Friday, February 20, 2015

Giving Your Dog Table Scraps

Jacob, my boyfriend's golden retriever, loves table scraps. I mean it's pretty safe to say most dogs love human food but Jake's love goes much deeper.

Every time my boyfriend's family sits down at the table for dinner, Jake comes right over. His preferred spot is next to my boyfriend's dad, Kevin, or me. Jake knows the odds of getting a morsel are the best with one of us. 

I know you can't resist my puppy dog face.

Due to his large size, he has no trouble resting his head on the table inches from my arm. He will wait a few minutes to see if I notice his big brown pleading eyes and toss him something meaty. If that fails, he moves onto plan B. Jake starts nudging my arm with his wet nose. Oh and a burp may slip out too. 

That chicken is for me right?

By this time, Jake has gotten the attention of everyone at the table and we are all laughing. He really is too cute to scold for begging. His cuteness always wins one of us over. 

It smells so good I can almost taste it.

Jake will gently take the bit of food out of my hand or off my plate. If it's any type of meat, he will devour it in one gulp. However, if it is leafy and green, he will spit it out on the floor. Unless of course I put some salad dressing or meat sauce on it.

Victory is mine!

Although Jake will love me forever if I share my meal with him, it's the common belief that table scraps are not good for dogs and can lead to obesity. How true is this?

The conclusion many dog experts have come to is the problem lies within the amount of table scraps you give your dog. Most human food is healthy for your dog but moderation is key. It is acceptable to give your dog a bite or two. However, making an entire plate for them is not. An article on Modern Dog Magazine's website provides a helpful table to determine how many grams a dog should have based on their weight.

Giving them small amounts of leftover chicken and peas along with their daily kibble is fine. Meats and vegetables are a good source of protein and carbohydrates for dogs. However, just like with humans, avoid giving them fatty foods like pizza and ice cream. These foods cause obesity and digestive problems in dogs.

Also keep in mind some foods like chocolate and grapes can be toxic to dogs. An article on Pet Adviser's website gives you a list of human foods you shouldn't feed your dog.

If you follow these guidelines, your dog will maintain a nutritionally balanced diet. They also won't be at high risk for obesity related diseases. Just remember if it's not healthy for you, it's probably not healthy for your dog either. 

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