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Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps

There is a well-known fact about our loving pups: they are excellent beggars—especially when it comes to our food! It’s not like we want to harm our dogs in any way by feeding table scraps, but those begging eyes are too hard to say no to.

It might start off innocent: we slip them a few treats off our plate on the 4th of July family BBQ (because they are part of the family, so they should be enjoying some tasty BBQ too…right?)… then we slip a little more when they are well-behaved during an event, and soon we find ourselves sharing all of our meals with our pups on a daily!

Stopping this behavior can be difficult. Your pup found your kryptonite when it comes to getting human food—it’s all in the puppy eyes. So the real question is, how harmful is human food for your dog?

 

This week for Friday’s Q&A with Dr. Quest, we get to go over table scraps for your dog, and food dogs should avoid.

 

How harmful is human food for your dog?

Even though your furry friend wants to share your favorite foods it is not always in your dog’s best interest to do so.  Many human foods are not appropriate for pets such as any type of chocolate, candy and peanut butter containing xylitol, grapes, raisins, garlic/onion seasonings, and macadamia nuts.

 

In addition, foods that are high in fat such as fatty cuts of meat or high in salt such as potato chips should also be avoided.  Ethyl alcohol, tobacco products and any marijuana products or derivatives should also be avoided in pets.  Also, any foods or beverages containing caffeine should be avoided.  Even though your dog may want to chew on bones keep in mind that pieces of bone can cause gastro-intestinal problems as well as tooth fractures.

 

 

Should dog be eating/given any table scraps?

Obesity is one of the most common problem today in our pet population.  It is important to make sure that your dog is not consuming more calories than he/she needs because that can ultimately lead to other health issues.  Table food can contribute to pet obesity if it contributes to more calories than a dog needs.

 

What are the most common human food dogs should avoid?

There are certain human foods that should be avoided in many dogs and include high fat foods which can lead to more serious consequences like pancreatitis.  Also foods high in salt can lead to excessive thirst and urination and if fed in enough quantity could lead to electrolyte imbalances.  Foods that contain high amounts of sugar are also not recommended.  Many dogs can have GI problems when eating large amounts of dairy foods as well.

 

Are there any poisonous ingredients to dogs?

There are several human foods that dogs should absolutely not eat which include certain nuts like pecans, walnuts and macadamia nuts.  Also chocolate, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, large amounts of citrus, any food product that does not have verified microbial control for bacteria like salmonella should also be avoided.

If your dog likes peanut butter make sure it is a brand that does not contain xylitol in the ingredient listing.  Any food or drink containing caffeine or alcohol should be avoided.

 

What happens if your dog accidently consumes something that is considered poisonous?

 You should contact your Veterinarian immediately.

 

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