Feeding dogs has done a full circle. From the days of feeding our dogs what we had for dinner, then moving to dinner in a bag and back to real food once again. Not everyone is feeding real food, in fact many people are shocked at the idea. "You feed table scraps?" Table scraps are the pieces of food items that we don't want. The things that we scrape to the side of the plate and then into the garbage after dinner. I guess for some, this is what "real food" means. Not all table scraps are made equal. Sure there are things that I give my dogs that I don't want; but much of what they eat is something that I would eat. Table scraps can be a very bad thing if you are only giving fat cut off of a steak or pizza crusts.
Real food is just that, real. It is not people food; a term that I absolutely hate. What, we as a species claim rights to all the real food? I think not.
Real - genuine; not counterfeit, artificial or imitation. Authentic.
Food - any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth etc.
Many of the dog foods out there today are far from nutritional worthy of calling sustenance. But the whole dog food industry brainwashed the general public into thinking that this was the best you could do for your dog. All the Veterinarians were told that dog food or kibble was nutritionally complete and they backed this up with their advice to us all. When I had my very first dog at the age of 18 I was told by my Vet that dog food was dog food; there was no better or worse, it was all basically the same.
I have to say that the dog food industry has done it's job of convincing us that it is the best for our dogs well. So many still believe this and proudly state "no, just dog food, no treats, no table scraps." Ah there is that "table scraps" phrase again. That term and "people food," are labels that I cannot stand. I have a difficult time not pulling out my soap box every time I hear them. "No, not people food, real food," and only "table scraps," if those scraps are good food. I save leftovers for my dogs all the time. If I have real food leftovers that are plain and nutritious then why would I not give it to my dogs.
Dogs are carnivores; yes they can eat items other than meat but animal protein should be the bulk of what they eat. So when we feed them dog food that has been processed beyond recognition and is filled with corn, peanut shells and feathers; it can wreak havoc on their systems. Not only are our dog's teeth very different from our but their whole digestive system is as well. They need meat, they love meat and they thrive on it. Because our meat is much different than the meat that you will find in the wilderness; supplements and/or additional foods are a good idea. Greens are one of the best ways to add extra nutrition for our less than perfect meats of today.
As I have said many, many times before variety is the absolute best way to maximize nutrition. Feeding the same dry dog food day in and day out is not a good idea. Besides I can't imagine eating the same food everyday, especially boring horrible food. To a dog, kibble is about as far away from their species natural food appropriate diet. How does a full rabbit compare to a bowl of over processed dry food? I try very hard to balance the aspect of feeding my dogs in today's world. I give them a huge variety of food, mostly real, often cooked and even sometimes dog food.
The best way for humans to eat is to go back in time, before all the processing and eat real food. Why on earth would it be so different for dogs. Sadly their food is far more processed than much of ours. Just imagine eating twinkies your whole life and expecting to be healthy. Well their food is about as processed as all of those horrible packaged foods that can sit on the shelf forever. Do your dog a favor, give them some real food. Something that their body can take and pull nutrients from. Many of the dog foods out there have nothing for our dogs to use; but simply stuff an empty stomach, just filling a void.