We have all done it. Our cute, little furry friend is practically smiling at us from beneath the kitchen table. The ears are perked and the tail is wagging. We know what our dog is after. Just a tiny tidbit from dinner would be delightful, right? What could it hurt? It is just a bite or two after all.
Hold Fido’s ears – he won’t want to hear this. A dog’s diet really should not contain table scraps. People food is just that…for people. A dog’s nutritional needs are not the same as a human’s. Sure, we eat some of the same things, but feeding your pet from the table is one of the biggest mistakes for your pet. A dog’s diet doesn’t require all the added goodies we put into our meals.
People have problems with obesity. A dog can have this problem, as well. If your dog’s diet consists mostly of scraps from the dinner table, chances are high that your dog will have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Even a few pounds over weight can really make a difference in the quality and length of your pet’s life. Curb the begging and stick to your guns.
When you have a dog who is not a picky eater, it can be tempting to let your pet be the garbage disposal in the home, but really, this is not a good idea. Certain people foods can harm your dog and should never be a part of your dog’s diet. Grapes, for example, have been known to cause serious problems for dogs, even death. Chicken bones and popcorn can also be a problem for your dog. Chocolate can be dangerous, even deadly in a dog’s diet.
A poor diet even shows up out in the yard. When your dog’s diet is not at its best, your pet’s outputs will be greater in size, smell, and mess. Benefits of choosing a healthy diet for your dog will be noticeable in your pet’s health, as well as, during those walks around the block.
There are a few occasions when a supplement or treat from the kitchen may be alright, but never in excess. Talk to your veterinarian (or see our Diet Sheet below!) about healthy snacks for your dog’s diet. If you simply must continue feeding Fido at the table, many vets recommend you give your pet ice cubes or pieces of carrot to munch on between scheduled feeding times. Providing your pet these healthy alternatives to pizza and cupcakes gives you the freedom to choose a healthy and nutritious snack for your dog’s diet.
So, the next time your beloved pet starts eyeing your grub, redirect his or her attention. Don’t reach for your fatty steak or chicken leg. Instead, toss your buddy a cool, refreshing ice cube to bat around and munch on. A couple of baby carrots will keep Fido happy and leave you feeling good about your choices for the nutritional value of your dog’s diet. You will know that you are doing your best to maintain a high-quality diet for your pet.
Find out more about what foods are safe for dogs and what ingredients to avoid by downloading our diet sheet below. We’ve got experts here who study the canine diet in their free time!
Our thanks to Jessica Petersen (kittygutz on Flickr) for this cute photo.