10 Dog Feeding No-No's

By Darcy Lockman

10 Dog Feeding No-No\'s

Some dogs experience motion sickness. "We started taking our pug to my mom's on Sunday mornings, and we'd get in the car more or less just after she'd finished eating. Three weeks in a row she threw up," remembers 30-year-old dog owner Casey Johns of Baltimore, Md. "We asked the vet about it, and he told us we needed to wait four hours after she ate to take her for a car ride. My husband and I don't get car sick and can drive after eating with no problem, so it hadn't occurred to us."

Lisa Peterson, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club, concurs: No car rides after meals. Peterson weighed in with 10 additional rules for feeding your dog.

1. Don't let your dog guard its food.
Some dogs are like vacuum cleaners. Walk them and you'll notice: any scraps of food (or discarded chewing gum, cigarette butts, etc.) go straight from the sidewalk into their mouths. "You need to be able to step in and remove food from a dog when it's necessary for safety's sake," says Peterson. In order to help your dog tolerate your behavior, it's necessary from puppy-hood to train your dog to let its food go. Feed your puppy, and then remove the food after a few bites. Replace the dish and remove it again. You can train your older dog in the same manner, giving it a reward for sitting calmly until you replace the food.

2. Don't feed your puppy at the same time as your adult dog.
If you've got multiple dogs, the older dog will most likely want to be treated like the king of the castle. "I tell people with an older dog to feed the dogs separately until the puppy is a year or so," says Peterson. "The puppy should be trained to eat food in his crate." The puppy needs to learn its place and this feeding style will facilitate the process.

3. Don't tease a dog when it's eating.
While you may not be tempted to pull your furry friend's tail during dinner, your toddler or young child might. "Parents need to be aware that children shouldn't be near the dog when it's eating," says Peterson. The child may jar the dog or get in its face. This can lead to a dog choking, gagging or simply becoming frustrated enough to lash out at the child -- not a safe situation for your dog or your toddler.

4. Don't walk your dog after dinner.
Your dog should not have a walk right after a meal. Peterson advises waiting at least 15 to 30 minutes after feeding to exercise your dog. "Just a little time to digest," she says. This is important for all dogs, but especially crucial for deep-chested dogs such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, Boxers and Dachshunds, all of who are prone to bloating, a dangerous condition that can have severe health consequences.

5. Don't give your dog people food.
A begging pooch can be hard to resist (that sweet face, those sad eyes), but your dog doesn't know how dangerous the meal you're eating can be. Grapes, raisins, chocolate and onions: each of these can be toxic to your dog in large enough quantities. Sometimes excessive fat in meats or dairy products can cause digestive distress. Given that it's hard to know how your dog will react to people food, the best rule to follow, says Peterson, is no table scraps whatsoever.

7. Don't prepare your dog's food yourself.
Commercial dog foods are prepared with the right amount of calories and the necessary combinations of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Achieving that combination yourself is unlikely. Dogs are carnivores. Their bodies are made to assimilate protein. Says Peterson, "Prepared kibble or canned food is balanced nutrition."

8. Don't mix prepared foods.
Trying to save money on your pet's food? Don't do it by mixing a high quality dog food with a lower quality one. Often, premium foods are packed with nutrients and require less food to be fed, making them a good buy.

9. Don't feed from plastic.
Casual observation has demonstrated that dogs prefer ceramic bowls, followed by stainless steel. Plastic bowls are too easy to chew, especially for puppies, likely to gnaw on anything in sight. The bowl should not be a part of your dog's meal. Plastic dishes can also harbor bacteria and retain odors, leading to allergic reactions, or even your dog's rejection of its food.

10. Don't over-treat or over-supplement.
Too many treats will lead to unhealthy excess pounds. Too many vitamins can also have unintended consequences. Ask your veterinarian about whether your dog needs any extras before starting it on a regimen of supplements.

Darcy Lockman is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to The Dog Daily. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone. She lives in Brooklyn with the prettiest pug dog in the five boroughs.


