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Hi, this has sort of been bugging me. I know a lot of you take great care into what you feed your dogs, and it is a great thing. But I can't help but think back to before this multi-billion dollar a year pet food industry. People fed their dogs scraps and anything they could find for hundreds of years. Their dogs were fine and lived normal lives. Are we over-thinking and over-doing the whole feeding thing?
 

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Hi, this has sort of been bugging me. I know a lot of you take great care into what you feed your dogs, and it is a great thing. But I can't help but think back to before this multi-billion dollar a year pet food industry. People fed their dogs scraps and anything they could find for hundreds of years. Their dogs were fine and lived normal lives. Are we over-thinking and over-doing the whole feeding thing?
Yes and no.

Hundreds of years ago, there were no vaccines. If the dog got seriously ill, you took it out back and shot it. People didn't spend lots of money at the vet for dogs. Horses maybe. The horses were their transportation and how they got their field work done. So they might call in the horse doctor. But dogs, well even when I was a kid in the seventies, our dogs never went to the vet. My dad bought the dog a license and that was about it. In the eighties, we started going to the vet with dogs, when they were seriously ill.

And then there is food itself. Today there are so many additives, and preservatives, and fake fats, that back in the day even your breads and cereal type products would have been made with real eggs, and wholesome grains and animal based fats. Lard -- how many of us cook with it nowadays. Terribly bad for you probably. Not nearly as bad for your dog though. Frying chicken in lard? Ok the dog can eat the chicken raw. But frying chicken in margarine or vegetable oil, well that probably isn't good to just give the remnants to the dog.

We don't cook much these days we buy breads and pies, soups in cans, and dinners put it little boxes that go from the freezer to the nuker and cost an arm and a leg. They are also full of salts, onion, other stuff dogs probably shouldn't have -- fats that aren't animal fat, etc. The FDA is more concerned about us being poisoned than dogs being poisoned, so they probably won't kill your dog outright. But they might be even less of an appropriate diet for a canine than in years past.

Babs will be 11 in August. Her favorite food is Chicken Papricka. She likes oranges and brussel sprouts and most things that I eat. She is 89 pounds and should be 70 pounds. I stopped feeding her kibble, and only occasionally will she clean up after Quinnie now. So she is living on scraps. Because I figure she is 11 years old and living on borrowed time and if she wants a piece of cherry pie, God Bless her. I won't say no. But I am trying to reduce her calories because it will be harder for her to carry around that bulk as she gets older, and she isn't getting younger. So, to the green-bean-diet we go. And if I had any strength of character at all, we would be doing it together.
 

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Dogs used to eat human waste of all kinds... yes all kinds.

A while ago, I volunteered with a project in a village in Ecuador to help put in a well and latrines. That type of thing.

A local man told me the dogs must hate us because we take away their primary food source.
 

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Dogs used to eat human waste of all kinds... yes all kinds.

A while ago, I volunteered with a project in a village in Ecuador to help put in a well and latrines. That type of thing.

A local man told me the dogs must hate us because we take away their primary food source.
Ew.
 

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The "scraps" that used to be available in many homes were pretty nutritious, relatively speaking. Eggs and egg shells, sour milk, trimmings, less desirable organs, fat, bones.

We have the luxury, in this day and age, to be pickier and buy things in shiny colorful bags with pretty pictures. If we choose. Some of them are, of course, much better than others.
 

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The "scraps" that used to be available in many homes were pretty nutritious, relatively speaking. Eggs and egg shells, sour milk, trimmings, less desirable organs, fat, bones.

We have the luxury, in this day and age, to be pickier and buy things in shiny colorful bags with pretty pictures. If we choose. Some of them are, of course, much better than others.
So what I'm sort of getting at is, what if I just give my dog scraps, leftovers, some eggs, leftover veggies...I bet the dog will live a long and normal life.
I remember a story of the worlds oldest cat (thought to be the oldest living cat) and I believe she lived to be 24 or more years old. The owner said he never fed her any store bought food. Just veggies and leftover meat here and there.
 

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So what I'm sort of getting at is, what if I just give my dog scraps, leftovers, some eggs, leftover veggies...I bet the dog will live a long and normal life.
I remember a story of the worlds oldest cat (thought to be the oldest living cat) and I believe she lived to be 24 or more years old. The owner said he never fed her any store bought food. Just veggies and leftover meat here and there.
A cat is an obligate carnivore. They need meat moreso than dogs. Without something that is in the meat, they will die.

