As you’re cooking breakfast, the delicious aroma wafts through the air, right up the nostrils of your canine companion. Perking up, your dog follows the irresistible scent into the kitchen. She looks up at you with those big, sweet eyes, pleading for a taste. Surely just one is ok, right?
We know it’s hard to say no to your dog sometimes. They’re so adorable, and you want to make them happy. But, when it comes to treating your dog to your food, it’s best to say no.
Why? Here are three reasons why you should resist feeding your dog people food.
1) It may be fat and calorie overload.
While some human foods are technically safe for dogs to eat, they may not be healthy for them. In fact, even small amounts of many human foods give dogs WAY more fat and calories than they need, which can lead to weight gain and poor health if fed regularly.
The chart below may help give you some perspective, showing common human foods that people treat their dogs with, and the equivalent calorie intake for a human.
So, if you feed your dog a strip of bacon while you’re cooking breakfast, it’s the approximate caloric equivalent as you eating over three times that amount. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your best friend. If you’re tempted to give your dog a piece of your meat, treat them to a few Tiki Dog® Air-Dried Meat Morsels instead, which offer the real meat they crave but with a healthier amount of fat and calories.
2) Some people’s food is toxic to dogs.
Most people know that chocolate is toxic for dogs, but actually, there are many people foods that are dangerous to dogs, including:
- Apple seeds
- Caffeine, including tea and coffee
- Xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in some candy and gum
- Yeast dough
3) It can form bad habits.
Giving your food to your dog sets a precedent. They will think it’s ok, normal, and will expect it again. This leads to a habit of begging, and let’s face it: cooking and eating meals are much less enjoyable with a dog drooling on your leg, staring at you intently, or barking at you until you give in. Even if their begging doesn’t bother you much, it may bother your guests, or limit your ability to take your dog places like outdoor restaurants. Giving people food to dogs can also cause pickiness. Suddenly, their usual dog food may not seem as desirable and tasty compared to that juicy piece of sausage you gave them yesterday. They may hold out until you give them more of the good stuff and turn their noses up at food they used to enjoy, making it harder for you to maintain their health and body condition.
Not all human foods are bad for dogs.
Some, like plain sweet potatoes or green beans, can be nutritious snacks. But, it’s critical to know what foods and how much is safe and healthy for your dog. Rather than risking your dog’s health or manners, it’s best to choose high-quality dog food and treats that are formulated specially for them.