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Posted on March 31, 2008

Patricia Bollinger says: I am getting a puppy this weekend what is the best puppy food to get. The puppy is a schnauzer. Thank You

Posted on January 30, 2009

Danielle says: I am reading so much about how store bought dog food is bad for your dogs health, with everything they put in it and the chemicals. Is it a good idea to start feeding my 14 wk puppy baby food, the gerber graduates, the more meaty portion ones instead of dog food?

Posted on October 17, 2009

Leigh says: How long should I feed our 2 puppies dried puppy food before moving on to adult dry food?

Posted on March 21, 2008

Lauren says: I have been feeding my four dogs a natural raw diet for three years. The improvements in their health have been phenomenal! Examples: No more arthritis, tumors, allergies, bad-breath, stinky poop, brown teeth, dandruff and hot spots. The above article mentions the fact that dogs are carnivores, but then goes on to recommend kibble or canned dog food. That's a total conflict, as commercial dog food is loaded with carbohydrates that do nothing but damage your dog's health.

Posted on March 17, 2008

vanessa says: I have recently got a pittbull as present and he dosen't appear to be agresive but I don't want to take any chances thinking he is your average dog , anyways people have been telling me not feed him at night it's that true?

Posted on March 2, 2008

KC says: People that adopt dogs inherit the poor habits instilled by previous owners. We have adopted adult dogs that were "unadoptable" but of course they are the most fabulous dogs ever. We have the special task of breaking the bad habits which may never go away. Any advice for these special cases? One will eat anything off the street (including gum) and the other has started to pick up the habits of the other.

Posted on March 4, 2008

Denise A Doran says: Our vet says that people food is ok as long as its not junk food. She said if its a balanced meal for you then its ok for the dog providing its none of the things you know are harmful for dogs. Also, the above article doesnt mention garlic and I would like to know about that.

Posted on March 8, 2008

Carole Cole says: People, have you noticed that this great site is hosted by a commercial dog food brand? Not to put down their product, but use your best instincts when feeding your dog. If you look at the big picture, those who recognize that a domesticated dog is still a wild animal - physically - may have the animals best interests at heart - go with your gut and your heart.

Posted on January 27, 2008

linda says: is it ok to leave dog food down for my puppy all day long?

Posted on February 19, 2008

Mija says: I feed mi doxsie 7 month puppy with rice , chicken , beef , carrots and garlic . He is happy and healthy .

Posted on December 13, 2007

ed says: I have 2 huskies and I never hear anything about what to feed them. I do feed them some kibble but it is of the natural blend. Not store bought. I have one that likes people food but I try to feed them whole chicken,eggs, beef, brocoli, no junk food. I do not visit commercial pet stores. dogs are still wild animals and it is just not what you feed your dogs but also keeping your dogs on a leash. I see that alot in colorado we have dog parks but people still let their dogs rome. not a good idea

Posted on December 14, 2007

Maggie says: We switched our older dog from dry dog food to baby food, and within two weeks she went from tired to having the energy of a puppy again!

Posted on November 18, 2007

Debra says: You don't say anything about changing from one food to another over 3 or 4 days.

Posted on November 24, 2007

Rev Dr Deb L Phillips says: I subscribe to "The Whole Dog Journal" which is vehement about feeding a raw food diet and they do not debone anything. (I subscirbe for the other articles like training.) What are your views on feeding raw?

Posted on November 28, 2007

Gary says: We have been feeding raw to 4 huge dogs for over a year and they are healthy and happy. The improvements in skin, coat, and general health is remarkable. My dogs have not had a kibble and they never will again. Actually there is no kibble in my house. They dogs receive approximately 1% of their ideal body weight of uncooked, meat with bones, some veggies, and probiotics (yogurt). Dogs are healthy and I am happy.

Posted on January 22, 2011

Courtney says: Agreed, Lauren.  The "tip" about only feeding your dog processed food had me wondering exactly who paid for this article.  We adopted a dog from the Humane Society and they told us to feed her Purina One.  We did, at first, because we didn't want to upset her stomach.  She had diarrhea for the first month.  We switched her to fresh meats with a little rice and vegetables.  She loved it and FINALLY took a poop that we could scoop up rather than having to hose off.

Posted on January 22, 2011

Kenny Connor says: My dog eats hot dogs everyday! (8yrs) And loves them, will not eat anything else.

