There are a number of reasons why you could be interested in learning what happens if a dog ingests food meant for babies. Perhaps you are all out of normal dog food, or perhaps your dog is not interested in the same old dry food it has had for years. If your dog is not eating anything because it is sick or maybe stressed, sometimes baby food can actually work wonders for the dog.
So let us find out the answer to the question of can dogs eat baby food.
There are, however, a few rules you must follow to ensure you do not harm the dog if you feed baby food to your pet. The good news is that some of the different types of baby food are fine for dogs to consume once or twice, while others can be eaten for even longer periods of time. There are a few requirements and caveats, however, so keep reading if you find yourself wanting to feed your dog some baby food.
If you have found your dog sneaking into the pantry and, without permission eating a jar of baby formula or other baby food, we also have a section that covers what you should do in that circumstance, so read on and learn all about dogs and delicious baby food.
Are There Any Reasons to Give My Dog Baby Food?
We all live busy lives with hundreds of things to accomplish every week, from cleaning the house, taking care of the garden to feeding and clothing our children.
Out of Food
So when all of a sudden we realise there is no more dog food left in the pantry, and the stores are closed, what can we do? Some of us might have some extra jars of different baby foods in the kitchen cabinets, and in a pinch, we might even consider feeding the dog with it.
Another possible reason is when your dog has been ill for extended periods, and their appetite has changed. Perhaps it no longer finds interest in the usual dog food or other food such as raw chicken bones, but if you are lucky, then your dog might like the smell and flavor of baby food. It might also be necessary to feed baby food directly to the dog if it is extremely sick. Again, a spoon or syringe can work here.
While it is not ideal for a full diet by any means, if your dog is not interested in other food, this type of meal meant for infants can still keep your dog nourished and healthy as long as you are sure that the lost appetite is not due to some serious health issue. In addition, adding baby food to the food bowl can be a decent supplement to the dog’s food, even if it does not contain all the nutrients a dog needs.
Stray or Lost Dogs
There have also been cases of people rescuing a stray or dog in need in a place or at a time where they were not able to go to the grocery stores for dog food. And in these cases, baby food was a quick way to earn the stray dog’s trust and loving heart.
Regardless of your reason for feeding baby food to your dog, you have to be aware of when dry dog food is better. As dog owners, we have a responsibility towards our pets, but if you have found a stray dog or if the dog owner is not available, you might also need to do some research. Luckily we have gathered all you need to know right here in this article.
What Can Happen If Dogs Eat Baby Food?
In many cases, nothing serious will happen when a dog eats food meant for babies and small children. These products tend to be relatively safe, but there are instances where there are certain ingredients in the products that can lead to smaller problems and serious medical complications. If, however, there is onion powder, garlic powder, or large amounts of salt in the food, your dog can experience problems.
Too much salt can lead to salt poisoning, which in the worst-case scenario can be fatal. Too much garlic or onion powder can also cause problems with the autoimmune system for some dogs, while others might just become slightly constipated.
The following are a few examples of the most common reactions to dogs eating too much food meant for babies, but there can be others. Always keep an eye on your pet to ensure they act normal and do not appear to be in pain or otherwise uncomfortable.
- Complete loss of appetite
If your dog is experiencing one or more of the issues listed above, and you haven’t already taken the pet to get medical attention, that should be your first priority as opposed to treating your dog with baby food on your own.
In the end, it will all depend on your dog’s health, body type, and weight, but we recommend never feeding baby food that contains onion or garlic powder, as well as huge quantities of salt.
When Is It NOT Okay to Give A Dog Baby Food?
The following are some of the most common ingredients found in baby formula and food that are unsafe for dogs. So before you feed your dog a treat or put a sick puppy on a baby food diet, be sure to check the list for any dangerous ingredients.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Excessive amounts of salt
Certain meat-based baby food can also cause issues, depending on several aspects such as food allergies, the type of meat, and more. If you are unsure if your dog can eat a certain type of meat, our advice is to avoid it and find something you are sure of instead. We have plenty of options in our world, so why risk it?
If your dog has eaten a few jars of baby food with garlic or onion powder, it might be at risk. If it was less than a jar, most dogs should be fine. But remember to keep an eye on your dog to observe any negative results.
Is Baby Food Good for Dogs with Low Appetite?
This is perhaps one of the best reasons to feed your dog baby food. As long as you have the OK from a vet that has checked the cause for your dog’s loss of appetite, baby food can be just the thing your loyal furry friend needs to get back on its feet and become healthy and active once more.
