Debunking the 'Don't feed your pet table scraps' myth'

You may have heard the advice don't feed your pet table scraps" from the dinner table and that doing so can be bad for his health. But before you ban this practice in your home and deny your pet any leftovers, ask yourself this question: What are you eating?"

If your dinner is full of processed junk food then, yes, you should avoid sharing these items with your pet. But if your family meals are of the wholesome and nutritious variety, sharing these items with your pet will only benefit him.

In short, often times if the foods offer health benefits for humans, there are benefits for your pet as well.

You may have seen pet foods that claim they are "100 percent complete" on the package. It's easy to see this message and believe this food is all your pet needs. But in truth no one knows what 100 percent complete really is.

In fact many animals have suffered adverse effects from a diet of solely one, processed food that said it was 100 percent complete. Recent discoveries link potassium, carnitine, zinc and riboflavin deficiencies to dependency on one processed pet food. Thousands of cats have also suffered from a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, which resulted from a lack of the amino acid taurine in commercial pet foods. Their pet owners believed they were buying a complete dietary product for their pets but feeding this food exclusively created a deficiency. Many believe chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, obesity, heart disease, cancer, immune disorders, allergies and skin, eye and ear infections can be linked to such a diet.

So what should you feed your pet?

The best option is varied genetically appropriate foods, including a raw food diet that contains the natural ingredients and materials your pet's body was built to digest. You can also complement your pet's diet with scraps from your own table from time to time, just remember to make sure those scraps have sound nutritional value and your pet will benefit as well.