Should I Feed My Dog Table Scraps?

Feeding a dog table scraps is oddly divisive. There are many people who think a dog shouldn’t be given food off your dinner plate. They think table scraps may actually be hazardous to your dog’s health.

There seem to be just as many people who think table scraps are good for dogs and enjoy sharing almost every meal with their dog. Today we’ll go through some of the reasons you may or may not want to feed table scraps to your dog to make a decision for yourself.

Should I Feed My Dog Table Scraps?

It seems that each household has different rules for whether it’s appropriate to feed the dog table scraps. Some houses see no problem with it while others are steadfast that dogs should not be fed from the table. The question is if you should feed your dog table scraps. You should also be asking yourself what table scraps consist of.

When most people put a meal together, they try balancing it somehow. You might take a protein, and pair it with some starches. If you add in some healthy veggies you’ve got the beginnings of a relatively healthy meal. Once you eat through your plate, you might have some leftover animal fats or bones that you didn’t want to eat. Maybe you made a casserole and have leftover sauce or cheese on your plate. If this is the case, the things that are leftover from your meal might not be the healthiest things for your dog to consume.

So, answering the question of “should I feed my dog table scraps” is really more of a question of “what am I actually feeding my dog?” If you’re feeding your dog all the stuff that wasn’t good enough for you to eat, maybe you should reconsider it. If you are actually using table scraps as a reward and keeping your dog’s diet balanced, then you’re probably doing it right.

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog Table Scraps

It’s known that obesity is an issue for a lot of domestic pets. If you’re feeding your dog fats and starches because you don’t want them, you’re probably going to have a harder time keeping your dog’s weight where it should be.

Not only can table scraps lead to an unbalanced diet, they can possibly be toxic to dogs. There are a bunch of foods that a person could eat without issue that a dog could not. Foods like chocolate, raisins, different nuts, and even onions can cause your dog a lot of digestive problems. Not only that, but a lot of processed foods contain artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Something like xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

Lastly, feeding your dog from the table encourages bad behaviors. When your dog knows that their next treat is coming from your plate, they may exhibit an undesirable behavior: begging. This behavior you should discourage. Instead, consider putting your dog in a different room or in a specific spot until you call them over to eat. If you don’t set strict but reasonable boundaries, you might find that your dog stealing scraps from the table thinking they are entitled to the food.

What Human-Quality Foods are Good for Dogs?

If you decide that you do want to feed table scraps to your dog, there is nothing stopping you from doing so. You should do it in a thoughtful and responsible way though. Before deciding to feed your dog table scraps, you should educate yourself on what foods are good for your dog to eat and what amounts will lead to a balanced diet. Here are some foods that are perfect to food your dog:

  • Lean, cooked meats like turkey, beef, pork or fish without skin or bone.
  • Raw veggies like carrots, celery or cabbage hearts. Do not give them onions or garlic.
  • Plain, cooked veggies without butter or salt
  • Raw pumpkin without spices

A lot of people also give their dogs peanut butter as a treat. This is fine but peanut butter is naturally high in fat, so be sure it’s not an everyday thing. Processed peanut butter also has sweeteners added to it, so try to grab an all-natural brand with no additives.

If you do choose to feed your dog table scraps, avoid feeding them directly from a plate or from the table. Again, your dog can start thinking that it’s fine for them to eat off your plate. This means that they might grab something even if they weren’t invited to do so. Not only does this mean they are taking food away from you, but they might get their paws on something that is dangerous for them to consume.

With a bit of planning, there is no reason that a dog shouldn’t be able to eat table scraps. It’s just important to keep their diet balanced and use it as a reward to promote good behavior.

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