As dog parents, you had probably found yourself forced to improvise a meal for your dog after their food runs out without warning or when you forgot to restock. You probably considered giving them your own food or even that random jar of baby food you had leftovers. In this post, we shall take a look at baby food in particular as an emergency food option for your dog.
Technically speaking, dogs can safely eat baby food. In fact, some formulations are so nutritious and healthy that they may just be as good as the real deal. However, it is important to understand that baby food is not meant to be used as a long-term substitute for dog food.
In the sections below, we shall take a look at some of the reasons why it may be ok to let your dog have some baby food every now and then. We shall also highlight some of the risks involved so you have a better understanding of why it should not become the norm.
Is It OK To Feed My Dog Baby Food?
It is perfectly alright to feed your dog baby food as long as none of the ingredients used are known to be toxic to dogs.
It is also important to practice moderation both in terms of how much and how often you allow your doggy to have baby food.
When given in appropriate amounts, baby food has a lot to offer. Here are some of the perks of using this as a substitute in cases where you may not be able to immediately access dog food.
Baby food may not be the tastiest to adult humans, but dogs enjoy it just as much as babies do. This is because their palates are generally very simple and easily satisfied by basic flavors and minimal seasonings.
Most baby food formulations are specially prepared to pack a huge punch in terms of nutritional value. They will have it all, from protein and carbs to vitamins and minerals. The nourishment definitely doesn’t hurt and makes baby food a good option if you are at a loss on what to feed your pooch.
Most baby food manufacturers are very careful about how they prepare and preserve the food especially considering how easy it is to upset a baby’s stomach. Some brands go the extra mile by avoiding things like artificial flavor additives and preservatives.
You can thus rest assured that not only is baby food healthy, it is also safe to feed your dog with.
High Water Content
Baby food is similar to wet dog food when it comes to the benefit of having a lot of moisture. This is a great additional source of water for the dog. This also makes the food gentler on the dog’s gut and much easier to digest.
What Kind Of Baby Food Is Good For My Dog?
The best kind of baby food for dogs is the kind whose nutritional proportions are appropriate to the dog’s nutritional requirements. It is best to go with meat-based baby foods to ensure that you meet the 18% to 25% protein requirement in a dog’s diet.
Here are a few more key features to look out for before considering giving your dog some baby food to keep them going before you get them their own food.
Dogs can be quite picky about textures. They respond best to foods that have a bit of a bite to them.
If you are considering giving your dog some baby food, it is best to go with the chunky kind as it will be the most enjoyable for your dog.
Free Of Ingredients And Additives That Are Toxic To Dogs
Finally, ensure that the baby food you give your dog is free from ingredients considered harmful to dogs. The most commonly found in baby food include garlic, onions, and avocados, just to name a few.
Can Baby Food Make Dogs Sick?
It is possible that baby food could make your dog sick. There are three key factors at play in this case.
Dogs require a diet that is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and healthy fats. While babies also require these nutrients, the proportions are not the same.
If you feed your dog baby food for a long time, they will end up with nutritional deficits for things like protein that are not always heavily prioritized in baby food.
If your dog consumes too much baby food or eats it too often, there is always the possibility of them experiencing some digestive dysfunction. This can happen even in cases where the baby food is made entirely out of ingredients that are considered safe for the pooch.
The most common manifestation of this digestive irritation is diarrhea. This could eventually result in dehydration which simply worsens the dog’s discomfort.
Finally, your dog could get sick from eating baby food if the ingredients used to make the food are toxic to dogs in general.
Onions and garlic are common offenders in such situations and may cause a number of issues ranging from simple digestive discomfort to serious complications like kidney failure.
It is thus important for you to carefully inspect the ingredients in the baby food before feeding it to your dog.