Table Food Isn’t Healthy for Anyone. Say it with me: Table Food Isn’t Healthy for Anyone
Isn’t that what Nutro™ is saying? And maybe they are right – if your table food is margarine, cool whip, bacon grease, cheese puffs, hot dogs and everything else processed and unhealthy.
However, if your table food is skinless chicken breast, steamed brown rice and fresh mixed veggies sautéed in olive oil with fresh blueberries for dessert – that’s healthy. For all species.
Wait, aren’t those ingredients the same ones Nutro™ puts on their website as the ingredients in their pet food? So why is it unhealthy for dogs and cats if it comes from my table?
Apparently, if your pet, or mine, eats some people food, he or she may develop any one of the following symptoms:
• Increased thirst or urination
• Rapid heart rate
In which case, they are recommending you bring your pet to me immediately if he or she has these symptoms. At least that part is true.
But why would they say these clinical conditions could develop from people food? I’ve seen these signs caused from commercial dog food and treated it with teaching owners how to make healthy people food for their pets!! Here’s a brief list of how our pets can get any of the above clinical signs from either pet food or table food (remember, this is not all inclusive):
|Symptom||From pet food||From table food|
|Rotten food thrown out of the fridge
All the fat cut off your steak
|Diarrhea||Same as above||Same as above|
Dry wall dust
Corn gluten (it’s sugar, not protein)
Chemical residues in the food
|Rapid heart rate||Sugar
I think the bottom line is don’t feed chocolate to our pets – it causes all the signs Nutro™ is worried about – and we all know that chocolate is bad anyway. In fact, chocolate isn’t my normal table food. (I hide it above the microwave so neither the dogs nor the kids get into it.)
As I said above, I’ve seen patients present with any of the above signs attributed to pet food and treated it with “table food”. For example, Tanya is a 5 year old mixed breed dog who’s been having seizures for 3 years. They are crazy seizures – off and on for 20 days. Stop for 5 days, then start all over again. All the seizure medications don’t touch Tanya’s seizures, including some specialty human anti-convulsants. She’s had an MRI – normal. But, before her seizures start, she has ridiculous gas, diarrhea and intestinal cramping. We are treating her intestines and the seizures have stopped!! This is an extreme case, but true. What does she eat? Chicken and veggies now, she had been on commercial, high quality, dry kibble until the seizures started. Since Tanya’s diet is not balanced (she is not currently eating a variety of table food), she also gets a whole food vitamin and some other intestinal support products.
Tanya is an unusual case; one of a kind really. But everyday, I have clients tell me that within 2 days of taking their pets off commercial food and starting healthy table food, they see a positive personality change. Dogs that were hyperactive became mellower. Cats that were standoffish became friendlier. In two days.
Then, as any busy vet, I have a ton of stories about the diarrhea and vomiting caused by pet food. One client, who has 20 cats, lost 5 to bloody diarrhea and vomiting due to the cat food. It was a “natural” line of food, too. How do we know the diarrhea and vomit were due to the food? She stopped the food, the diarrhea stopped, the day she restarted the food, the diarrhea restarted and several cats died.
So, if my table food is unhealthy, then I guess my dogs, cats and I are all going to die soon. We eat nutritious food, balanced over time and none of us are shedding. My cats don’t hack up hairballs either and two are long-haired.
Let’s all make our pets have longer, healthier lives – isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?
Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Cathy treated 80% of what walked in the door — not with expensive prescriptions — but with adequate nutrition. Now retired from private practice, her commitment to pets hasn’t waned and she looks forward to impacting many more pet parents through her books, research, speaking and consulting work. Learn more at drcathyvet.com