|Have you ever sat at the dinner table and fed your dog scraps from your plate? |
While it can be tempting to let your pooch polish off the leftovers from dinner, or treat them to some of the scraps that will only end up in the bin otherwise, foods that we as humans consume on a daily basis can actually be harmful to our dogs’ health and digestive systems.
Below, Sean McCormack, the head vet at tails.com, reveals why you should think twice the next time you’re tempted to feed leftovers to your dogs, and explains how it can impact their gut health.
Photo by M Burke via Unsplash
1. It can cause digestion problems such as pancreatitis
Foods such as bacon and chicken might be delicious to both humans and canines alike, but unfortunately they can lead to digestive issues in our dogs if eaten on a regular basis.
When these foods are consumed frequently, they can cause an upset stomach and vomiting. In some extreme cases, this habit can even lead to pancreatitis, which can be fatal to our canine companions.
If your dog has consumed a large amount of fatty foods, and appears to be showing signs of pancreatitis, make sure to call your vet and seek advice immediately.
2. Weight gain can happen
Think those table scraps are calorie-free bonuses? Think again!
It all adds up, and succumbing to the puppy dog eyes at meal times can cause unwanted weight gain which can really impact on our dog’s long term health. When our dogs become overweight, it can lead to a number of health problems such as heart disease and joint problems.
If you’re worried you might be over feeding your dog, try a diet calendar to monitor what they are eating and how often. This will make sure that they don’t eat anymore than they need to and are getting the best dog food that is right for them – that should be more than enough to keep those tails wagging!
3. Certain foods can be toxic to dogs
Naturally, our pooches are curious creatures, and when they smell delicious food they will often sniff out any scraps they can get their paws on.
However, while you may think you are giving your canine companion a nice treat after you finish a meal, a lot of human foods can contain ingredients that are harmful to our dogs, such as chocolate, nuts, onions and garlic.
Even small amounts of these foods can cause a number of problems in our pooches, such as kidney failure and sickness.
If you plan on keeping any leftovers after finishing a meal, make sure to keep them out of reach so your fluffy friend avoids consuming anything harmful.
4. Bones may cause injury
While it is fine to feed your dog small portions of leftover meat occasionally, it is important to keep them away from the bones of the meat, as they can cause unnecessary injury to our pets.
When meat is cooked it dries the bones out, which makes it easier for them to splinter or get caught in our canine companion’s digestive system.
Not only that, but bones are a potential choking hazard for your dog and can cause internal damage to their organs, as they are too hard to digest properly.
5. Bad habits can form
As well as health problems, giving dogs leftovers from dinner can also encourage bad behaviour in pets, such as begging.
While jumping up at the table to get their paws on anything left behind might seem cute to you or your family, some may not appreciate your pooch sniffing around while they are trying to eat.
Not only that, but allowing your dog to help themselves to scraps from your plate whenever they please, may cause them to start refusing their own food because they are full from your leftovers.
Though those adorable eyes can be hard to say no to, it is important to remember it is for their own good, and restricting when and what your dog can eat will stop bad habits from forming.
Head vet Sean McCormack explains some healthy ways to treat your dog instead of feeding them table scraps:
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