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VET Q&A : A Delicate Balance

July 13, 1986|Sandra J. Jongeward DVM

Q: We feed our 6-year-old German shepherd a brand-name dog food and supplement his diet with table scraps. Is this healthy?--O.S. A: Generally, brand-name dog foods are nutritionally balanced and require no supplementation; check the labels to see that the food meets standards set by the National Research Council. The contents of certain generic dog foods have been found to vary.

With most brand-name foods, you can feed your dog table scraps for up to 10 % of its total food intake. But don't add so many calories that your pet gains weight. Also, overdoing it with certain vitamins and minerals can lead to myriad physical disorders. When altering your pet's meals from a nutritionally complete diet, be careful not to create a diet that is unbalanced.

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