Toddlers often give us a hard time dealing with their peculiar eating habits. They try to explore everything from shiny metals to the pet food by putting those in the mouth. Interestingly, “Baby ate dog food” is one of the most common discussions in different Internet forums among the concerned guardians.
Children tend to be excessively curious by nature. Everything around appears as a mystery to them. This mysterious item could also include a bowl of food you kept for your pet.
A netizen said that her son used to enjoy pet foods regularly. He sometimes used to sit along with their dog and share a few nibbles from its food.
But is it safe?; the question remains. Thus this content answers a common fear of parents “what could be the outcome of my baby eating something as unusual as pet food?”
Why do babies have weird eating habits?
Curious by nature, toddlers tend to experiment with everything with utmost pleasure. The most common way of their exploration is to put everything in the mouth. Psychologically, they rely more on tasting something to understand that thing.
This curiosity should not scare the parents. The kids are just trying to interact with the world so new to them! The guardians should instead observe what children eat and if it is safe to eat. If you check the online forums or observe yourself, you will find various weird items children eat. They can be both edible and inedible. Thus if your baby ate dog food, do know that this is not something abnormal at all!
This fascination with everything is indeed a good trait for young kids. It shows that their brain is actively responding to everything. However, not every experiment is safe for these delicate toddlers.
Types of Dog Foods
In general, babies could encounter five different categories of dog foods, such as:
- Kibble or Dry Food: They are easy to feed and preserve. Dogs enjoy chewing them too.
- Semi-moist: The meaty commercial dog food with the least nutritional value. It contains artificial colors and flavors too.
- Canned: These foods can be a great source of nutrients dogs require. However, it needs a hard time finding the right brand that won’t mix useless elements in those supplements.
- Raw: Some owners prefer serving raw meat and bones to the dogs. This food can sometimes cause acidity to dogs.
- Cooked food: Owners list the nutrients dogs need to stay well. They then cook them at home to serve their pets a healthy and hygienic diet.
Among these different types of dog food, only home food can be marked as entirely safe for children to some extent. Other types of foods come with various risks and threats for humans.
Possible outcomes of eating dog food
Swallowing dog food for once in a while doesn’t pose any threat to children. Some claimed that the ingredients used in dog food serve human needs to some extent as well.
However, children might face adverse impact by eating these pet foods for a long time.
The most common threats for children having dog food include as follow:
- Food Poisoning
- Eating Disorder
- Bacterial Infection
These threats will become more apparent through the further discussion here.
Probable threats with Dog food ingredients
The dogs are considered human’s best friends. Then again, these two species require different nutritional supplies as per their physical needs. As a result, our healthy diet differs a lot from that of dogs or other animals.
Commercial pet foods contain processed meat leftovers, animal skins, rice, wheat, etc., which are undoubtedly unhealthy for any human being.
Children take time to develop their organs and digestive systems. They are also vulnerable to various foodborne diseases as their immune systems are not strong enough to fight external agents.
Besides, these dog foods contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella. Many foodborne illnesses result from this infamous substance. This contamination can make children significantly less than five years suffer a lot.
Arguably, toddlers can get seriously sick by merely touching the dry pet food due to Salmonella. If they put the contaminated hand in their mouth or swallow the harmful substance, they will suffer from severe poisoning.
Moreover, manufacturers sometimes mix melamine with dog food, which is harmful to both humans and animals. In the long run, this dangerous element can cause kidney failure too. Many pets died in China back in 2007 for having canned pet food contaminated with this substance. You should thus keep these harmful dog foods from Children to ensure complete safety.
Apart from getting unhealthy exposure from additives and preservatives, Children have other risks of having dog food such as:
- Choking Hazard: Dry dog foods can cause a choking disaster for children, resulting in a worse outcome as death.
- Injury: Sometimes, dogs are so possessive with their foods that they don’t bother attacking anybody tampering with their nutrition. Thus, children could be a severe victim of such an attack if they try to play with dog food.
- Confused food habits: Kids could find it difficult to adjust to a healthy balanced diet after growing up if they get used to having dog foods regularly.
Actions to take if the baby eats dog food:
Apart from choking, eating dog food won’t cause much deadly impact on children. However, it would help if you didn’t take any risk with your little one.
Thus, you may take the following initiatives to prevent unwanted threat:
- Contact emergency healthcare for direction.
- Check if the dog food has food inspectors’ approval.
- Get a thorough checkup of the baby to ensure she/he is safe from internal harm.
You should not be very much worried if your baby ate dog food. The most common outcome would be minor food poisoning. Many people had this similar experience, and they were just fine. However, you might not ignore the associated threats of choking hazards or bacterial contamination.
Your little one is precious enough to be protected from even the tiniest risk. Therefore, you need to ensure that toddler doesn’t develop a long term habit of eating dog food. It could someday cause serious adversity in your absence.