When it comes to dogs and table scraps, you've probably heard a few different recommendations. Some camps claim that all table scraps are bad for dogs, while others claim that all table scraps are fine for dogs. The truth actually lies somewhere in the middle of the two camps. If your dog can't do without a sampling of whatever you're eating, there are some steps you can take to avoid health problems. Here are four suggestions you should consider when it comes to offering table scraps to your dogs.
Offer Scraps in Moderation
If you have dogs, you're probably tempted to share your food with them from time-to-time. It's important to note that offering table scraps in moderation isn't going to harm your dogs, especially if you're careful about your offerings. A small piece of chicken off your plate once or twice a week isn't going to harm your dogs. However, you want to avoid overfeeding your dogs. That can happen when you offer up a full helping of table scraps and then fill their bowls with a normal helping of dog food a few minutes later. Keeping the table scrap treats to a minimum will help protect your dog from overeating.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
If you're going to be offering the occasional table scraps to your dogs, you'll want to avoid all forms of unhealthy foods. Even some of the foods you consume on a regular basis might not be healthy for your dogs to consume. The same goes for some of your beverages. If you're going to be offering table scraps to your dogs, you'll need to avoid items such as chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, and grapes. As far as beverages go, be sure to avoid giving your dogs sips of beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine.
If you're going to be allowing your dogs to enjoy an occasional table scrap, you want to discourage begging. Begging for table scraps creates a situation where your dog no longer sees them as a treat, but rather as something they're entitled to, which can encourage bad behavior. If your dogs come to the table to beg for food, send them away without a treat.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you're concerned about your dog's diet, it's time to talk to your veterinarian. They can help ensure that your dogs are receiving the proper nourishment. They can also give you a list of table scraps that can actually be beneficial for your dogs, such as steamed vegetables.
For more information, contact your local veterinary clinic.