Yep, I admit it, I feed my Weims people food and table scraps all the time.
I already feed raw, so I’m really going against the grain (no pun intended) here with my dog food choices, particularly since many vets and most dog sites warn us about not feeding people food.
Some concerns are legitimate. As with humans, an excess of any kind of bad food, those loaded with fat and sugar especially, is not a good choice for your dog either. High fat foods can cause pancreatitis, and high calories can cause weight gain.
However with healthy additions to your Weim’s diet, you can add a variety of nutrients, improve your Weim’s energy level and coat condition, and it will likely help manage your Weim’s weight as well. Plus your Weim will love you for it!
Healthy Toppers for Your Dog’s Meals
If you are a healthy eater yourself, almost any of your own food will constitute a healthy topper for your Weim’s normal ration. Healthy toppers are especially good for kibble fed dogs.
Cut back on the kibble a bit to compensate for the additional calories, and remember, the key to adding food to your Weim’s kibble is to do so in moderation so that you don’t upset your dog’s stomach.
Any addition of more than 25% to your Weim’s normal kibble ration will start to introduce nutritional imbalances, so if you decide to add more than that, consider switching completely to a home made diet please!
Lean Meats (Raw or Cooked)
Lean meats are excellent! If you are feeding muscle meat only, be sure you are not overdoing it so that you don’t introduce a calcium imbalance.
You can add raw meaty bones to kibble. Raw meaty bones refers to cuts of meat such as chicken backs that is comprised of both meat and bones that are generally balanced.
When choosing raw meaty bones, start with bones that are not weight-bearing, like chicken thighs. Weight-bearing bones can be way too hard for some dogs to ingest. You will know it if you see bone shards in their poop.
Big and hard weight-bearing bones, like beef knuckle bones that your dog cannot ingest, are great for recreational chewing to keep your dog busy, but watch for any shards that they might swallow. Also be aware of the all the marrow that is in some bones, marrow is full of fat and can give your dog diarrhea if they eat it all at once.
Softer non-weight bearing bones such as chicken wings (They don’t stand on those!) are usually safe for most dogs to eat raw.
Cooked bones are not safe because they are brittle and can splinter. The only time they are okay is if they are non-weight bearing bones that have been cooked to the point of being complete mush.
Fruits and Vegetables
Yes, they are healthy for your Weim! The best way to get the nutrients from fruits and vegetables are to pulp them in a food processor, but you can also feed them whole as snacks.
Dogs can have a sweet tooth, so many will eat applies, bananas and other fruit. You can freeze these into treat or stuff them into treat dispensing toys.
Green beans are often fed to dieting Weims to help them feel full without adding calories. Carrots are another doggy favorite since they are sweet, and provide some crunching and chewing fun.
Not too much is off limits here, although you will see warnings about grapes and raisins being poisonous to dogs. One or two might be okay, but it’s probably better to just stay away. Any fruit with pits (peaches, cherries) should be de-pitted or just not given.
In general, dogs don’t do well with milk products from cows. However, yogurt is often a different story and is daily staple for many Weims who are prone to ear infections.
Yogurt can also help with digestive issues. A big spoonful a day is a great kibble topper, but be sure you get the unflavored kind so you avoid giving sugar to your Weim. Low fat or non fat can also be used if you are keeping an eye on your Weim’s figure.
Why is yogurt so great? It’s all the probiotics in there! Like people, a good gut microbiome is a key cornerstone of overall health for dogs.
A Whole Egg
By this I mean shell and all. It is nature’s perfect food with 100% protein bioavailablity. The membrane that is in the inside of the shell is rich in glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen, great stuff for joints. If you are feeding the shell, be sure to get organic eggs.
Most vets will advise you to cook eggs you give your dogs, but I routine feed them raw without problems. The issue is biotin deficiency from the egg whites, which is caused by the avidin in the whites that bind to biotin. But guess what? The yolks have plenty. Feed the whole egg and your dog will be fine.
Throw a few in your pantry for later. They are good for weight gain and to entice a dog to eat. (OK, I admit, this is rare for Weims but I do know some that are not good eaters.)
Sardines are an excellent source of Omega-3’s which means it’s good for Weims with allergies and arthritis. You’ll likely see a nice improvement in your dog’s coat too.
Other Safe Foods
Cottage cheese, rice and other grains, plain pasta, chicken broth, cheese, and peanut butter.
As usual, in moderation. I don’t think a whole bowl of rice for the day would cut it. Nor would a bowl of peanut butter. Oh man, the diarrhea!
Watch Out For These No-Nos for Your Weim
Alcohol, bones (cooked), caffeine, chocolate, fat trimmings, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, onions and garlic, tobacco, yeast dough, xylitol (artificial sweetener in gum and other products) and marijuana (CBD is okay) are all on the no-no list!
What About Begging?
One of the main reasons people avoid feeding table scraps is to prevent begging.
The cause of begging isn’t people food, it’s the way the food is fed. Feed people food away from the table and not while you are eating.
Or, if you are like me and want to have your cake and eat it too, read the article, “How to teach your Weim to quit begging — and still feed him from the table“.
Photos courtesy and © Sara Renee Beaver.
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