Some dog owners forget that humans require a variety of foods to ensure the consumption of nutritionally balanced meals. A quality dog food has a proper balance of all the nutrients a dog requires, together with a high level of palatability.
Adding human food to a nutritionally balanced commercial dog food may upset the nutrient balance of your dog’s diet. Ideally, table scraps should not be fed. You may also be creating behavior problems. Your dog may begin to steal food from the table or the food-preparation area. Try feeding your dog at regularly scheduled times, such as when the family is having breakfast or dinner. Feed only enough to maintain your dog in good body condition. Ignore its coaxing for additional food, or give hugs instead.
Here are some of the foods to watch out for:
- Milk is a food and not a substitute for water.
- Repeatedly adding raw eggs to a dog’s diet can cause a deficiency of the vitamin biotin, which can lead to dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), loss of hair and poor growth.
- Some raw fish can cause a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Signs of a thiamine deficiency include anorexia (complete loss of appetite), abnormal posture, weakness, seizures and even death.
- Raw meats may contain parasites and bacteria and do not contain a proper balance of nutrients if fed alone. Although meat is a source of protein, it has very low levels of calcium, a mineral dogs require for proper bone and tooth development. If large quantities of raw meat are fed over time, skeletal problems may develop.
- Raw liver, fed daily in large quantities, can cause vitamin A toxicity in dogs.
- Small, soft bones (such as pork chop or chicken bones) should never be given to your dog, as they may splinter and lodge in his mouth or throat.