Those big puppy dog eyes looking up at you, the wagging tail…It can be incredibly tempting to sneak your pup a few scraps from the table here and there, but is this doing more harm than good?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Research indicates that feeding your dog even just a few tasty treats from the table can be harmful to their health and lead to negative behavioral patterns. Human food is typically too fatty for a dog’s digestive system, which can lead to severe upset digestion, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
We know how hard it can be to ignore your furry friend when he or she is begging at the table, but it is crucial you try. As soon as your dog tastes human food, their curiosity is heightened and they will keep coming back for more of those same foods while ignoring their own. This is why dogs so often hang out in the kitchen or around the dinner table – they are just waiting for one small scrape to drop!
The Health Dangers of Feeding Table Scraps
Not only is most human food too fatty for dogs, but it can also teach them how to beg. Table scraps often lead to weight issues because they do not provide dogs with the nutrition they need in order to live a long and healthy life.
Dogs and humans are different on many levels, including their digestive systems and nutritional needs. As we know, human foods are often full of empty calories (albeit delicious, bold flavors and ingredients) which means they have a greater chance of increasing your dog’s weight, without meeting his vitamin and mineral needs.
Instead of giving your dog human food as a reward, try choosing high-quality, nutritious treats to reward him or her. There are tons of different treats on the market today, giving you lots of options that are both tasty and beneficial to your dog’s overall health. Simply ask your local vet or pet store which treats they would recommend that are maybe a little more ‘special’ than your regular treats, as this will allow your dog to feel as though they are really getting something different without it being human food.
Human Foods that are Okay for Dogs
Just because feeding your dog from the table is a no-no doesn’t mean all human foods are bad for them. If your dog is on meds, has an upset stomach, or needs some enticing to eat their own pet food, you may want to try these safe human foods:
- White rice
- Cottage cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Plain yogurt
- Scrambled eggs
- Pumpkin puree
- Baby carrots
- Peanut butter
- Green beans
- Salmon (make sure it is cooked)
- Sweet potatoes
All of these foods are full of vitamins and other minerals that are good for both humans and dogs. While we discourage feeding your dog from the table or kitchen counter, it is okay to incorporate these foods into their diet from time to time.
To learn more about the dangers of feeding your dog table scraps or what human foods are safe for his consumption, please contact us at Sykesville Veterinary Clinic today.
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