We all love our dogs, and we love seeing our dogs happy. A very easy way to make them happy is to share a little bit of whatever we’re eating with them. However a dog can have a very different reaction to certain foods and chemicals than a person, and some foods that are harmless or even healthy for us to eat as people can make our dogs sick and even kill them. Before we open up our fridges and pantries to let our four-legged best friends feast upon the innards, as responsible pet owners we need to know which of our favorite foods are so dangerous that we should just eat them ourselves.
Although many dogs have no higher aspirations in life than to one day be given a seat at the kitchen table and get a fair share of the family dinner, most human diets don’t meet the specific dietary needs of a dog. The healthiest diet for your dog is going to be the recommended amount of a commercial dog food brand approved by your vet and occasional treats given out in moderation. Commercial dog food recipes are created by veterinary nutritionists who make sure that the food is both safe and meets the dietary requirements your dog needs to stay healthy. Feeding your dog table food as its main daily meal or putting them on a specialty diet of home made foods is a bad idea and unhealthy for your pet.
Even if the best food we can feed our dogs is dog food, very few of us possess hearts so frozen that we can always resist sharing our meals and snacks with good boys and girls. Luckily most of the food we eat is safe for dogs in small amounts. As long as we make sure ‘people food’ is safe for them to eat, and only ever feed it to dogs in moderation, our dogs can stay healthy and experience all the joy of eating some of our favorite foods.
A good general rule for sharing food with dogs is to never give your dog anything you wouldn’t want to eat yourself. Meat and eggs that are raw or under-coaoked pose many of the same health risks to dogs as they do to humans. Moldy or out of date food can just as easily make your dog sick as it can you. Even the disgusting pieces of fat you cut off your steak that your dog would just love to scarf down isn’t very healthy for them to eat. If you’re not willing to share the good stuff with your dog, then it’s best not to share at all.
Also be aware that your dog isn’t going to be too discerning about what they eat, and most will gobble up whatever you give them on the off chance it might be edible, even the parts of the food that aren’t supposed to be eaten. Before giving any food to your dog, make sure you remove any parts you wouldn’t want to eat yourself. Cores, pits, and bones can cause obstructions in your dog’s stomach and internal bleeding. Inedible parts of a fruit like the seeds, stem, or leaves may contain chemicals that can make your dog sick, cause health problems over time, and in some cases may even fatally poison your pet.