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Feeding the Dog Primal Scraps - OK?

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  • Feeding the Dog Primal Scraps - OK?

    I feed my dog a high quality dog food (not grain-free completely yet, but we are getting there). I've recently found a good source at Georgia's Farm to Market here in Houston. I just need to spend some time comparing brands I think is best, and let him finish the bag we've got first.

    However, we're pretty bad about feeding our dog leftovers from our plates. He's a 4 yo black lab/border collie mix and will eat anything, and he has those beautiful chocolate eyes and i just want to give him anything he wants. Tonight we gave him leftover bones with some attached meat from Grass-Fed Rib Eyes and I gave him half of my yam.

    My gut tells me this is probably OK. He's not eating anything that I would think is bad for him, but still worry because you always hear that people food is bad for dogs. CW, perhaps, but I want my puppy dog to be healthy and live a long life.

    Since I've been primal, I haven't been giving him anything I won't eat. When I used to make fresh pasta, he would stand there by me waiting for raw pasta dough and also was my al dente tester. :-) I don't eat pasta anymore so neither does he. He does eat the cats' food when I'm not looking, but I don't think that is really bad supplementally.

    Do you all feed your dogs scraps from your plates? Good/bad?

  • #2
    Cooked bones are a definite no-no. They splinter easily and if a peice splinters off and get caught in their throat it will stay there and you'll need to cut it out. If that happens with a raw bone it will soften up over a day or so and the dog can swallow it. So cooked bone is not such a good idea.

    As for the other stuff, I would say anything primal is fine. Meat and veg

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    • #3
      Dogs need very little in the way of carbs for energy as they should be getting this from fat (sound familiar ;-) ). They also don't need a great deal of veggie matter either, as in their natural environment (i.e. remove man from the picture) apart from a little grazing (grasses, herbs, berries, etc.) here and there, this would only come from the partially digested stomach matter of whatever they've killed/scavenged.

      Having said that, if you're eating a clean primal/paleo diet (e.g. just meat & veggies) it's certainly better than your average dog food. Personally, I don't feed anything straight off of my plate or anything that smells the same as what I've eaten, just because if I did I know that they'd never leave me alone and would be begging or loitering around the dinner table waiting for their scraps.

      I generally only feed raw meaty bones and offal to my dogs, with occasional left-overs from our dinners but they are normally off-cuts from what I've been preparing to cook rather than cooked food that we haven't eaten (as there's not normally anything left).
      Last edited by Misabi; 09-05-2011, 09:14 PM.
      If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

      Originally posted by tfarny
      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sroelofs View Post
        Cooked bones are a definite no-no. They splinter easily and if a peice splinters off and get caught in their throat it will stay there and you'll need to cut it out. If that happens with a raw bone it will soften up over a day or so and the dog can swallow it. So cooked bone is not such a good idea.

        As for the other stuff, I would say anything primal is fine. Meat and veg
        Some bones go soft when cooked, but most will splinter into sharp shards which can cause serious damage and is one of the reasons most vets will tell you not to feed bones, but they tend to generalise the statement to include all bones. The other reason is that they are usually sponsered by pet food companies
        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

        Originally posted by tfarny
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sroelofs View Post
          Cooked bones are a definite no-no. They splinter easily and if a peice splinters off and get caught in their throat it will stay there and you'll need to cut it out. If that happens with a raw bone it will soften up over a day or so and the dog can swallow it. So cooked bone is not such a good idea.

          As for the other stuff, I would say anything primal is fine. Meat and veg
          I hadn't heard about cooked vs. raw bones before, but he's always eaten bones and never had a problem with them. I don't give him chicken bones at all though.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Misabi View Post
            Having said that, if you're eating a clean primal/paleo diet (e.g. just meat & veggies) it's certainly better than your average dog food. Personally, I don't feed anything straight off of my plate or anything that smells the same as what I've eaten, just because if I did I know that they'd never leave me alone and would be begging or loitering around the dinner table waiting for their scraps.
            Good point--we are bad about giving him scraps at the table and the seasonings may not be so good for him, and you're right, he does associate his food with ours. I take them to his dog dish, but he just pulls it back out again and will take it to the carpet to eat. Last night I trimmed the pork chops (hubby's not mine--he does not like visible fat at all), and cooked them in the oven with no seasonings for the dog, so he had his own little meal. Tonight I put the half yam in his dish with no butter or seasoning.

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            • #7
              Dogs shouldn't eat onions as it can cause a type of severe anaemia, and nutmeg can cause damage to their central nervous systems. I do feel my dog scraps from our plates occasionally, but more often she gets trimmings from when I'm cooking. Raw eggs are good for them, too, and mine always eats the shell first ...

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              • #8
                Our dogs have always eaten scraps, along with dry dog food. We don't give them sweet things of course (like chocolate!). They eat bone scraps (raw or cooked and including poultry). The only bone we do not let them eat is the sharp, needle-like bone in the poultry leg. In the wild, dogs eat small animals and birds, all types of tiny, sharp bones....The idea of not giving cooked bones seems strange to me because our dogs live long active lives; they know what they will eat, and leave what they cannot or don't like. I find dogs are real smart, if given the chance to choose food. A BIG example is that we pile a huge amount of dry dog food into a large basin and let them eat when they are hungry. They are slim and active.

