Feeding your dog table scraps is a topic of mixed feelings in the pet community. Most vets and owners will argue that for no reason whatsoever you should feed your dog table scraps while others will claim that it’s okay in moderation. Some will even say it’s perfectly fine. The biggest argument against feeding dogs table scraps would have to be that it could cause obesity, which can lead to a variety of health problems for your dog. The purpose of this article is to simply share my thoughts on what you need to know about feeding dogs table scraps.
First, when feeding your dog table scraps do so in moderation. When I use the word moderation I really mean it for many reasons. Feeding your dog too many table scraps cannot only lead to health problems, but behavior problems as well such as begging and bad manners. To avoid issues at the table, share table food like you would any other treat for your dog, away from the table and not at meal times. A good rule of thumb to follow is that table scraps should be less than 10% of your dog’s diet. If scraps are all you feed your dog, then your dog won’t get a balanced diet and it will become unhealthy. More often than not vets see more cases of pancreatitis after holidays because a dog has eaten too much table food that is very high in fat. A dog’s digestive system is more sensitive than ours and can only handle so much before problems begin to arise.
Second, when feeding your dog table scraps use common sense. Dogs are a lot like humans in the sense that they require a healthy and balanced diet just like we do. Therefore if you are feeding your dog pizza, bacon, or other foods that are high in fat and calories your dog will begin to gain weight. Foods that are high in fat can contribute to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas with symptoms that range from mild discomfort to a blood infection (sepsis) and internal bleeding. If you are going to feed your dog table food, feed them healthy foods. If it’s healthy for you then it’s healthy for him. Some healthy foods you can feed your dog include fresh fruit, veggies, and lean meats. All of these foods provide high quality sources of proteins, carbohydrates, and are low on fats and sugars. Never give your pet toxic foods such as chocolate or raisins, foods with small bones, and greasy foods such as pasta and other friend foods. Also, keep in mind that portions for humans are not the same for dogs. Always give your dog smaller portions of table food than you would any dry or wet food that they already eat.
If you are ever unsure of whether or not a certain food is good for your dog, then don’t offer it. You should always treat your dog, but do so in way that makes him happier and healthier. Use moderation and common sense when feeding your dog table food so that it maintains a healthy and balanced diet.