Can I Give My Dog Baby Food?

Can I Give My Dog Baby Food?Some pet parents consider feeding a bit of baby food for various reasons. While it’s necessary and healthy for human babies, this interesting feeding idea is highly debatable for dogs and even puppies.

Humans and canines have different sets of dietary requirements, and this is particularly true during the critical newborn years. Let’s discuss the particulars of providing commercial baby food products to a pet dog.

Most baby foods aren’t toxic for canines. But this type of formulated food, in general, isn’t a great source of nutrition for dogs. It’s not suitable but also consider that your puppy could develop a food fondness making Fido frustratingly fussy later in life.

Can I Give My Dog Some Baby Food? Answer: Not a good idea

The ingredients usually are not optimal for dogs or puppies.

Assuming you have a healthy puppy, feeding them a human baby food diet isn’t a good way to introduce them to the world of food. Stomach upset and diarrhea are possible as well as allergic reactions due to certain ingredients that are often included in baby foods. For example, some brands contain onion powder. So keep it simple, baby food should only be given to babies and quality puppy food such as Taste of the Wild (grain-free) should be given to puppies.

Downsides of Baby Food

One of the negative effects of messing with a pet’s food is that they sometimes become picky eaters. If they come to like baby food more than regular dog food, they’ll refuse to eat what they really need! Giving in to your dog’s food whims is a bad sign of behavioral trouble ahead. It’s important to avoid this problem early on while they are still puppies.

Besides, only a high quality dog food can give a pet dog the nutritional elements needed to live strong and long. These foods were created specifically for them.

Baby Food’s Ingredients

Ingredients typically found in baby foods include fruits and vegetables such as oranges, banana, peas, carrots and sweet potato. These are beneficial and a net positive for dogs. But if the baby food contains an element of grapes, then that’s a different story. Other harmful ingredients sometimes present in popular baby food products include onion, as previously mentioned, and garlic which usually comes in powder form.

Mixed In w/ Dog Food

Some people mix baby food with dog food which is certainly better than straight baby food. But you must be sure that it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are potentially toxic. Believe it or not, the smell and moist texture of the baby food can be enticing to some dogs. In any case, the dog food portion should be the majority of the serving size. It’s just more balanced and nutritious assuming you are buying the good stuff.

Regarding Picky Eaters

You should offer quality dog food, instead of baby food, several times daily. If they refuse to eat within 10 to 15 minutes, it’s best to take away the food and serve it again a little later. This will teach your dog or puppy that not eating their meal will cause them to miss out and possibly go hungry.

Your pup will be more likely to eat their food the next time it’s served to them. Be firm when withholding food if your dog refuses to eat it. Whatever you do, don’t give in by offering baby food unless a vet expressly recommends doing so.

Conclusion on Baby Foods

It’s best not to feed a puppy or adult dog your human-formulated baby food. This is because it does not contain the right balance of vitamins and minerals for their canines. Puppies have different nutritional requirements. Resist spoiling your dog by allowing them to eat regular baby food. This can develop into a bad feeding habit, especially at such a young age.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kasey December, 2015

We got our puppy when she was very young, too young to be away from her mom. She is a Lhasa Apso. Our vet recommended baby rice cereal, cottage cheese and soft/canned dog food all mixed together.


Carol April, 2015

I have two Shih Tzu. They are very picky eaters and will not eat dog food at all. The breeder had them on fish and boiled chicken and I’ve continued that. They now refuse to eat that and will go a day without eating at all. Any ideas?


Melissa May, 2015

I have a Shih Tzu named Zoey. She has a sensitive stomach and will go through periods of throwing up. She’s lactose intolerant and so we cannot give her anything with any type dairy products, even dog food with cheese in it. When she is having upset stomach I have boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast and rice in plain water which seems to help. I will only give her chopped pieces of the chicken, rice and lukewarm broth for a day or 2.

I know you aren’t asking because they are sick, but it could be why they are not wanting to eat. This could also explain why they are picky eaters. They could have sensitive tummies and associate eating with a tummy ache, causing them to avoid eating as long as possible. I am by no means a vet or anything, this is just an opinion based on my many years of experience with animals that have food allergies or sensitive stomachs. I hope this helps.

Sometimes you have to take everything and gradually start back introducing food, 1 item at a time, until you can determine which one may be causing them to have an upset tummy. That’s how we found out Zoey was lactose intolerant. Good luck!


