Veterinarian Dr. Danielle Bernal told Fox News there are foods that you can feed your dog when you’re eating at the table (though she recommends training them away from begging), but you have to be careful as some may contain hidden ingredients that are toxic.
“There are certain foods that are acceptable to feed your dog if he is begging at the kitchen table, but many can contain artificial sweeteners or hidden ingredients like onions, garlic or residue from specific nuts that can be toxic to dogs — which is why it is always best to feed Fido dog food over anything else!” the vet, who is also a Whimzees multi-functional dental dog treats partner, said.
Foods to avoid
Bernal puts chocolate at the top of the list of foods to avoid. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, like caffeine, is toxic to dogs.
Fatty foods, like bacon, are also no-nos as they can cause gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis.
“Plus, dogs have unique nutritional needs — one small piece of bacon for them is the equivalent caloric value of 13 pieces of bacon for humans,” Bernal shared.
Among the others unsafe for your pooch are uncooked eggs or fish; garlic and onions, which can cause fainting and an elevated heart rate; and cooked bones, which are more likely to splinter and cause oral injury or – potentially – internal perforation or obstruction.
Foods to give
Foods to focus on for your pup, if you’re feeding them table scraps, are fruits, vegetables and cooked meat.
Carrots and apples are great options, Carrots can protect against cataracts and heart disease, while sweet apples support a healthy digestive system.
Lean, cooked meats like chicken, turkey and beef also top the list as far as safe-for-Fido foods, as they add protein to your pup’s diet, much like cooked eggs, which are also a good table-scrap snack.
Another fine option – in moderation – is cooked fish like salmon and fresh tuna as fish boasts amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. But make sure the fish is deboned and limited to once or twice a week, maximum.
Bernal also recommends always mixing the food scraps in with the regular dog food directly into the kibble bowl to train dogs away from begging at the table.
Though, more than just avoiding certain table scraps, Bernal also explains pet owners should limit the amount of human food given.
“My recommendation is to make sure pet parents limit themselves when feeding their dog table scraps, as feeding too many scraps can disrupt their nutritional needs and calorie limits. Stick to feeding table scraps as 10-15 percent of your pup’s overall diet and view it as giving them a special treat, not supplementing a full meal,” she said.