be very cautious when feeding dogs scraps. Maggie has gotten more sensitive as she has aged and now changes in her environment (like going to Grandmas for example) even cause her to become symptomatic. Best to limit scraps to chicken, rice and cottage cheese (per my vets instructions). (03/26/2009)
I know you'll hear about it, but I agree with you. Have you noticed so many pet foods now have pix of carrots and peas, and green on the bag, touting full nutrition, etc.
When I was growing up, it was called table scraps. If you live long enough, the circle comes round again. I'm going to be 65 on Monday, so I guess I have. (03/26/2009)
By PENNY K
Get a baby pig and feed them the scrapes and you have food for your family. If I lived in the country as we use to but now live inside the city limits and cannot have one. My parents raised at least one pig per year for just that purpose and they got some feed but mostly just what pikka called them table scraps. And you had healthy pigs that you know the meat was safe to eat. And in these times they would be more needed than ever, giving you the best pork chops, tenderloins, ham and bacon you ever had. (03/26/2009)
Table scraps are very bad for dogs, especially when that is all they eat. It causes all kind of intestinal problems and some serious illness. You will wind up spending more on the vet. The dog food companies lie to the consumer all the time. They put stuff into dog food that has no business being there.
Do the research and find a company that makes a good quality food. In the end you feed less and that means you have less waste to clean up. Here is a link to a great site that tells you what the ingredients 'really' mean and how a lot of different brands stack up.
By Kim Bond
I agree, only table scraps are not good for your dog's health. My two are on premium dog food, and to that I add food I cook especially for them.
Please check with your Vet, dogs are not garbage cans.
I admit I give my dog veggie scraps and peelings (the ones that don't go in the "to make broth" container) and the few things I drop on the floor.
Shouldn't you just cut down on the things you find left over? Put less on each person's plate, cut down on the amount you cook, freeze food and only take it out as needed instead of letting fresh go to waste.
I'm not denying the dogs a few treats of "people food" and I wholeheartedly agree with giving unwanted animals a home. (Our cat is a rescue and our dog is a mixed farm dog.) I just think that pet food is made for pets and people food is made for people. Also people food keeps getting more expensive. I'm not going to feed something to my dog that I could freeze or remake into soup or pack for lunch the next day. (03/27/2009)
Please only get a dog if you love them and can treat them properly. They are not household items to be discarded when the novelty wears off. (03/28/2009)
Dog food manufacturers LOVE to tell you how your pets should only eat their foods or it's unsafe. That's advertising bull. Some scraps are fine to mix in with your dogs food but some are NOT.
The scraps have to be fresh enough for you to eat. If it's too old for you or questionable, do NOT feed it to your pets.
You need to learn what veggies are healthy for your pets and what aren't. I add those and very lean meats and fish leftovers to my dog's food. Some variety if good. Would you be happy eating the same thing everyday until you die?
They aren't garbage disposals and feeding them on all your scraps and leftovers does NOT give you healthy dogs for long. A while ago someone advocated feeding their dog drippings (ie fat) with white rice leftovers. It sounds unhealthy to me.
And if you get a dog; be prepared to walk and jog daily for the rest of their lives if you want them to be healthy and happy. There's no way to train away the physical need they (and you) have to exercise for proper digestion and healthy living. (03/28/2009)
By d horner
I have one very large dog and one very small dog and 2 guinea pigs and 5 chickens and believe me there ain't nothing wasted around our house, what the dogs don't eat the guinea pigs do and the chickens don't really care they eat, they are really garbage disposals, and each of my dogs get a vet check each year and he is amazed at how well they do on no name dry food and 1 small can of dog food, and scraps, dogs are not stupid they will not eat anything that will upset them or mine haven't yet. so save your money and not be conned into buying very expensive dog dinners, unless you can afford it, and if you can why are you visiting a website like thrifty times?
LOL, just read the post above mine, now racking my brain where I could fit a pig.
Don't think DH would be agreeable but then again. (03/29/2009)
We owned a pretend doberman 7 years ago and he was healthy just from licking the plates. It gives you a head start on the dishes. (03/30/2009)
Well, old Ranger is still my best 'Bud'. He's a light silver mini-Schnauzer, and has been with me for a lot of years and is like having a 4 year old child in the house, but he is still a dog and will eat most anything in sight. He's about a healthy little guy. He dearly loves most any fruit you want to throw at him. I keep him on a top of the line dog food, but he has to have a snack every so often, and it's usually some kind of fruit, like watermelon. He'll fight you over a piece of black diamond! (05/05/2009)
By Bobby King