We recommend banana baby food or pumpkin baby food as these flavors really seem to be popular as so many dog foods also contain these ingredients. If you see that your puppies eat baby food, then we recommend not getting them used to the flavor and taste by giving baby food too often to your small friends.
What Is The Best Type of Baby Food for Dogs?
The best type of baby food to feed your dog is the type without any dangerous ingredients, as well as the product with the best flavor and smell for your dog. Every dog is different, and while some dogs love banana-flavored food, others might prefer pumpkin or vanilla.
As long as you don’t feed your dog too much, most flavors should be fine, and you are free to experiment to find the one your pooch loves the most. Just remember to take any allergies into account, and remember foodstuffs like chocolate and certain nuts can be dangerous as well.
Can Dogs Eat Baby Food as Part of Their Regular Diet?
Overall, dogs should not have a significant portion of their diet be baby food-based. A spoonful here and there or a small jar as a treat once in a while can be a good addition to your dog’s diet, but it should only be that, an addition.
Generally speaking, veterinarians only tend to feed dogs baby food when they are under medical care, as part of a controlled diet to help the loyal pets that are sick. However, in this case, many dogs tend to have a lowered appetite or trouble eating solid foods, and food products meant for babies can be a great resource in this situation.
At home, most veterinarians recommend only feeding dogs a few spoonfuls of baby food every now and then. However, there is a genuine cause for concern in making the dog too dependent and fond of this type of food, to the point where it could potentially ignore the more healthy diet with regular food and treats.
Therefore, only feed your dog baby food when the situation calls for it, such as your dog being too sick to eat anything else, if it’s all you have left and the dog is starving, or as an occasional treat for being a good dog.
Can I Treat My Dog with A Baby Food Diet?
In most cases, no. You should not treat your dog with any form of specialized diet unless recommended by your veterinarian after a proper check of your pet. Most vets only use the least amount of baby food necessary when they treat sick dogs and puppies without an appetite.
Suppose you have a sick dog, and your vet has recommended you put your dog on a diet of only baby food. In that case, you can follow the advice and remember to take care in checking the baby food you purchase does not contain onion or garlic powder out of health concerns and based on veterinary advice since it can cause issues with the immune system and lead to an upset tummy for the dog.
The goal is always to get them used to more normal pet food as fast as possible and avoid the dogs developing a craving for baby food products since it can be difficult to get them used to eating regular pet food once they know how good baby is food tastes.
What About Providing Baby Formula for My Dog?
If you have some leftover baby food in the form of formula, you might have wondered if the dog would like it. After all, your baby seemed to love it, so why not your puppy or grown dog? The answer is that they might love it.
But it could, in fact, also be unhealthy, as most baby formula can cause issues since most dogs are lactose intolerant. So you should check there are no ingredients in the baby food formula that could trigger any reaction or cause any issues with that. It will depend on the dog’s size, and while you might consider baby formula and food to be delicious treats, we need to remember dogs have sensitive stomachs when it comes to human foods.
You will also need to be sure that the baby food does not contain ingredients such as powdered onion or garlic, as the result can be a sick dog with an upset stomach or worse.
How Do I Stop My Dog from Only Wanting to Eat Baby Food?
It is not unheard of that once dogs have developed a taste for this type of food, that it can be difficult getting them to eat solid foods. If that’s the case for you and your pet, we have gathered a list of ideas that might just help your dog rekindle its love for ordinary food.
- Try mixing a little bit of baby food together with the regular pet food, and slowly work on increasing the amount of regular pet food until that is all the dog is given. This can work well for many types of dogs but will take some time to do properly. If you change the ratio too fast, it might not want to eat anymore, and if you change the ratio too slowly, it might just not notice any difference.
- Remember that you are the boss. The dog should listen to you, and since you are not harming the dog and are helping it by getting it used to regular dog food, you need to stay strong and keep motivated. The dog will be happier and healthier in the end.
- If your pet is still a puppy, then you can be more flexible with trying new foods since you are likely to find some brand of dog food that feels new and exciting for the young puppy, and you might just be able to completely change the diet from day to day, without any worries.
If none of these ideas worked, you might want to look into more standard methods of training your dog. It could also help with other aspects of your and your dog’s relationship and build trust and love for each other. What’s not to love?
Giving baby food to your dog, either as dog treats, to get rid of unused baby food or as part of a diet for a sick dog, can be a good thing that can help your dog. However, as pet owners who love dogs, we need to make sure we understand the dangers associated with baby food, especially when it comes to a dog’s appetite and young puppies. We hope you learned a thing or two from this article until next time!