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Can Dogs Eat Baby Food And Still Be Healthy?

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Dogs can eat baby food because it is pureed fruits and vegetables but it doesn’t provide much nutrition. Baby food is not nutritionally optimized for dogs. Dogs should only eat dog food if there is nothing else available for them to eat

Baby food is not inherently toxic to dogs. 

If you do feed it to a dog, it should be free of ingredients that are harmful to dogs, like garlic, onion powder, or any other spices. 

Baby food should only be fed to dogs as a once-off alternative. The best food option for them is nutritional food made specifically for dogs.

Can I Give My Dog Baby Food?

Yes, you can, especially if your dog is refusing to eat their normal food. But use baby food cautiously, as it doesn’t provide much nutrition. Your dog is likely to enjoy baby food and other infant favorites like applesauce and warm oats. 

Baby food should not be used as a permanent solution to your dog’s eating issues. You can use it as a short-term solution to provide your dog with the necessary nutrition until you can see a vet for a healthier solution.

Keep the following in mind when you give baby food to your dog:

Natural and whole baby food

Feed your dog baby food that has more natural ingredients and minimum preservatives, additives, and sweeteners.

Natural and whole baby food

Pick a “single flavor” food

Some baby foods are meant to be a meal and can have multiple ingredients but this is dangerous for dogs. Stick to foods based on a single ingredient.

Moderation

If you give your dog baby food, give it in small amounts. Keep it to one spoonful or a few teaspoons to avoid giving them too many calories.

Always consult your vet

If your dog is not eating for days on end, consult your vet. If they recommend baby food, ask them for specific brands and flavors.

Is Baby Food Good For Dogs?

Baby food can be good for dogs. It does not have many additives and is low in fat, sugar, and salt. Check the back of the baby food container for the ingredients if you consider giving your dog baby food. 

Some baby food is better than others and can be safely eaten by dogs. That food should still never replace your dog’s real food.

Is Baby Food Good For Dogs

Is Baby Food Safe For Dogs?

Baby food is not dangerous for dogs. The recommended choice of baby food for dogs is organic, stage two foods that contain protein like turkey, lamb, and chicken.

Baby food is not nutritionally balanced for dogs and should not be given as an entire meal. You can add a few teaspoons of it to your dog’s normal food if they are reluctant to eat it.

Can Puppies Eat Baby Food?

Puppies can eat baby formula and baby pureed foods that have fruits, vegetables, or meat flavors. Baby food is easy to digest for their developing stomach and your puppy will get the nutrients they need.

When your puppy is between two and four weeks old, you can give them baby oatmeal. This can work as a bridge from milk or puppy formula to wet puppy food.

5 Ways to Give Your Dog Baby Food

You can give your dog baby food in moderation to increase their appetite or to get them to eat something different.

1. Mixing Baby Food With Dog Food

Some owners mix baby food into their dog’s normal food to entice them to eat. This combination is better than straight baby food. The majority of the combination must be dog food.

Mixing Baby Food With Dog Food

2. Giving Your Dog Medication

Baby food can be a safe way to give dogs medication. Most dogs find it delicious and easy to swallow so when you mix medication into it, your dog is unlikely to gag or resist.

3. Picky Eaters

Baby food is easier to digest than adult food and it can be an excellent choice of food for picky eaters. It’s also good for senior dogs who no longer have an appetite or dogs who are sick with an upset stomach.

4. Getting Your Dog To Eat Dry Food

If your dog is refusing to eat dry food because of the taste, you can add a small amount of baby food to the dry kibble. Coat the kibble in baby food so your dog doesn’t lick the baby food, leaving the kibble behind.

Getting Your Dog To Eat Dry Food

5. Treats And Rewards

Dogs love the taste of baby food. Use it as a treat. You can give your dog baby food treats for good behavior or when training them.

What Baby Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Baby food that contains meat, vegetables, or fruit, can be beaten by dogs in moderation. You want to use baby food with the smallest number of ingredients to be safe.