Posted on January 22, 2011

Old Paint says: Sorry, I no longer buy the old "don't feed your dog anything but commercial dog food" line. I quit feeding my dogs that corporate crap and their ailments, tumors and all, disappeared! No more! The dogs and I are going for organic, locally grown food.

Posted on January 27, 2011

Lorie says: With all the publicity about petfood recalls, I feel more comfortable feeding my dog a homemade diet of human grade food.  With a little research and a good vitamin supplement, a home made diet is far healthier than commercial dog food.

Posted on January 28, 2011

Jhud says: I think this is all relative to your own dog - we feed ours a mix of wet and dry food, sometimes people food (which my vet says is fine) and he eats out of a plastic dish. He's 3 years old and we've never had issues.

Posted on January 30, 2011

asupatty says: I have had 4 schnauzers and all of them have had digestive issues. It runs in the breed --NEVER people food them -- So be careful with what you start them on - Ultra puppy dog food worked great for the first year then switched to Eukanuba lamb & rice-the best digestive food for schnauzers. Sorry folks who feed their dogs people food --they are domesticated now -- they may like hot dogs and whatever -but they are not getting the nutrition they need and it is their old age that will tell the story..You dog likes Hot dogs because you give him hot dogs..after 3 days of putting down something he/she will eat that too --that is you talking not the dog..they are animals & behavioral --its not about you --its about the dog and what he/she needs. They eat toilet paper too because they like it..want to fed them that every day? really folks..

Posted on January 30, 2011

Christopher says: Don't listen to this article when it says to feed kibble or canned dog food. GARBAGE. It will shorten the life of your dog BIGTIME. It's no accident that the longest lived dog in history (29 YEARS) was a VEGETARIAN. That's not to say that you can feed your dog anything. Of course you can't! The above article is correct--you can't feed them raisins, chocolate, onions, garlic, and so forth. But that doesn't mean you can't fixed their food yourself. Get a powdered mix of canine vitamins/minerals and sprinkle the appropriate amount (listed on the container) onto the food. I feed my dog mixed vegetables, occasional soy sausage, cheese, beans, and rice. PLUS THE VITAMIN MIX. And she is extremely healthy after my having done this for 3 years.

Posted on February 12, 2011

Sherri says: I have been feeding my three dogs (with vet recommendation) cooked: beef, chicken, turkey, & fish, with carrots, green beans, potatos, peas, rice, sweet potatos, with the appropriate vitamin/mineral supplement for over a year now and they have never looked or felt better!! Their coats are shiny, eyes are bright & they have so much energy!! (Remember to de-bone all meats & I read in several articles that raw garlic IS bad for dogs) They also enjoy watermelon, apples & bananas as a healthy snack, (seeds & stems removed) I'm so glad I switched away from a "commercial dog-food diet"!!

Posted on March 26, 2011

Jan says: There are many wonderful human grade foods but not usually at grocery stores. Go to a pet store and ask for a human grade food without wheat, corn, soy, sugar, etc. The less ingredients the better. Making homemade food is great-just do some research. (what did they do before kibble lol!)

Posted on May 11, 2011

JJ says: Can I feed my dog "HOTDOG" or POLISH DOG?

Posted on May 25, 2011

sweetpea says: Dog food and human food is mostly from deseased animals. I think that careful selection of people food the dog is better off. Stay away from sodiom nitrates

Posted on May 25, 2011

Doug says: "Prepared kibble or canned food is balanced nutrition." B.S. Most of the commercial dog foods are grains such as wheat and corn which no dog would eat in the wild. Many dogs have allergies to these grains as well. Best bet is to look at the ingredients and if none of the first 4 are corn or wheat or meal from either, your dog will be healthier for it.

Posted on June 4, 2011

dr. Sam says: Dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores. Canines need some carbohydrates and plant matter in their diet unlike their feline counterparts.

Posted on June 17, 2011

cass says: Dr. Sam- you must not be a vet, or you would know dogs ARE carnivores. Look at their digestive tract. They dont have what is needed to digest carbs.

