Mr. Crites emailed me about that 2013 post, the only one I've ever written about the care and feeding of critters. He explained that he contacted me because he was researching safe/toxic people food for dogs, which was exactly my topic on that long-ago day. (Maybe he thought I knew something, but I didn't. Just telling a story.) He wrote:
If you’re open to suggestions, we just published an infographic; massive guide with over 200 people foods for dogs (dogfood.co/can-dogs-eat/). Hope you dig :)
I checked out his link and, yes, I dig. Seems to be a definitive guide re what's safe to feed canine pets and what's not. I didn't see any way he and his co-creator were selling anything other than ideas to help pet owners improve their pets' health. So here's the link, and if you have a pet, have a look.
Can Dogs Eat That? The Ultimate Guide
Once upon a time, dogs were in my life. I love dogs. I did not know how to feed them. They got grain-based kibble and table scraps. And probably too much of what they're not supposed to eat.I regret not having known. My favorite dog, Buck, developed a bowel problem, likely diet-based, and I was clueless. I wish I would have had this feeding guide and had made his later years more comfortable.
Anyway, here's that long ago post, but if you don't have time to read it, but have a dog whose health you want to improve, at least click the link above.
April 4, 2013My buddy Jan Harding loves her dog like most people love their kids. Sadly, I can think of parents who don't seem to care for their kids as much as Jan cares for her best friend and companion of 10 years. Actually, I think that a lot of people like their dogs more than they do people in general and, in some cases, members of their own families.
Jan with Tasha BEFORE she switched the dog to people food.Tasha was then fed typical dog fare:
dry kibble loaded with corn and soy. Grains. Just what dogs don't need.
When it comes to feeding time, however, that care does not necessarily translate into the best food for Fido. Oh crap, what do I know about feeding dogs since I don't even have one? And when I did, I fed my various pets, as many dog owners do, occasional canned dog food, inexpensive kibble and table scraps. Not good—especially the table scraps since they often included fatty meat trimmings, chicken skin, leftover bread, or, gasp, Krusteaz pancakes. Yes, there was a time during years of steady weight gain (mine, not the dog's) when Krusteaz was a breakfast staple.
But dogs are such good sports, usually, and so starving all the time, that they just wolf down whatever.
They're dogs. Who cares? But overfed or poorly fed pets can and do get fat and lethargic and sick, just as overfed or poorly fed humans do. That happened to Jan—the over-and-poorly fed part—and she gained weight and felt crappy before she got religion about diet and exercise and so on and she began to look and feel better.
But Tasha the dog? Still old and fat. Then Jan had an epiphany about her dog's diet. In an email, she wrote:
About six months ago I started Tasha The Dog on a real-food program, since 1) even the top-of-the-line dog kibbles are loaded with grains, 2) she loves real food (apples, pears, berries, and of course meat of any kind.)
Dogs, being carnivorous (and cats even more so), I cook a huge turkey occasionally and make up a couple months' supply to freeze in 6-oz serving-size freezer bags. She gets one in the morning, along with half an apple or half a pear, maybe some berries. Of course she loves it. It's all gone in two minutes. In the evening she gets a hard-boiled egg and whatever fruit I have around.
I think she is a kind of mini-petri dish study for me, but nothing like this has happened to me! Probably because I still eat grains. But she is 10 yrs old, was too fat, could not jump into the pickup without an assist, and--most startling--had a white undercoat that shed constantly year-round, all over carpets and furniture.
She now does not shed at all and has a luxurious coat. I think the undercoat will come off as soon as it starts to get hot, but she literally stopped shedding!
She slimmed down to vet-prescribed weight, is energetic, and can jump into the back of the pick-up truck without an assist.
It looks like Jan is onto something. Tasha's diet is just about identical to the ingredients in grain-free dog foods that cost around $85 for a 10-pound bag. Uhhhh, I don't sense that pet owners are reaching for credit cards, even though these 10 pounds arrive via free shipping!So--I am a believer; dog likes real food as opposed to commercial food. Who knew? My personal coat is not so thick and glossy, and I am still about as fat as ever! But then, nobody controls MY eating habits, which slop over regularly into French vanilla ice cream and Cheetos. Sigh.
But you might keep your eye on good prices for fresh turkey.
And if your dog itches a lot, has skin problems, bowel issues, or any other maladies, it wouldn't hurt to look check out the feeding guide linked earlier.
|Tasha AFTER her dietary change: slender, sleek, energetic.|
Note the hair color change. (Sorry for the weirdness around the
haunches that appeared when I scanned a photo.)