Dogs are carnivores, but for thousands of years they have developed into critters that thrive off of the remnants of humans. Meat is superior, but they will beat breads, vegetation, fats, dairy products, etc. This does not mean you just make up a plate of food for Fluffy at each meal. Humans do not need nearly the meat that dogs need, and what could actually be bad for humans could be good for dogs, so, while you can cook for your dog, feed it raw, not go with any prepared dog food, you really need to understand how the optimal canine diet differs from a human diet, and adjust.

Also, cooking sucks out a lot of the nutrients, so you might think that by giving your dog a good hunk of meat loaf for his dinner is sufficient, it really might not be. It may have too much salt, the bread crumbs might not add anything to the mix. The onions are not good for the dog, and the meat will have a lot of its value knocked out by the cooking process. You are probably better off developing or following a raw diet plan for your dog and give him a species-appropriate diet.
 

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when I was a kid, well you were dependent on what your parents fed the dogs,,ours were fed grocery store crap I'm sure,,rabies vacs were not mandatory, we never gave our dogs any shots, nor hw meds, and all the dogs I had growing up lived until 13/14 years of age...I only give puppy shots, (and I'm picky about those) and madatory rabies, I feed grain free food plus raw, and still the dogs I've had as an adult have all lived until they were 13/14 years old ..
 

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when I was a kid, well you were dependent on what your parents fed the dogs,,ours were fed grocery store crap I'm sure,,rabies vacs were not mandatory, we never gave our dogs any shots, nor hw meds, and all the dogs I had growing up lived until 13/14 years of age...I only give puppy shots, (and I'm picky about those) and madatory rabies, I feed grain free food plus raw, and still the dogs I've had as an adult have all lived until they were 13/14 years old ..
Do you give them heart guard? See, I'm pretty sure that the shepherds of the early 1900s who were used for actual herding didnt live off much. A piece of meat here and there, some eggs, milk maybe once a week, and 12 hour working days.
 

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Do you give them heart guard? See, I'm pretty sure that the shepherds of the early 1900s who were used for actual herding didnt live off much. A piece of meat here and there, some eggs, milk maybe once a week, and 12 hour working days.
don't forget all that they could hunt themselves. carrion that they scavenged.
animal feces. Mice. human scraps from the garbage. they actually ate quite a bit. Hunting scraps from human kills.

plus, people didn't add as many additives in their own cooking as we do today. Most of their recipes would seem quite dull to many people today.
 

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they probably also ate livestock renderings that humans couldn't/want to eat.

I grew up in the 60's and our dogs ate food that was mostly horse protein. Stunk bad, but the dogs lived to be well over 15 with minimal vetting or vaccinations.
 

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my parents fed ours on leftovers and cornbread.
Boxers, etc..grew up and old on that. Sometimes they added, the only canned food (Strongheart, I think) too the mis
Even had an English Mastiff that they cooked a huge pan of cornbread and added whatever.

Leftovers... meat scraps, vegiables etc..
 

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My family in Puerto Rico never bought store bought dog food

We spent all our summers there growing up. My grandpa boiled chicken and fed them left over rice almost everyday.

They all lived over 10 years.... some were smaller dogs with longer life spans. The 2 larger mutts lived like 13-14 years.

They also worked the dogs kept goats in yard and other predators out.

They were to herd chickens towards my grandpa in order for him to catch them and snap thier necks for plucking and cleaning....

I don't think I eat as clean now, I don't think my left overs would be healthy and I guess it's easier to feed them dog food. I use Royal Canin because it sits well with my dogs and vet I initially reccomended.

I tried other brands but my dogs looked healthiest on royal canin.

Cool topic.
 

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they probably also ate livestock renderings that humans couldn't/want to eat.

I grew up in the 60's and our dogs ate food that was mostly horse protein. Stunk bad, but the dogs lived to be well over 15 with minimal vetting or vaccinations.
Yup, canned horsemeat and table scraps. But then, as a child, I also grew up eating all home-cooked meals from scratch, thus so did our dogs. And I never even heard of 'bloat' until around the eighties... In my mind, I have always associated bloat with the change in what we feed our dogs over the past few decades. But, I feed kibble, a premium one, but still kibble. And I know that convenience is the main reason.

