We probably are all guilty of this, I know I am. I am sitting down to dinner with my
family and I hear a thump on the floor and know it’s my golden settling down between our
feet. After a while, I hear him scoot closer until his head is peaking out and he looks at
me. His eyes wide and sad. Every time I bring my fork to my mouth, he lifts his head in
hopes that the food will jump off the fork and onto the floor. When it doesn’t, he lowers
his head in defeat. After a while, I’ll hear a subtle sigh and it’s my dog. He is acting as if
his life is so tough. This process repeats itself until I finally give in and toss him a little
something. I’m not proud to admit I do this. Lately, though we have been taking to
keeping our dog in a different room when we eat to avoid his pity looks.
I was doing my dog a lot of harm and I did not even know it. Dogs do not need to eat the
same foods as we do all the time. We eat a variety of food and some of them are not
even that good for us either. We eat fried food and food that is covered in fat. Is this food
that a dog should have? Usually, if we are eating meat, and there is fat on the meat, what
part are we going to eat and give to your dog? Chances are the fat. You are not going to
keep the fat for yourself and give the dog some of the meat. This is one of the reasons
why too much table scraps are the leading cause of obesity in dogs. Some foods are toxic
to your dog also. Almost everyone knows that chocolate is extremely toxic dogs, but did
you know that grapes and raisins are also. They can cause kidney problems if eaten in
large quantities. Onions and onion powder are also a no-no for your pet.
Some dogs actually can wind up choking from the bones that are in some of the meats
like chicken or turkey. Another reason why you should avoid table scraps. If you give
your dog mainly table scraps you be setting yourself up to have a dog that will not eat
anything but table scraps. By living on a diet that is solely table scraps, your dog is
being denied essential nutrients it needs. Especially if your diet is not that good either.
You are also going to notice a change in your dogs waste when you give him more than
needed table scraps. They may be smellier and larger than they are normally. It is not
going to be pretty cleaning those up.
Let us talk about the bad manners you are also instilling on your dog by giving him table
scraps. He might begin to think that anything on the table is fair game for him.
Imagine leaving food on the table and turning away for one second. You turn back and
the food is gone and your dog is licking his chops. Not exactly the dog of your dreams.
We’ve had this happen before with my family dog. One day we left sausage to defrost on
our counter and 2 minutes later it was gone as our dog had reached up and took all them.
Or how about when you are entertaining guest and your dog lays his head on the lap of
one of your guests and proceeds to whine until he is given something from the table. A
friend of mine’s dog is so used to getting table scraps that he will actually jump on the
laps of guests when they ignore him to get his scraps. Not exactly the model behavior you
want your dog to show if your boss and his wife every come over for dinner.
Also, don’t use your dog as a garbage can. There are some dog owners who when they
clean their fridges out, tend to give some of the unspoiled food to their dogs. This could
be ok, depending on what kind of food you are giving them. I know one person who
once gave her dog six slices, I repeat SIX of liverwurst that was going to go bad in the
next day or so and the poor dog had diarrhea for a week.
This also means you might have to stop using your dog as a vacuum cleaner. Again, I
was guilty of this one also. I allowed my dog to lay under my toddler’s highchair and
watch him catch whatever she decided to through on the kitchen floor. I figured I
couldn’t be doing any hard to him. Well, he was gobbling up fried chicken nuggets, and
hot dogs like they were going out of style. I began to notice a big difference in his poop
and it wasn’t pretty. When my toddler was eating the baby food she would fling her spoon
all over the place and her baby food would land right on the floor. The problem was, that
some baby food contains onion powder and onions can be deadly to a dog.
Let’s talk about chocolate for a moment. Everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to your
dog, but it does all depend on what kind of chocolate. Growing up our family beagle got
into our pantry and managed to eat every single chocolate kiss that was in there. What
was even more bizarre was that she took the wrappers off of every single one. All she
got was the runs for a few days. Some people dispute about chocolate being toxic
because their dog might have gotten into something with a little bit of chocolate and is
ok. The thing with chocolate is that it is addictive for dogs, almost like it is with us. The
difference is, it won’t kill us. Chocolate contains theobromine which is a stimulant
found in cocoa beans. It increases urination and affects the nervous system and the heart
muscles. This is what is poisonous to dogs.
So what is a toxic dose of chocolate? It all depends. My golden Retriever could
probably eat a teaspoon of milk chocolate and be fine, but someone else’s toy dog might
have a reaction to it. Also, not all chocolates have the same amount of theobromine in it.
White chocolate has the least amount of theobromine in it. It would take 125 pounds of
white chocolate to cause signs of posing in a 20pd dog. While baked has the most, one
ounce of baking chocolate is toxic to a 10pound dog. Milk chocolate is a favorite for
candy bars, so keep in mind that it would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10-pound dog.
Obviously the bigger the dog, the more it would take to produce the toxic effects.
If your dog has eaten chocolate and you can not say for sure how much, if you see any of
these signs, call your vet immediately: vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, increased
urination, excessive panting, restlessness, muscle twitching, possible seizures and it
could lead to death for your dog.
Now I’m not suggesting completely stop giving table scraps out at all. If you want to
every now and then, that is your right as a dog owner. There are actually table scraps
out there that are very healthy for your dog. Your vegetables are an excellent table scrap
to give to your dog if you really feel the need to give him something.