Many pet owners like sharing what they have on their table with their dogs. But are table scraps safe for your dog?

In this article, Jordan Walker, the lead content curator for Coops and Cages, talks the truth about table scraps and some healthy alternatives.

When your dog looks at you with those adorable eyes, seemingly asking for the food served on your table, it’s tough not to give in. Pet owners world wide face the same dilemma–is it safe to feed your dog table scraps?

When it comes to feeding your dog, the most important things to consider should always be your dog’s safety and overall nutrition. The food that you have on your table may not always be the best choice for your dog, so make sure to consider the following.

Dog patiently waiting for food

Photo via jeffreyww

On Sharing Table Scraps with Your Pooch

This practice isn’t necessarily prohibited, and may not always be a bad thing. Pet owners just need to go the extra mile in order to make sure that their dog receives a quality and balanced diet, and most importantly, avoids any foods that are potentially toxic to dogs.

Moderation is another important factor when it comes to sharing table scraps with your pet. For a healthy diet, make sure that you include table scraps proportional to your dog’s size, activity level, and age to prevent obesity and unwanted health issues. If you are unsure on what you should give, approved lean meats, fruits, and veggies are always a safe bet.

Note: For dogs with kidney problems, salty foods are a big NO-NO since excess sodium can worsen the condition and can even lead to kidney failure. Limiting your dog’s salt intake is a smart move no matter what the situation.

Are you making your dog fat?

Infographic via ChemistDirect

The Best Way of Sharing Table Scraps to Pets

Nobody likes a beggar. To prevent the habit of begging during meal times, serve dog food first, before the humans in your family sit down for a meal. This ensures your pooch is full and sees the scraps as a special treat, instead of a meal substitute.

Additionally, placing scraps in your dog’s feeding bowl is another way to prevent begging. By doing so, your dog will always see his bowl as the source of food as opposed to your dinning room table.

Note: To prevent gastrointestinal upset, introduce one kind of food at a time if you’re unsure how your dog will respond. This will help you determine the specific foods that your pet can tolerate.

Dog catching treat

Photo via Ed Schipul

Natural Dog Chews as Healthy Alternatives

While it can be safe and healthy when done correctly, feeding table scraps isn’t ideal for every owner, dog, and situation. If you are at all unsure if your human food is safe or healthy for your dog, feeding natural dog chews is always a good choice. Dog chews are designed and formulated with your dogs needs in mind and generally provide the nutrients your dog needs and a tasty flavor.

Amongst the most popular of natural chews, are bully sticks for dogs. Bully sticks are great for any size or breed and have plenty of health benefits. Also, they are preservative-free and contain no artificial ingredients. Bully sticks are sure to keep your dog busy–giving you some much needed peace and quiet while you and your family sit down for dinner.

Another healthy and natural dog chew option is cow ears. These snacks are slow roasted for optimal texture and flavor. Amongst the best features of this product is the dental benefits. Cow Ears naturally help to scrape and remove harmful plaque and tartar–leaving behind clean and healthy teeth.

The list of natural dog chews is extensive and includes lots of other products like of cow hooves, antlers, horns, and more.

Whether you choose to feed table scraps or a healthy dog treat, there’s no reason why Fido can’t join the family during meal time. Just make sure to do your research ahead of time to ensure a healthy and safe diet for your furry friend!