Susan
 

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So what I'm sort of getting at is, what if I just give my dog scraps, leftovers, some eggs, leftover veggies...I bet the dog will live a long and normal life.
I remember a story of the worlds oldest cat (thought to be the oldest living cat) and I believe she lived to be 24 or more years old. The owner said he never fed her any store bought food. Just veggies and leftover meat here and there.
Probably.


I'll admit, I spend a fair amount of money on what I feed both of my dogs, which is my choice. I like their coat condition, their teeth look nice, breath is not offensive, yard clean-up is not too bad, they're healthy and active.


If the economy tanked and I lost my job or had some other personal crisis, I would have to work out a cheaper diet for the dogs. I don't doubt that they'd still be able to live happy, fulfilled lives on cornbread, eggs, and meat/table scraps, if that's all that I could provide.
 

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I think dogs can live well on scraps. They evolved for it. I do not think dogs used to live longer. People are living longer than ever even with all the chemicals and vaccines we are exposed to. I think on average dogs are living longer. Maybe just like people the main issue is obesity and lack of activity. And genetics. When people talk about the good old days I think how modern medicine saved my life and my dog's life. Even were I born 20 years earlier I would have died at 15. Diet is important but good genetics and healthy weight and maybe careful consideration of spay and neuter are more critical.
 

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All these above sound like you might as well feed them Beneful if you want them to live until 14/15. Maybe it is not so much about the food but, like others mentioned, too many vaccines, no exercise, bad breeding, keeping the weak ones and mentally challenged dogs alive, the neuter and spay craziness etc. In the days when I was a kid, dogs roamed the neighborhood, had their own lives and were just nice social animals. The "bad" ones got shot. and there weren't any doggy shrinks. But I do think we tend to only remember the long-lived ones.
 

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All these above sound like you might as well feed them Beneful if you want them to live until 14/15. Maybe it is not so much about the food but, like others mentioned, too many vaccines, no exercise, bad breeding, keeping the weak ones and mentally challenged dogs alive, the neuter and spay craziness etc. In the days when I was a kid, dogs roamed the neighborhood, had their own lives and were just nice social animals. The "bad" ones got shot. and there weren't any doggy shrinks. But I do think we tend to only remember the long-lived ones.
Hmm. Well, that wasn't what I meant to imply.


I choose good food + raw + certain supplements, because in my opinion, it keeps my dogs in optimal condition, conducive to their activity level and what I expect out of them. If I were struggling to make ends meet, unemployed, or in danger of losing my home, I probably wouldn't be worried about my dogs having perfect teeth and ideal coat lustre. Just my opinion.
 

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But I do think we tend to only remember the long-lived ones.

Agreed...i think we enjoy the nostalgia of "the good old days" and tend to forget the less than pleasant stuff. My significant others grandfather lived on a farm with no refrigeration. He ate moldy food regularly, had to ride out almost every child hood disease (& now deals with shingles and hearing loss), he left school at 3rd grade and basically spent the rest of his years doing intense physical labor. He is 74 & looks 94 and there is alot he can't do. Folks think farm life is idyllic, and it can be.... But it can also be hard.
 

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All these above sound like you might as well feed them Beneful if you want them to live until 14/15. Maybe it is not so much about the food but, like others mentioned, too many vaccines, no exercise, bad breeding, keeping the weak ones and mentally challenged dogs alive, the neuter and spay craziness etc. In the days when I was a kid, dogs roamed the neighborhood, had their own lives and were just nice social animals. The "bad" ones got shot. and there weren't any doggy shrinks. But I do think we tend to only remember the long-lived ones.
Hmm. Well, that wasn't what I meant to imply.


I choose good food + raw + certain supplements, because in my opinion, it keeps my dogs in optimal condition, conducive to their activity level and what I expect out of them. If I were struggling to make ends meet, unemployed, or in danger of losing my home, I probably wouldn't be worried about my dogs having perfect teeth and ideal coat lustre. Just my opinion.
A friend of mine has a GSD pup. About 7 months old. He buys a big 30 lb bag of Blue Buffalo for $60 and it lasts him for 2 months. So it's basically a $1 a day. He said the raw food isle has some nice food, but a tube for $20 which will only last a week. I wish there were studies done over the coarse of 20 years or so comparing a dog raised on scraps and one raised on the most expensive kibble and one raised on the most expensive raw.
 
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