Posted on June 18, 2011

Samantha Hardagree says: Some great tips on the physical aspects to be aware of when and after feeding your dog. However, messing with a dog's food after you've given it to him (taking the dish away while your pup's eating) is a great way to teach him that he needs to guard and protect his food from you. Pack leaders in the natural canine world eat their share first and then leave the next animal alone to feed. They don't screw around with a lower ranking animal's food while they're eating. Teach your dog that you will ensure his peace while feeding by leaving him alone *and* show him you will protect his food from others (pets,kids) by enforcing strict boundaries at feeding time. If he knows you're protecting his food from invaders, he won't feel the need to!

Posted on June 20, 2011

Sheyna says: Wow this is a frighteningly inaccurate article. Don't feed tablescraps and don't prepare your dog's food? This is absolutely wrong but what would you expect from a spokesperson from an organization that encourages puppy mills to up their registration numbers. Really disgusted by the misinformation here. It is absurdly easy to feed your dog real food. Processed crap is bad for people and its bad for dogs. Do a little research next time. 

Posted on June 23, 2011

Beth Ley Knotts says: I disagree completely with the statement about not making your dogs food! I have been preparing my dalmations food (bison, turkey or chicken, rice, barley, sweet potatoes, celery, greens, olive oil, etc.) for over 10 years after getting disgusted with the chemicals and cheap ingredients in commercial dog food. I have the healthiest dog you will ever meet. She is almost 14 years old and most people think she's 4.

Posted on July 7, 2011

Star says: I have a chocolate Shar-pei, and been struggling trying to find the right food for him as he suffers from allergies and sensative tummy! Which food should I buy for him; to keep him healthy and shorten his vet visits? Thank you.

Posted on July 9, 2011

Caroline Mast says: I have 3 dogs and cook for them.Commercial food is full of carbs and waste matters. If you must buy commercial food look for organic ONLY. At least your dog will have a chance of a healthy life.

Posted on July 17, 2011

Cactus Wren says: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10. Do we have to buy the print edition to get No-No #6?

Posted on July 23, 2011

Anne says: CommentI was told by my co-owners about my older dog because she was overweight, "a fat dog is a dead dog" meaning she would die earlier if she didn't lose those extra pounds. She has since lost that weight and is feeling much better. She wasn't excessive, but they wanted me to beware of snacks etc. I aways measure the food, but like to share. This quote helps me protect her. Harsh, but true.

Posted on July 24, 2011

sassyblondeinwa says: making your own dog food is very easy to do and you dont have to worry your dog is eating ground plastic of wood chips because someone else made the dog food. someone who dont love your dog and just wants money

Posted on August 2, 2011

duane says: My dog was a farm dog, who ate anything. He really liked chocolate ice cream but his favorite treat was horse crap. Lots of table scraps, very little store bought food. If you fed him store bought food he would knock the bowl over and scatter the food on the ground. 3-4 days later he would eat it after it was covered in dirt. He also would roll around on it before he ate it. Never saw a vet but he lived for 15 years before he was run over and killed.

Posted on August 25, 2011

Erin says: I have a 3 yr old Newfoundland and I feed him only beef, chicken and fish, with brown rice as a little extra filler. I also give him omega oil everyday and he is tremendously healthy. His weight is perfect and the vet says he has a heart like a drum. I don't believe commercial pet foods are safe and I think many vets advise us to feed it to our animals because they get kick backs from the dog food companies. Just like physicians that hand out prescriptions hand over fist to profit from pharmaceutical companies. As for stopping your dog from guarding his food, I completely agree. We have a dog with an extremely gentle nature and he would growl at me when I went near his dish. I had to take his bowl from his several times through each meal for a couple of weeks. There is never any justification for allowing a dog to show food aggression, it simply puts the family at risk as well as the dog should he bite someone.

Posted on August 27, 2011

jenny says: you blew it on #7. how can you possibly think overbaked, nutrient deprived kibble can be better than real food from nature. sounds to me that marketing/commercials have been too much of an influence on you.

Posted on August 29, 2011

From the Editor says: Commercial dog foods are formulated to meet your dog's specific nutritional needs, whether your dog needs to lose weight or extra nutrition in its senior years. Read this article on how dog food is made: http://www.thedogdaily.com/dish/formulated/dog_food_recipes/index.html and another on how to read the labels on to ensure your commercial dog food meets industry standards: http://www.thedogdaily.com/dish/diet/dog_food_aafco_standards/index.html

Posted on September 21, 2011

Richard H. Gleick says: A ceramic bowl may be your dog's favorite but, if it was made in China, it may have lead in the paint. We much prefer stainless steel food and water bowls.

