Dog parents love to spoil their four-legged kids with kisses, hugs and table scraps. The first two are great for showing your dog how much you love him, but feeding him table scraps could actually be doing more harm than good. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t feed your dog human food.
1. Not all human food is bad for dogs. In fact, peanut butter, cottage cheese, pumpkin and rice, to name a few, are actually good for your dog. But that doesn’t mean you should start giving your dog human food. Foods like chocolate, onions, garlic, nuts, grapes and raisins can cause your dog more harm than good.
According to caninejournal.com, “Foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption, as well as other animals, may be toxic and even poisonous to your dog, posing a serious threat to its health and well-being. Why? Because all animals have very different rates of metabolism. Metabolism is basically the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy.”
Bottom line: If you want to feed your dog human food, that’s fine, but do your research and make sure you are feeding your dog something that not only benefits his diet, but that is good for him, too.
2. It’s no secret that obesity is a problem. Human food is often high in calories and fat, and if humans have a hard time keeping calories and fat at bay, then it’s safe to say that our canine counterparts will also struggle.
“A common concern with feeding table scraps is that it causes obesity. While this is certainly a concern, it does not need to be the case. Any time you give your dog extra food, you are adding extra calories, so if the food you choose to share with your dog is high in fats, sugars and calories, then there is a real risk of your dog becoming obese. This risk is higher for small dogs, as it takes very few extra calories to cause weight gain,” writes moderndogmagazine.com.
Again, it comes back to research. You really shouldn’t be feeding your dog foods high in fat and calories anyway, but if you give your dog carrots, plain yogurt or apple slices, then you’re doing him a favor.
3. Another issue that arises when you feed your dog human food is that he won’t eat his own food. Remember the first time you had chocolate or tasted your first steak? You wanted more, because it tasted so good that no other foods could compare and you developed a taste, and craving, for that particular food. Well, this is how your dog feels when he gets human food – that it is a million times better than their kibble. And why eat dog food when you can eat steak, right?
4. Sharing your meal with your dog from the table also encourages begging, and how annoying is it when you go to a friend’s house for dinner and their dog follows you around, practically snatching the food right out of your hands? Well, it’s super-annoying. No one likes a begging dog, so please stop feeding your dog from the table immediately.
Moderndogmagazine.com says, “If you wish to avoid this [begging], share people food like you would any other treat: away from the table and not at meal times. You may want to ask your dog to do his favorite trick before you give him a treat or even just place the treat in his bowl. If your dog tends to be a finicky eater, make sure he has eaten his regular food before you share any extras.”
You can also mix the food in with his kibble and feed it to him during his feeding time, not yours. And if you can’t stand the thought of seeing your dog beg for food and want him to stop, then put him in his crate or outside with a Kong treat or something else to occupy his mind.