A dog’s world is primarily made up of eating and sleeping. It doesn’t help that they have such an acute sense of smell. Who can blame your dog if he is a little excited at the smells radiating off that juicy steak you are eating right in front of him?
Most of us don’t have any problem giving Fido a little bite or two when everything is finished. He deserves to be rewarded for his patience and good behavior. However there are two schools of thought when it comes to giving dogs table scraps. One says that you shouldn’t do it ever and the other says it’s perfectly OK and that the majority of the dog’s food should come from scraps. Probably the most correct answer is a mix of these two.
Giving dogs “human” food is not a problem. There are of course some foods that we enjoy that dogs shouldn’t eat like onions and chocolate. But any meat we eat is great for dogs. The only thing that should be avoided are cooked fowl bones. Once cooked these bones become brittle and can splinter, injuring the dog’s throat and intestines.
It wasn’t that long ago that table scraps made up the entirety of a domesticated dog’s diet. There simply was no such thing as commercial dog food. These days, almost everyone feeds their dog too much. Obesity in dogs is almost as common as in humans. A healthy dog should appear skinny. The ribs should be easily felt and by no means should the stomach protrude.
Problems usually arise when people begin to feed the dog both the regular dog food as well as table scraps. It should be one or the other and not both. A good practice is to use scraps to enhance the commercial dog food. The dog will be happier with some real food and the meal with be healthier.
If you decide to supplement with scraps, make sure that you are using quality scraps. Often, the scraps we end up giving the dog are mostly fat. The dog is given the fat trimmings from the steak and chicken and not the high protein parts of the meal. Though a little fat won’t hurt the dog, it that’s the majority of their diet, the ill effects will soon be apparent. It’s OK to give the dog the “pre-meal” waste, but you also need to give them sufficient quality food also. If your family regularly cleans their plates, then you will have to find another way to make sure the dog gets a balanced meal.
There are many people who have switched to a 100% table scrap diet for their dogs. This is absolutely fine and healthy as long as you ensure that the dog is getting a balanced meal and isn’t being fed too much. The quickest way to harm your dog’s health is to over feed him.