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Anna, Dog Expert, Biologist
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11512
Experience:  35 years training & showing dogs. Written articles for Dog Fancy, Dogs, Dog World.
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Is it really bad to give a dog food that is not dog food, such

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Is it really bad to give a dog food that is not dog food, such as refried beans, beef stew, chili, pizza, and so forth? Thank you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with over 35 years experience in the dog field. I'll be happy to answer your question today, but first some additional information will be useful.

Are you talking about substituting those foods for dog food, or using the 'people foods' as treats?

How big is your dog?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just mean as a sometimes thing. I went to visit my sister the other day prepared to give her Japanese Chin a little bit of all the 4 foods I mentioned above, but my sister said "No! No! No! My veterinarian said that it is bad for a dog to give them anything else besides dog food." I was surprised and said "What?"

Thank you for getting back to me. Actually, most of those foods you mentioned aren't particularly good for dogs, but tiny bits won't hurt most dogs. Overweight dogs, of course, shouldn't receive such treats.Spicy foods, like chili, can cause digestive upset. Beans can cause gas. The ingredients in beef stew (except onions) wouldn't be bad at all. Little pieces of pizzas won't hurt anything, either. In general, meats and vegetables (no onions) are OK as treats.

As for not feeding anything but dog food, many dog owners and vets prefer to do that. It ensures the dog will get all the nutrients the dog needs, and will keep it from getting fat. Some dog owners, myself included, feed home cooked meals, but it takes years of study to do that right.

In summary, little bits of the foods you wanted to give wouldn't be harmful, but every dog owner has the right to decide what treats should be given to their dogs. To keep the peace, I'd go along with what she wants. If you have more concerns, let me know in a REPLY.

Anna and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Jaime,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?