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Table Scraps for Your Dog

Table Scraps for Your Dog?

Until about 20 years ago most household dogs were fed on table scraps. With the advent of modern merchandising methods, both the quality and the quantity of the usable scraps has declined. Meats are sold already trimmed and boned, carefully wrapped in cellophane and cardboard, and ready for cooking without additional alterations. Frozen foods have eliminated trimmings from vegetables, and dairy and poultry products come from cartons and coolers, not cows and chickens. Everything is prepackaged in convenient quantities so that purchases can be adjusted to family appetites with almost no leftovers.

The scraps from a meal made from these pre-trimmed, pre-battered, pre-buttered, pre-cooked, and pre-packaged foods consists of only bits and pieces which are either inedible or unwanted by human beings. Such bits and pieces make neither a balanced nor an adequate diet for a dog.

The true value of today's table scraps are succinctly brought home when the dog owner who feeds his dog table scraps asks himself, ''What would I do with these scraps if I didn't own a dog?" lf his answer would be to save them in the refrigerator for his own next meal then a dog can probably eat the scraps, too. However, If he would throw the scraps into the garbage can, then he is literally feeding his dog garbage when he feeds table scraps.

There is an even greater danger in table scraps. In spite of their poor nutritional quality, table scraps frequently are quite palatable to a dog. All too often such table scraps are used with the idea of increasing the palatability of a less palatable, but better balanced, commercial food. Unless the scraps are finely chopped and blended with the commercial foods, most dogs will simply pick out the table scraps and leave the commercial dog food behind. Small wonder - commercial dog food has very little nutritional value, and because of the way it has been cooked, a fairly bland taste. Your dog need fresh food - you need to buy additional meat for your dog now that you can no longer give him the offcuts from your meat. Many butchers sell these offcuts very inexpensively.

Most table scraps are fats and carbohydrates, yielding lots of calories and little else. As a consequence, the dog obtains a sizable portion of its daily caloric need from the useless scraps and loses his appetite entirely for the commercial food. By refusing to put table scraps on the food, a dog owner may feel he is forcing his dog to eat a food it does not want. But, in the long run, most dog owners will agree that it is better to starve a dog with concern than to kill it with kindness.

Premium dog food is the way to go if you're in any way hesitant about giving raw meat to your dog, and preparing your dog's dinner separately to your own is too time consuming for your busy lifestyle. Not just any commercial dog food, though - most will slowly kill your dog. Find the best premium dog food you can. Your dog deserves it.

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