Human-Grade Dog Food Leads to Less Poop, Maybe Not Better Nutrition

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  • Scientists have found that dogs fed home-cooked human food poop less.
  • While this is a practical benefit, it is more expensive and time consuming than giving kibble.
  • Experts say it’s not clear if human food is good for dogs.

Using human food will make your dog poop less. However, it may not be good for their health.

A 2021 study of 12 dogs fed “fresh” dog food (from the FreshPet brand), classic dog food (from Blue Buffalo), or “human” beef or chicken dog food (JustFoodForDogs) for 28 days I tracked the amount of excretion.

According to the study, dogs pooped about half as much when they ate fresh or human food, a decrease of 50% to 70%. They also had to eat less to maintain the same weight.

This has obvious practical benefits, including less poop to pick up, but experts say it’s not clear how that will affect a dog’s health.

“If you want to poop less while walking the sidewalks of Manhattan, feeding the type of home-prepared food can help reduce the amount of stool,” says Joseph Wakshlag, professor of clinical nutrition at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine. It’s definitely a better option for less,” said an insider.

But other effects are unknown, he said.

According to Wakshlag, the study is just one of many that have looked at the impact of home-cooked meals on dog nutrition. So far, nothing has clearly shown that kibble or canned food is bad for your dog’s health or longevity.

“The only thing we know is that we have better digestibility, which means we get more nutrients from what we put in than what comes out. he said.

“Would it be better? Will your dog live longer? Will your dog get certain diseases? We don’t know that,” he said.

Woman holding a dog in the park

Oscar Wong/Getty Images

The risk of home-cooking your dog is that you may not get the right balance of protein and vitamins for your pet, which is different from the nutritional needs of humans.

Kibble, on the other hand, is specifically designed to concentrate all the protein and vitamins your pet needs in a small portion.

It’s true that kibble and canned foods need to be processed to extend their shelf life.

But they are in very small amounts, comparable to the effects of a BBQ grill on steak adding unhealthy particles.

Feeding your dog a high-quality or home-cooked diet can also be expensive and time-consuming, Wakshlag noted.

“Home cooking takes time and the right balance. Still, it will cost you $4 a day to feed your dog.

Kelly Swanson, a professor of animal and nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois and lead author of the study, told Insiders in an email that owners should be careful with labels, too.

“The terms ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘human grade’ all refer to the source of the ingredients. These ingredients can be of high quality (e.g., nutritious, easily digestible, etc.), but they’re dieting,” he said.

“Formulation (how ingredients are combined to create a complete and balanced diet), nutrient concentration (e.g. protein, fat and fiber levels), and amount and type of processing (e.g. extrusion, Retort/canning, pasteurization, heat cooking, baking, etc.) is also a very important factor,” Swanson said.

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