Is people food bad for dogs? The short answer is yes and no. While some human foods can be highly toxic to pups, others are perfectly palatable.
For example, Muenster uses beta-carotene rich pumpkin in a few of their holistic dog foods. We’ve also seen first-hand how the crunch of some raw fruits and veggies can help scrub teeth and prevent gum disease.
But if you’re a pet parent who has trouble saying no to those hungry eyes, read on: we’ll show you why it’s best for your pup to avoid human food and offer the most effective ways to teach them table manners.
Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat People Food
A balanced doggie diet requires a specific mix of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Human food, even the healthy stuff, could leave your pet nutritionally deficient. Conversely, an all natural dog food is specially designed to support peak health.
And while the occasional treat won’t shock the system, it should be fed in extremely limited quantities. That’s partly because most human foods are processed and made to taste great. Give your pooch even a relatively small sample, and they could develop a taste for it. At this point, you run the risk of them losing interest in their dog food altogether and holding out for more human treats.
What’s more, even good-for-you-foods like apples or celery can cause GI upset in dogs if they’re not used to them. When switching to a new dog food or treat, it’s always best to do so slowly, mixing a little old with a little new over the course of a few weeks. Make sure to watch for possible allergic reactions, too. You may not know if Fido needs a diet of grain-free dog food or has an egg intolerance until you slip up and feed them the wrong thing. If you see signs of discomfort like itchy skin or uncontrollable gas, keep them out of the food bowl.
Tips to Break Begging
Slipping Rover a few scraps from the stove or table may not seem like a big deal but remember: dogs are creatures of habit. With each bite, you reinforce begging behavior. Soon, he learns to expect human food every time you’re eating or cooking.
As the begging gets bolder, escalating from sad stares to drooling and whining, you might soon be dealing with a dog that disrespects boundaries altogether. And really, who wants to share a plate of food with a pup that helps himself to your meal?
To banish begging, start with these table manner tips:
- Never leave food unsupervised. It usually proves irresistible, even for well-trained pups.
- Make sure everyone in the family is on the same page. Sneaking scraps under the table only sends mixed messages.
- Feed them dinner before you sit down to eat. They less hungry they are, the less likely they are to beg.
- If you do share, make sure they’re fed far away from the table or kitchen. You can put a dog treat it in their dish with some of their regular food or toss it a few feet away if they start begging.
- Keep your dog’s food a few feet away from the kitchen and dining room table. This helps avoid an association.
- Distract them with a bone or engaging toy while you eat. If they’re occupied, they’re less likely to come around sniffing for scraps.
In closing, remember that if you don’t want your dog to get a taste of people food, the only way to guarantee that is not to share it with them.