Dinnertime is undoubtedly one of a dog’s favorite times of day. It’s also one of our favorite times of day, too. And your dog knows that. He knows you’re in that vulnerable state, sitting there with your family and making conversation. She knows the right faces to make, the proper angle at which her head needs to tilt in order to get what she wants. And you know how hard it is to ignore.
So should you feed those scraps of food to your dog? Should you give them that little inch of hamburger meat, or that half-eaten piece of bread? Sure, a dog needs protein and fats. A healthy dog also requires carbs, vitamins, and minerals. But a dog doesn’t need to eat the food that we eat, and here are the reasons why.
- Dog food is made specifically for dogs. Most dog foods contain what they need to sustain off of. Their diet should consist of the nutrition they need in order to live a healthy, long life. Here is a list of all of the best dog foods, depending on your preference and their age.
- The more human food you give them, the less they will want to eat their own. Humans need different vitamins and minerals than dogs do. The food we eat is made for us. While there is a good amount of food that is safe for dogs to eat, these foods don’t contain the nutrition they need. According to HealthyPets, “Your pet will get less of the vitamins and minerals he needs and probably more of those he does not need.” And once your dog forms a reliance on the scraps you give him, the less likely it will be that he will want to eat his own food.
- Many of the scraps we feed our dogs contain ingredients that are harmful. This doesn’t mean that every scrap you feed your dog is bad for them. In fact, most things that aren’t super high in sugar or fat—or that aren’t chocolate—won’t necessarily hurt them. But they do harm in other ways. A reliance on these table scraps can make a dog a picky eater. They also don’t encourage good behavior, as treats do.
- Stick to dog treats. Giving a dog scraps at the dinner table isn’t a reward for them. It’s not an instance of you compensating your animal for good behavior. Treats are made specifically for dogs and contain elements that promote nutritional and dental health. Giving them treats every once in a while gives them additional nutrition and encourages healthy, responsive and obedient behavior. Here is a list of the best treats to give to your companion.
Don’t feel bad about giving your dog a scrap every now and then. Just remember how important it is to feed them a balanced diet comprised of the vitamins and minerals they need. And don’t forget to always keep the water dish full! Drinking enough water is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet.