Feeding Dogs Table Scraps Isn’t In Your (or Their) Best Interest

We’ve all heard that feeding dogs table scraps should be, well, scrapped. Not only is the habit bad for your pet’s health, but it undermines teaching them not to beg. Yes, you can always wait until after the meal and then place scraps in their bowl, but it’s still not good for their health and most pets are significantly overweight right now in this country. Additionally, your veterinarian would most likely have a few choice words on the subject, were it to be brought up.

dogs begging
Photo: Pixabay/Mylene2401

How Stuff Works

A recent article on the topic was dealt with by How Stuff Works, and many pet parents aren’t going to be pleased. They’ll also likely ignore the advice, but it bears repeating. According to the article, their digestive tracts and dietary requirements differ greatly from us humans.

In a 2021 survey of dog owner shopping habits related to grain-free dog foods, researchers learned that 9.3 percent of pet parents in the U.S., Canada, and Europe provide their dogs with table scraps daily and 38.1 percent offered them occasionally. They did this knowing full well “the value of good nutrition to their dog’s overall health and purchasing more expensive dog food to support it.”

Pet Health

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, diseases associated with nutrition are seldom seen in dogs in developed countries when they are fed “high-quality, commercial dog food.” But problems occur when we create homemade pet food we haven’t consulted with our vets about or routinely feed them table scraps. This is because many families eat meals that are “overly processed, nutritionally imbalanced, and laced with sugars and fats,” which our pets then consume.

dog food
Photo: Pixabay/mattycoulton

Stage of Life Foods

Dogs need specific nutrient concentrations based on each stage of their life. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regularly publishes recommended pet nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and reproduction, and The National Research Council (NRC) provides nutrient profiles for dogs at various life stages.

For pet owners who insist on preparing their own pet foods, it’s vital that they discuss it first with their vet and then follow the directions explicitly while only using the highest quality ingredients. So, the moral of the story is to stop feeding them human food and/or grabbing recipes off of Facebook and trying them out on Fido and Gigi unless the source is a trusted veterinarian that loves to cook for pets.

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