My 20-month-old likes to eat dry dog food. He competes with the
dog for it. Why does he do this?
We can't say for sure what's making your toddler eat dog
food, but it's not a good idea for him to continue doing it.
Aside from the fact that dog food isn't nutritionally sound for
humans and dog dishes aren't especially sanitary, the small,
dry pieces could pose a choking hazard. And dogs are often very
territorial over their food. Even a gentle dog can turn on a child
who is playing with its food. Dog food dishes should always be off
limits to kids to help avoid bites.
Only put enough food in your dog's dish for that meal, and
then pick the dish up after the dog is done. Make sure your child
knows to stay away from the dish, and not to bother the dog while
he is eating. Encourage your toddler to try other finger foods that
are better suited to humans, like cereal or crackers.
For more information, check out these articles:
Nutrition Guide for Toddlers
Snacks for Toddlers
Selecting Safe Pets
Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: May 2008
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