Kandy April, 2015

I have a 14 and a 16 year old Pekingese. They will not eat hard food and when they eat wet food they have very runny bowel movements all day. I have been giving them baby meat products mixed with baby rice cereal. Will this hurt them? It is all I can get them to eat. Please let me know.


John April, 2015

Be tough. Starve them until you can at least feed them a mix to get it down. Sometimes they will wait you out 2 to 3 days, maybe longer, but it’s their life that’s on the line.


Karen February, 2016

If you are still giving your dog baby food, be sure to check the ingredients. Make sure there is no onion powder, garlic powder, grapes or grape juice. It’s best to stick to organic baby food and none of the above ingredients. Grapes cause renal failure and you might not even see a reaction until it is too late. Garlic and onion cause diarrhea and vomiting.


Maria March, 2015

I have a 6 pound Teacup Poodle. He used to eat dog food and was a fairly good eater at the beginning, then he got sick. The vet diagnosed him with Microvascular Dysplasia (liver shunt not processing proteins). He was put him on vegetarian diet with Royal Canine vegetarian dog food and certain vegetables. Now it’s had to get him to eat. Would a teaspoon of veggie or fruit-style baby food be harmful when added to dog food be okay?


Elizabeth March, 2015

I am not a vet, but I would suggest giving your little one some pumpkin (like the organic canned kind)! My sisters little dog was on a strict diet because of kidney failure and the vet said this was a safe alternative. It was added to her food when she refused to eat the new stuff by itself. She loved it and even gained some weight!


Steven October, 2014

I have been giving my American Pit Bull Terrier a snack a day usually after a vigorous walk. That snack will contain yogurt, non-sweetened corn flakes and Gerber baby food consisting of sweet potato, green beans, carrots and bananas. Sometimes I add apples and blueberries (also Gerber baby food). All together it’s about a cup full and he absolutely loves it.

For his regular meals, fed to him 3 times a day, he is fed Blue Wilderness Puppy Food. He has their 3 most popular blends; Chicken, Red Meat and Bison. With his regular meals I give him 2 table spoons of Dean’s 1% Milkfat Cottage Cheese.

Apollo is a very active 4 month old and with 2 30-45 minute walks a day and significant playing time in the backyard I believe his diet is very good for him. I use the baby food as vitamin supplements. I would never replace his daily kibble for baby food and it is not something that is ever offered with his puppy chow. Only after walks as a “good boy” snack.

I will say that it does an excellent job of keeping his stool soft but still solid. Apollo also has a fairly regular schedule for #2 business. However he will occasionally have stinky gas, but I don’t mind that to often.

It’s all about research and making sure you don’t over do it.


Margaret July, 2014

Many years ago, we got a Pekingese puppy from a breeder. She was teeny tiny, and the breeder told my mom to feed her scrambled eggs, baby food, and cottage cheese three times a day for six weeks. We did, she loved it and absolutely thrived, lived for almost 18 years and the only downside was she could hear you crack an egg from the other end of the house.


Labrador Mom July, 2013

I have been giving my 2 Labs baby food with their dog food for over 8 years. One of them did not see too well but after a while after eating carrots, his vision improved noticeably. I don’t rely solely on baby food but give them each 1T in with their daily feeding. They also eat baby food in apples, pears, sweet potatoes and bananas. One Lab just loved the bananas! If it’s good for us, why wouldn’t it be good for my animals?


Abbie Jones April, 2013

Ready made foods made for human babies are not good for pet dogs. It’s not nutrient sufficient for puppies. Unlike babies, their growth pace is different.


Nojo March, 2013

I now feed my dog only baby food (with cooked chicken sprinkled on top). She is 14.5 years old, with CHF, many missing teeth and I have to get several different medications into her every day. She won’t eat dog food and after losing one to toxic dog products, I don’t blame her.

At this point in her life, I believe she should get to eat anything she enjoys. She thoroughly enjoys baby food and has been doing quite well on it. Normal poops, normal pees, normal naps. She also loves her veggies and beef puree.


Jamie November, 2012

I am wondering about the whole baby food thing. I have a 3 year old Pitbull female. I am feeding her a raw meat diet. I have been giving her like one pound of raw hamburger, one small thing of mixed vegetables baby food, one sweet potato (or something like that) then 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and 1 raw egg. I mix it all together.

The only reason I wanted to go with baby food is because the vegetables are already pureed for me. And with pitbulls, they can’t digest vegetables or fruit if they’re not pureed. She also gets a doggie multi-vitamin every day. She has one poo a day and she seems to be tolerating it just fine. I switch between different vegetables and fruit, and different meats.


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