1. Vegetable Combinations

Vegetable baby food is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Pureed baby food that contains combinations of multiple vegetables can be given to dogs.

Here are some examples of good baby foods with fruit and vegetable combinations:

  • Peach and pear puree
  • Baby oatmeal and blueberry puree
  • Beef and carrot puree
  • Chicken and potato puree
  • Pineapple and mango puree
Vegetable Combinations

2. Sweet Potato

A sweet potato puree baby food can be fed to dogs because of the high fiber content of sweet potatoes[1]. Look out for additional seasoning and sugar as this is harmful and can aggravate your dog’s allergies or lead to blood sugar imbalance. 

3. Pumpkin

Pumpkin puree baby food can be a source of vitamin A which promotes eye health and vitamin C which boosts the immune system. Pumpkin absorbs slowly in the body and can even help decrease diarrhea or toughen soft stools. 

The pumpkin puree should contain as few extra ingredients as possible.

Pumpkin

4. Banana

Banana baby food with minimum flavor enhancers is a good source of potassium for a dog. You should go for a blend with simple ingredients like rice or wheat flour. 

Steer clear from banana blends with high sugar content.

5. Baby Formula

Most baby formulas contain essential nutrients that dogs can benefit from such as proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. 

The downside of baby formula is iron. Dogs don’t need a lot of iron in their diet which is why they should only drink baby formula as a treat.

Baby Formula

6. Baby Puffs

If you have some baby puffs to spare, they can be a great ingredient as dog treats. Baby puffs are made with whole wheat flour, cane sugar, whole grain oat flour, and rice flour. 

All are safe ingredients for dogs.

7. Meat Baby Food

Meat-flavored baby food is a welcomed treat by dogs. Dogs need multiple protein sources and pureed meat can be one of them. 

Make sure that the food is well cooked and has not been open for long. Beef and chicken baby food are good options as they are also prominent ingredients in dog food.

8. Gerber Baby Food

Dogs should not have a whole serving of Gerber baby food as the sugar content is high, and the fiber content very low. This is a bad combination for dogs.

Gerber second stage baby food is rich in carbohydrates and sugar, with little fiber[2].

NutrientsAmount per 99g serving
Calories63
Fat0 g
Protein1.1 g
Carbohydrates15 g
Sugar9 g
Dietary fiber1.5 g
Saturated fat0 g
Cholesterol2 mg
Vitamin C72.04.7 mg
Iron0.15 mg
Calcium5.94 mg
Potassium105 mg

9. Applesauce

Applesauce is fine for dogs in moderation[3]. It can be given to dogs as a treat or to entice them to take medication.

Related: Can Dogs Have Applesauce?

Is Applesauce Healthy for Dogs

Bad Baby Food For Dogs

Baby food that contains large amounts of carbohydrates and is low in fiber is bad for dogs. Dogs need more fiber than baby food normally offers. Baby food is also more expensive than dog food, which eventually will drive up your costs.

Baby food can be bad for dogs for several reasons. The wrong baby food can make your dog sick. Your dog can get a stomach ache or a headache if they eat too much baby food, especially if it is high in sugar or if it has gone off.

Harmful Ingredients To Look Out For In Baby Food

  • Garlic and onion: These are part of the Allium family and they damage red blood cells in dogs.
  • High salt levels: Too much salt affects dogs’ heart rates and kidneys negatively. It is even more damaging in old dogs.
  • High sugar levels: Too much sugar makes dogs hyperactive, nauseous, and lethargic. It can lead to obesity and diabetes in the long term.
  • Toxic heavy metals: Some commercial baby foods tested in the US[4] were discovered to contain unhealthy amounts of metals like arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium.

Conclusion

Baby food is low in sugar and salt so it is safe for dogs but only in moderation. It does not provide all of the nutrients dogs need. You can use dog baby food as a remedy against decreased appetite. This should be a temporary solution and should be approved by your vet.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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