Dogs are by nature curious creatures and would eat anything in front of them, as long as it smells nice. If you have a small baby who is just starting to eat solid foods, you probably have some baby food lying around. Your dog can become overly invested in baby food, sometimes even watching you while you feed your baby. This raises the question, can dogs eat baby food?
For the most part, yes. Dogs can eat baby food; any food healthy enough for your baby is healthy for your dog. It can even benefit those with health conditions.
Nevertheless, be careful when feeding your dogs with baby food, as there are downsides to overdoing it.
How Much Baby Food is Good for Dogs?
Baby food is full of healthy nutrients, and your dog will love it. However, consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything. Tell them about the baby food you usually have on hand and ask them if there are any health concerns about the food. If they don’t have objections, you can go ahead and give your pup some of it.
Even if the vet gives you the go-ahead, you still have to practice moderation. Baby food is an excellent palate enhancer for dogs, and you can even use it to hide some of their medication. It is, however, not a solution you can use long-term and isn’t a balanced diet substitute.
Dogs require lots of nutrients which mainly come from proteins. Ensure that your dog’s food has an AAFCO certification and is healthy for their developmental stage. This is the best way to ensure they get all the necessary minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.
You can then give their diet an extra boost with the baby food. You might even find that it gives your pup an appetite boost or increases the chances of fussy dogs chances to eat more. Talk to your vet if your dog still won’t eat their regular food.
Further Reading: Can Dogs Eat That Food? The Answers in 2022
What Baby Food Can Your Dog Eat?
Since dogs require lots of proteins, meat-based foods are good for their nutrition. You can also try giving them vegetables or any Stage II baby foods. Some of the flavors that can attract your dog or make the food seem more appetizing include: Lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, banana, sweet potato, and pumpkin.
Feed your dog foods with one flavor only or a dominant flavor. Mixed foods might have ingredients that aren’t safe for your dogs. If you buy pre-packaged or pre-made foods, find those with low salt content. Avoid anything containing garlic or onions as these are harmful to dogs.
Pros of Feeding Your Dog Baby Food
Baby food is known for its high nutrient content. This is because it is made to promote your child’s growth and development.
Other foods, such as pumpkins, have a high fiber content that works great for dogs with gastrointestinal issues.
Meat-based foods attract dogs because of their strong smells. These are great for dogs with low appetites or fussy eaters. The strong smell from the meat can also help you administer medicine to your dog as the smell masks the medication.
Further Reading: Best Grain-Free Dog Food
As mentioned above, stay away from mixed flavor baby foods. These normally contain a blend of ingredients that can hide harmful products. Foods like roast beef for babies contain harmful ingredients for your dog. Additionally, onions, garlic, and powders are unsuitable.
Another downside to feeding dogs baby food is that your furry friend might stop eating their food. Baby food has stronger flavors and smells, making them appetizing for dogs. While this encourages them to eat more, it is also dangerous, as eating it regularly ruins their appetite for anything else.
Moderation is always the best practice. Give your dog baby food once in a while to keep their appetites high, but don’t make it an everyday thing. Give them small portions as well, just enough to satiate their appetite.
You can also try changing your dog’s regular food with something else. Maybe they find their everyday food too dry or unappetizing. Try switching to something more tasteful – there are many dog food brands you can choose from.
How to Feed Your Dog Baby Food
You can use baby food as a small treat before or after your dog is done eating. You can even mix the baby food with their regular food to encourage them to eat more. Remember only to put a small amount of the baby food, just enough for them to smell and taste it but not to overwhelm their food.
If you use baby food to give them medication, mix the medicine in the food. If it comes in liquid form, blend the liquid with the baby food, then feed it to your dog. If it comes in tablets, hide it in a spoonful of the food and give it to them. Some people prefer crushing the tablet and giving it to them; only do this if your vet says it’s okay.
For dogs with gastrointestinal issues, giving them a little pumpkin food can improve their digestive issues. Feed them one tablespoon or two teaspoons per serving for small and large dogs, respectively. Don’t feed them anymore than this as it could worsen their symptoms.
Warm the baby food to body temperature, don’t make it hot. This makes it more palatable and can encourage them to eat. Store the baby food in the refrigerator and discard it if it is unused for 24 hours or per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Dogs can eat baby food. In fact, in some cases, baby food can be beneficial to dogs. You can use it to improve their appetite, feed them medicine, or just give them a flavor boost.
Ensure to consult with your vet before you start giving them the food, and stop immediately if they have any unusual reactions, such as allergies or unusual bowel movements.
Moreover, only feed your dog small portions of baby food alongside a healthy and nutritious balanced diet.