Dr. Ward was interviewed by the Washington Post through their new Live Q&A Chat. Here is a little snippet from that interview. Click here to view the full interview conducted April 13, 2010
Question: PEOPLE FOOD
What is your opinion of giving dogs “people food”? I often give my dog a little scrambled egg or cottage cheese mixed in with her kibble, or a small piece of apple or meat, etc., while I’m cooking. And she loves asparagus! She’s definitely not overweight – we go to the beach for a good run every other day or so (she’s a Jack Russell Terrier – it’s her “medicine”). I know what people foods could cause potential problems and don’t give her those. And it’s exclusively natural, low-fat stuff. I just like to vary her diet and keep her interested in food because like many terriers, she’s not very food-oriented. But do you think that people food could lead to obesity more easily than dog food? I am careful to limit her eggs, cottage cheese, etc., to about a tablespoon. I’m wondering, too, if as she gets older (she’s 3 now), it becomes something I should give her less and less often?
ERNIE WARD WRITES:
Sounds like you’ve intuitively adopted what I call the “Hybrid Diet” in my book, “Chow Hounds.” I advocate adding real, whole foods to a dogs’ diet. Of course, if you add “real food, ” you’ll need to adjust the amount of dog food you’re feeding to maintain the proper caloric intake. The biggest mistake most pet owners make is feeding “people foods” (I really dislike that term – food is food, especially healthy food) and continuing to feed pet food without adjusting for calories. For example, let’s say your dog needs 400 calories per day to maintain its current healthy weight. You indulge and give her some people foods that have 200 calories. You’ll need to reduce her dog food by that 200 calories.
And this is where we get into a potential nutritional problem: if the food you fed is nutritionally incomplete… [Read More…]