Heed these takeaways
- While it’s tempting to feed your dog table food, it’s definitely not recommended.
- Table scraps can give your pup an upset tummy and increase your dog’s risk of becoming overweight or obese.
- Table scraps can also contain ingredients toxic to dogs and might cause your pup to not want to eat his own food.
- If you insist on sharing food with your dog occasionally, you should only give small amounts of safe, healthy food.
You couldn’t possibly eat another bite of dinner, but there are still a few scraps left on your plate. You know you could just throw them out, but there’s a four-legged family member who has other ideas — and who knows how to get exactly what he wants.
All it takes is a pleading look from those big, beautiful eyes and before you know it, you’re offering the rest of your meal to your dog.
This situation is one that pup parents all over the world can relate to. We all love spoiling our pets and treating them whenever we can, so what’s the harm in giving your dog a little extra snack for dessert?
Unfortunately, feeding your dog table scraps can have some pretty serious health consequences. Keep reading to find out why.
What’s so bad about table scraps?
Many experts recommend that you should never feed your dog table scraps.
Why? There are a few important reasons:
- It can lead to obesity. Over 50% of dogs in the United States are either overweight or obese, which can contribute to a long list of serious health problems. And when you give your dog table scraps loaded with fat and extra calories on top of his normal diet, you’re putting him at huge risk of gaining extra pounds.
- It can cause an upset stomach. Your pup’s digestive system is used to dealing with the same food every day, so introducing rich and fatty table scraps into the mix can cause vomiting or diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even cause potentially life-threatening pancreatitis.
- Some foods and ingredients are toxic to dogs. From grapes and raisins to onions and chocolate, there are many common ingredients in human foods that can be toxic to dogs. And remember, this can include ingredients used in the food preparation process or included in sauces and dressings.
- You could turn your dog into a picky eater. If your pup knows he’s always going to get a few tasty tidbits from your dinner, he might decide to forego his regular, healthy food in favour of table scraps.
So, while it might be hard to say no when your dog gives you “that” look and rests his paw in your lap to beg for a tasty morsel, resisting the urge to share your food with him is actually in your pet’s best interests.
Sharing food with your dog
If you absolutely insist on sharing your dinner with your pup, there are a few simple tips to keep in mind:
- Establish some ground rules. A dog that expects to be fed from your plate each night can become quite a nuisance at the dinner table; you might think it’s cute, but some of your friends and family might disagree. To ensure that begging behavior doesn’t become a problem, don’t slip your dog “people food” under the table — serve it up in his usual dish instead.
- Only in moderation. Make sure you factor any extra treats and snacks your dog gets into his daily calorie count so that he doesn’t over-indulge. You should also only share food with your dog occasionally, so he comes to understand that it’s a special treat and not a daily occurrence.
- Avoid unhealthy and unsafe foods. Giving oily and fatty foods to your dog is an absolute no-no, while it’s also essential that you avoid any foods that could be toxic to your pup. Instead, stick to small serves of healthy foods, such as apple, banana, carrot, broccoli, or a lean piece of cooked turkey.
By sticking to these rules, and by feeding your pup a healthy, balanced dog food like Heed, you’ll be doing your bit to help him stay as healthy as possible.