Why Dogs Should Not Eat People Food
Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend for a reason. They are loyal, protective, fun and just bring a joy and happiness to their owners. This is exactly why you want to always feed your dog only the best of food. However, if you are one of those people who feed your dog food from your table, you may be slowly killing them without even knowing it.
Chances are that you enjoy showing your dog love and consider them as a part of your family, and even try to make them feel as such. This makes it no big deal to give them a treat off the dinner table from time to time, right?
Unfortunately, while you may consider the food that you are giving to your dog to be healthy and there is no way that it would be considered harmful to their health, it is actually having some adverse side effects that you don’t know about. These include not just physical side effects, but social and behavioral ones as well.
Your Dogs Behavior
While you may think that you have your pet dog trained well, the opposite is actually true. If you think about it, they actually have you trained. You pet your dog whenever they come up and give you a little nudge. You take them outside when they start to bark or stare at the door. You probably even give them a nice treat whenever they start to whine. So when you began feeding your pup from the dinner table, your plate, the counter, or anyplace that isn’t considered to be the inside of their food bowl, you start introducing bad habits that will become very difficult to break later down the road. This is also true when it comes to feeding them special snacks or tid-bits off of your plate, or just with any food that isn’t what they regularly eat.
If you do feed your dog outside of their regular diet and schedule, you will start to notice that they will begin begging for the food that you are eating, while you are cooking, and even while you snack. This behavior can potentially occur whenever you have food around and especially if you are eating or holding food. Your dog will start behaving differently to do anything to try and get your attention. This can include sitting and starring, whining, jumping, running around, etc. If this is the case, be sure not to five-in and offer them some food in exchange for stopping. You will just be further reinforcing their bad behavior, making the habit even harder to break.
If you do feed your dog human food, just be aware that dogs are very similar to children. They will eventually figure out that if they do something to get your attention (cry, whine, beg), you will then give them what they want (drop food, give treats, etc.). Once the habit is formed, breaking it will become very difficult for you, as well as very time-consuming. This is why it is in your favor if you simply don’t start doing this in the first place.
Unwanted Health Problems
Another side effect of feeding your dog people food other than bad behavior, is the possibility of introducing food that is potentially toxic to them, as well as increasing the amount of calories that they intake on a daily basis.
When dogs are only fed dog food, they usually have a much more appropriate weight in regards to their age, size and breed. On top of that, they are normally healthier as well. This is good as when dogs are at their ideal weight range, the chances of them suffering from bone, joint, ligament and even mobility problems are much less. As if that weren’t enough reasons to not feed your dog people food, they will also lessen their chances of developing any types of breathing issues, heart disease, a decrease in liver function, plus a plethora of other health problems that could have easily been avoided. By not feeding your dog people food, it will be easier for them to maintain a healthy weight and just be healthier.
Another bonus for not feeding your dog human food is that it will reduce their risk of eating any kind of toxic foods. There are a number of foods that dogs should never eat as they are considered to be toxic to them. When they do eat these toxic foods, it will cause numerous health problems and can even result in death.
For example, if you have a party at your house and your dog is used to you feeding them people food, they will do everything they can to get the attention of your guests, as well as some food from them as well. Now let’s say that you have grapes on the table and your guests decide to give your dog a treat of some. Well, grapes are extremely toxic to dogs and it is this toxicity that acts unpredictably once they have been consumed. This is a simple mistake that can have an extreme reaction and it all came about because you started feeding your dog people food.
Can Create Picky Eaters
If you feed your dog too much of the delicious food you eat, it can easily help them become a much more picky eater. Why are they going to eat their own food when they can eat the delicious stuff that you are eating? If this happens with your dog, this is one of the hardest behaviors to break and it can take a very long time to get them eating their dog food again.
At the end of the day, it is ok if you occasionally feed your dog some of your ‘human food’. Just be sure that you don’t make feeding them your leftovers a habit and you will be able to avoid may future problems and headaches that can easily be prevented.