Posted on September 25, 2011

jerry says: my dog want gain weight i feed 2 time a day its a yorkie

Posted on September 25, 2011

Arnie says: If your dog food contains corn or soy, throw it away. Even cattle, to whom it is fed in feedlots, are not equipped to digest it. Soy, most likely, is a GMO. I wouldn't eat it nor feed it to my family so I'd never feed it to any domestic animal in my care. Here's a cheap and nutritious way to feed your dog meat which was recommended by a very good vet for dogs with bowel problems (works for all dogs healthy or ill). Buy a large package (or several) of either chicken or turkey necks and cook them at a simmer in a pot for an hour or two (till the bone is tender). Once done and cooled a bit place the necks in a blender (do not overpack) and fill at least 1/2 way with the stewing broth. Blend until a soup. Dump in a Tupperware-like container and keep doing the blending until all the cooked matter is blended (small batches are best). Keep what you need for a few days on-hand and freeze the rest. You can also add some small amount of spice at the blending time. I used fresh garlic (for fleas and flavor). You can add your favorite doggy vitamins and minerals. Just do not cook the spice(s). The poultry meat and bone is a healthy meal when added to kibble and in a pinch will keep you alive as well.

Posted on October 4, 2011

MTA says: We give our lab people food all the time (in moderation) and we keep a list of the bad ones on our fridge at all times. He LOVES all kinds of vegetables & fruit, especially carrots & apples (even canteloupe!) and of course cheese and peanut butter.

Posted on October 7, 2011

4HealthyHappyDogz says: I make my dog's food. My vet says my animals are "Beautiful, they're healthy, active and have bright eyes and sleek coats". I buy chicken from a butcher shop. Chicken backs. Ground. Re-ground. Bones and all. These guys are getting chondroitin and calcium too. I mix with rice and carrots or rice and sweet potatoes. I slow-cook the meat in a crock pot for 24 hours at least. I drain fat. I mix with high quality dry dog food. My dogs' coats are, like my Vet says BEAUTIFUL and HEALTHY, and these animals are so very much more active/energetic. They get daily runs/walks/swimming in the lake nearby. I've taken an interest in making their food and they're healthier for it. Read the labels on your dog food and get an idea of what you need to tweak. Making their food is NOT a bad idea; my animals are living proof.

Posted on October 7, 2011

Geoff in Oregon says: I'm a fan for making my dogs' food. I do not condone the use of preservatives (BHT) in commercial dog food. I simply do not trust the poorly regulated Pet Food Industry..not entirely.I admit to using a little dry food as a filler for my home-made food. I have checked with my Vet. She's very pleased with my dogs health and give's me thumbs up for my recipe. Also; when an owner takes the interest in their animals to the point of making their food (instead of just buying it off the shelf)..the dog is getting more attention. The act of making the dog food is a "gateway" behavior--it leads to other behaviors/attention / time spent with the animal that only serves to enhance the lives of all involved. Make their food, follow a recipe and watch your dog blossom. Then, take a look at your own diet. It's amazing the crud we feed ourselves.

Posted on October 7, 2011

chrissy says: a new dog in your home will be nervous and have anxiety because of the move/new family. So a dog will naturally probably have an upset stomach/the squirts. The same can go for a dog that has his owners schedule change. I do feed my dog dry commercial dog food, but a high grade of it, read the ingrediants. I do also suppliment his food with rice and steamed chicken breast (or he gets this when he has an upset stomach) he also likes eggs, a lot. So if I make some for myself he always gets one too (hard-boiled). My dog also will eat carrots, raw or steamed. Vitamins (as per vet) are a joint pill in the morning and a fish oil pill at dinner (dry skin in the winter). Anything that would give a person gas would probably do the same for a dog, every dog owner should familiarize themselves with the list of poisonious foods, house plants etc (find online), print off the list and put it on your fridge. Also, I have a German Shepherd, I give him the command often to stop and look at me while eating and to back up and wait until I release him to eat again, I do it just to have him in the habit of knowing I give him the food and it is mine until I let him eat. Also, if you have a vacuum dog that picks up or eats every lil thing try using the command word "poison" instead of no. Poison combined with "leave it" or "drop it" is less likely to be ignored than "no" which a dog probably hears 100 times a day otherwise.