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                • #9
                  We spoil our dogs as well. We have a border collie/blue heeler mix and just got a (mostly?) blue heeler that's an eating machine. They get scraps, but eating primal I don't worry about it. I try to keep them mostly grain free but some of their food has a bit so they get it here and there. Most raw bones are fine and they do get the occasional cooked one but we inspect them first. They also get raw trimmings from stuff I'm prepping. I may be overthinking things, but instinct tells me that heelers, specifically, should have as close to a wild diet as possible, as they're bred partly from dingos. We encourage hunting when we go on walks, which usually means mice and rats. The older one kills ground hogs, squirrels and moles but usually doesn't eat them. The new one is only about 10 months so we'll see if what his hunt drive is like.
                  Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                  • #10
                    I see no problem with feeding cooked foods as long as you choose carefully and if the dog is obese watch the calories and carbs. Like others have said, no onions (its a cumulative effect....so it builds up over time....one onion piece now, adds up with all the others before). Feeding meats and veggies are fine, you might find some things like broccoli or cauliflower cause gas, so use at your on discretion. Avoid the carbs especially grains, don't feel corn cobs (those are dangerous and can stop up the gut), etc.

                    On the cooked versus raw bones, if you feed cooked bones, you are definitely running a higher risk then a raw bone. If its your fur child, its probably not worth the risk. Cooked bones are not digested, so they end up in the intestines in sharp splintery forms. They usually come out similar to how they went in, so it depends on how much the dog chews them. A raw bone on the other hand is usually digested into next to nothing before it even leaves the stomach (weight bearing bones even raw are still harder to digest though). I would just be safe can cut meat from the bone. If your dog is good about leaving the cooked bone behind (like gnawing meat from a t-bone), then that's fine, just toss the bone when he is done. Cooked bones are also harder on the teeth, so if you see any cracked teeth you might want to avoid letting him chew on cooked bones.

                    Vets hate 'scraps' and tend to not recommend them because most people do not adjust calories in their kibble food, there are some dangers like the spices, onions or too much fat (pancreatitis), and some dogs get easily upset stomachs so you see loose stools and vomiting. When you are randomly feeding scraps its hard to know whats causing a problem. But if you do it with some awareness it can be done in a healthy manner.

                    One thing you can do instead of feeding him from your plate is maybe preparing extras on the side just for the dog. You can cook up meat plain with no seasonings, maybe in bulk and keep extra in the fridge, and feed that while you eat or with normal meals. Gives you more control but also allows you to give extra special stuff to your 'baby'.

                    There is the behavioral aspect of a begging dog, but that's a different angle. I personally hate being mauled by a dog when I go to a friend/family member's house to eat, but that's between me and my friends. Just know that dogs understand consistency, and if you don't want begging at particular times you need to make it a 100% rule. We just train dogs to sit on a mat just outside the kitchen/dining room where they get rewards to keep from having a nose in laps .
                    Erin
                    Daily Vlogs
                    Primal Pets Blog

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                    • #11
                      Quick question...I've read that egg shells are a good source of various things for dogs. Our German Shepherd already gets eggs now and then, but I gave her half a shell this morning and she liked it.

                      With a little surface googling I saw one account of a woman saving up the week's eggshells, drying them, and grinding them in to powder. That seems a little ridiculously labor intensive. Is it okay to just crunch them up with my hand and drop 'em on the floor fresh after cracking? Or is there a concern that sharp shell bits might be dangerous?
                      carl's cave

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                      • #12
                        I wouldn't think eggshells would be dangerous, as they aren't nearly as hard as bones. I've tried giving my dogs eggshells but they aren't interested unless there's a good bit of egg still attached. The grinding into a powder probably has to do with most dogs not liking the shells. I actually thought that my younger one, who's an eating machine, would go for the shells, but he didn't. We'll give whole boiled eggs to the older one, haven't tried it with the pup yet, and she very delicately separates the egg from the shell, leaving a pile behind.
                        Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                        • #13
                          Don't mess with the egg shells, just throw your dog a raw bone.
                          Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HillsideGina View Post
                            Don't mess with the egg shells, just throw your dog a raw bone.
                            She gets those too, from time to time.

                            Normally the egg shells go in my compost bin but, hey, a treat once in a while for the dog is nice too.
                            carl's cave

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                            • #15
                              My dog spent the first years of his life as a feral street mutt in a tiny fishing village in rural Mexico. He survived scrounging out of trashcans, eating fish heads, tails and guts, and probably a few jackrabbits and lizards tartare. He will eat anything and he doesn't care if it is filet mignon or day old pizza crust in the gutter that looks like it's already been eaten once. He's a scavenger and a hunter. I have seen him chomp down on squirrels and gophers, bones and all.

                              I realize that some dogs raised exclusively on "dog food" may have more delicate digestive systems than my Wolf Cub. But I think it is important to give a dog at least a taste of whatever the humans are eating. The pack has made a kill, in his mind, and getting to partake of that kill, even if it is only licking off the plates and cooking dishes, makes him feel secure that he has a place in this pack.

                              Yes, I am careful about cooked chicken bones, but eggshells? Those are like doggie popcorn.

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