Table Scraps: What’s the Truth?
Chances are you’ve heard it over and over, “you shouldn’t feed your dog table scraps” but have you ever questioned why? Or wondered if the claim is even valid?
“No Table Scraps” History
This claim started in the 1960’s as a marketing ploy from the Pet Food Industry (PFI). The commercial dog food industry was having a hard time convincing people that they should buy their “specially formulated” dog food. Because at that time most people just fed their dog table scraps and saw no reason for this to change.
So, the PFI came up with a vast marketing campaign where they got vets to say table scraps are bad for dogs. On office visits, in newspaper headlines, and even on the radio. Because pet owners have a lot of trust in veterinarians, many started buying dog food thinking this was safer than table scraps. This all helped in making the campaign a huge success.
With this background, you should now see that table scraps being harmful for dogs was just a very effective marketing scheme. That doesn’t mean there’s no truth to this claim. When I say table scraps aren’t unhealthy for dogs, I’m not talking about human junk food but rather most unprocessed whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Why You Should Feed Table Scraps
Is there a good reason not to listen to the advice telling you to avoid feeding table scraps? Yes!
Fresh foods, which often fall under the label of table scraps or “people food” can have significant health benefits for your dog; from a healthier coat to helping prevent cancer.
Most commercial dog food can be summed up as low quality, recycled, and often inedible people food with fancy marketing and a bunch of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and preservatives thrown in. Because extensive processing strips commercial dog food of many natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Fresh foods are still full of these beneficial nutrients.
In fact, a study conducted by Perdue university showed that kibble-fed dogs who ate orange-yellow fresh vegetables as a third of their meal just three times a week reduced their chance of cancer by 70% and there was a 90% reduction when the dogs were fed leafy greens.
With this in mind, don’t you want to give your dog some fresh, nutritious people food?
Table Scraps You Can (and Should) Feed!
One of the best fresh foods you can feed is meat. Very rarely will a dog turn down chicken, turkey, or beef and you shouldn’t worry about giving them some. Just keep it as whole and unprocessed (lightly cooking is acceptable) as possible.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and an easy and inexpensive alternative to meat. You can boil them or make a scramble with coconut oil.
Many fruits and vegetables are very healthy for your dog. Some fresh produce you can share include berries, apples (cored), pumpkin, mangos (pitted), zucchini, carrots, spinach, kale and most herbs. This list is just a small portion of the fruits and veggies you can give your dog.
So, put that old myth behind you and feel free to share some “table scraps” with your dog!
Check out our Healthy Additions series linked below to find some of the healthiest foods to share with your dog.
Habib, Rodney “Why Adding Human Food Is So Important” PlanetPaws.ca Web Aug. 29, 2017. <https://www.planetpaws.ca/2015/08/24/human-food-pets/>