Posted on October 11, 2011

From the Editor says: Commercial dog food can have all of the essential nutrients that your dog needs, without the filler. It's just important to check a brand's ingredients before you buy. Read our article about essential ingredients http://www.thedogdaily.com/dish/diet/dog_health_food/index.html#.TpRZykIk67s and why natural dog food may be the best option for your pooch http://www.thedogdaily.com/dish/formulated/natural_holistic_dog_food/index.html#.TpRbxEIk67s

Posted on October 11, 2011

Roxie's Mom says: Funny how #7 and 8 are highly suspect, as if the Rule-Maker is promoting something for someone.

Posted on October 14, 2011

Jim says: I believe these "morals" are instincts. Morals are taught. Dogs respond to a pack leader (master). Yes a dog will defend it's master with it's life. It will also eat your last mosel of food. After watching Caesar I have less respect for dogs.

Posted on October 21, 2011

Katie says: Buy the best puppy food that you can afford, check that the protien is not plant based. Don't feed your puppy baby food, it is formulated for babies. Feed it Puppy food until it is 12 months old. It is not a good idea to leave food out for your puppy all day long. This is especially true for potty training.

Posted on October 22, 2011

linda says: I question the table scraps - commercial dog food is a recent invention and while it has its place and convience, it was clearly not present during the dogs 10000 + years of domestication. A better suggestion is that select table scraps can be included as part of the dogs diet with an eye towards total daily consumption as with humans (required daily calorie and nutrion for the dogs activity level). Also considering the dogs previous diet, a dog that has been fed a mixed diet vs a dog that has only eaten commercial dog food it's entire life. Also not mentioned is that all commericial kibble is not nutriionally equal - some of it is pretty junky, some quite good. Iams (P&G) does get brownie points for track record and handling of past problems requarding pet food ingredients.

Posted on November 12, 2011

Susan says: To poster who said after watching Cesar Millan he has less respect for dogs.... Cesar Millan is not the greatest dog trainer in the world. He employs negative reinforcement regularly, which can result in a less than well-balanced dog.

Posted on November 12, 2011

Karen says: Ceramic bowls break easily, and dogs love to 'flip' them. Not the most cost-effective bowl. Try a metal bowl with an upside-down 'v' edge. They are harder for the dog to grip with their teeth.

Posted on November 12, 2011

Harvey says: Leigh--how long a dog should be on puppy food depends on what breed your dog is. Ask your veterinarian for advice.

Posted on November 20, 2011

Tricia says: I have a pomeranian and have had pomeranians for yrs. I have always used eucanuba. I have always used the dry bags of food. Be sure and get the one for puppies if it is a puppy. Don't give them any people food. It's not designed for dogs and they will get to fat if you do both. When your puppy becomes an adult, change to adult eucanuba. It comes in pink bag at any pet store. As your pet becomes a senior, change to senior. Good Luck. I love my pom. She is my baby and I get the best for her.

Posted on November 30, 2011

CollieOwner says: The fact that this article is sponsored by Iams and item #7 denounces homemade diets totally discredits the entire article, in my opinion. I've been raw feeding my rough collie since puppyhood and he is show quality beautiful and super healthy.

Posted on November 30, 2011

Li says: I highly disagree with #7! Almost every form of processed dog food is loaded with fillers. Dogs are carnivores and need meat! While most people don't agree with or don't have the time to feed their dogs raw food, there are brands out there that are grain-free. Dogs cannot process grains (corn, wheat, soy, barley, etc), which results in large stinky poos, upset tummies, and food allergies. Grain-free dog food or raw meat is the way to go! You will see a huge improvement in your dog's health, guaranteed! I highly recommend Taste of the Wild dog food. (Please note: Never feed your dog cooked/smoked bones! They shatter and will puncture their intestines. Raw bones are fine.)

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