Just like adding artificial colors to dog food, feeding table scraps does more to please people than to benefit dogs. Your dog doesn't care about all those flavors and colors. She's perfectly happy with that plain old high-quality kibble she's always eaten. And if you never feed her table scraps, she'll never know what she's missing.

Scraps tend to be full of fat, salt, sugar, and spices—nothing that's needed by or is good for your dog.

Fat Jack Russell Terrier
Carrots are a healthy snack for your dog.

t > Pet Food vs. People Food

Many of the foods we eat are excellent sources of nutrients— after all, we do just fine on them. But dogs, just like us, need the right combination of meat and other ingredients for a complete and balanced diet, and a bowl of meat doesn't provide that. In the wild, dogs eat the fur, skin, bones, and guts of their prey, and even the contents of the stomach.

This doesn't mean your dog can't eat what you eat. A little meat, dairy, bread, some fruits, or vegetables as a treat are great. Just remember, we're talking about the same food you eat, not the gristly, greasy leftovers you would normally toss in the trash. Stay away from sugar, too, and remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs.

If you want to share your food with your dog, be sure the total amount you give her each day doesn't make up more than 15 percent of her diet, and that the rest of what you feed her is a top-quality complete and balanced dog food. (More people food could upset the balance of nutrients in the commercial food.)

Can your dog eat an entirely homemade diet? Certainly, if you are willing to work at it. Any homemade diet will have to be carefully balanced, with all the right nutrients in just the right amounts. It requires a lot of research to make a proper homemade diet, but it can be done. It's best to work with a veterinary nutritionist.

Even if you feed something healthy from the table, the dog will still get into the habit of begging, which will become a mealtime annoyance forever—not to mention the fact that your JRT could end up being a very finicky eater.

Good people food snacks for your dog, in moderation, are pieces of carrot or apple. Most JRTs love them. Offer the snacks between meals—yours and the dog's—or as rewards in training sessions.

Never feed your dog cooked bones as they splinter and can perforate the intestines. And never feed small, sharp bones to your dog. The best bones to feed are the leg bones of cows. Don't overdo it, though, because too much bone chewing can cause extreme wear on a mature dog's teeth.

Chapter 7

Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Healthy Homemade Dog Food

Choosing the right kind of dog food you provide is probably the most critical decision you'll ever make for your dog- puppy or senior. Dog food nutrition without delay impacts every facet of your dog's life. Aspects such as how pups grow, their behavior practices, health, overall well-being and physical appearance are all tightly linked to the nutrition dog owners provide. Needless to say, this is an enormous responsibility.

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  • paul
    What are good table scraps to feed your jack russell?
    3 years ago

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