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 will 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!
If you are a healthy eater yourself, almost any of your own food will constitute a healthy topper for your Weim’s normal kibble ration. Do 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.
Lean meats, raw or cooked, are excellent, but cooked bones are not safe because they are brittle and can splinter. Hard weight-bearing bones, like beef knuckle bones, are great for chewing; softer non-weight bearing bones such as chicken wings are usually safe for most dogs to eat raw.
Fruits and vegetables 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. 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.
Yogurt 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.
A whole egg, shell and all, 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.
Canned sardines are especially good for weight gain and to entice a dog to eat (OK this is rare for Weims). It is 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 include cottage cheese, rice and other grains, plain pasta, chicken broth, cheese, and peanut butter.
Watch Out For
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)
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“.
Photo courtesy of SaraRenee Photography & Design.