The Pet Scoop: The myth of table scraps

Alright. Can you settle this once and for all? Should I or should I not feed my dog table scraps?

Bill McQuade and his dog, Purdy.

Bill says: I don’t know. What do you eat? If it is fast food, pizza, burgers and fries, fried catfish and hush puppies, or lots of white bread, potatoes, starches, processed ham, hot dogs, crackers or chips, then hell no! Why would you want to give your dog all the health problems you are going to have?

If you eat a low carbohydrate diet of green veggies, fresh fruits, lean meats, eggs, etc, then your dog can share, but not at the table. You do not want a pet begging for food while you eat.

The most unnatural food you can feed your pet is dry kibbled dog or cat food. It is a heavily processed, heavily advertised, convenient and profitable product that corporate America wants you to feed. Convenience is a very important commodity in today’s’ hectic lifestyle, however, and my dog gets a little dry kibble, but she also gets some table scraps like egg, green beans, broccoli, Bravo Balance Raw Frozen Diet, and water added to her dry kibble.

Dogs, and especially cats, do not need starchy or sweet carbohydrates. The main reason I recommend adding moisture to dry food is because dogs and cats digestive systems are much shorter than ours, and are designed to eat a freshly killed rabbit, deer, bird, or mouse.

Fresh meat is 60-75 percent moisture, and stomach contents are generally loaded with partially digested greens and digestive enzymes. Adding moisture aids in digestion. Adding meat provides the long chain amino acids required for optimal health. If you think corporate America is more interested in your pet’s health than profits, then just look at the ingredients in Fruit Loops, a cereal marketed to children (the first ingredient is sugar).

Healthy table scraps are an acceptable and even desirable part of a well rounded diet for your pet. The myth: “Do not feed table food” was the result of a brilliant marketing plan created by a huge corporation that purchased a very successful pet food company in the late nineties. Stop by and visit with me, and I’ll be happy to explain further.

Purdy’s Answer: Ignore Bill! I will eat anything you eat. Please, please, please. Ice cream, pizza, cookies, cake, mac and cheese, nachos. Also, you are so cruel going through the fast food drive thru with me in the car. By the way, is that your belly rubbing the steering wheel?

If you have a question for Bill, email it to bill(at)

Bill McQuade is the owner of The Whole Pet, located at 2423 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville. The Whole Pet specializes in nutrition for cats and dogs and offers a wide variety of quality diets in raw frozen, cans and kibble. The store also offers affordable, unique and high quality pet supplies and accessories. Bill is a professional dog handler, and has worked in the pet care business since 1972.