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Dogs who get to eat a few table scraps at dinner always appear a little more cheerful because they got some of that delicious smelling food, but are you sure what they’re eating is safe? Understanding what happens to dogs who eat table scraps is a good way to take better care of your pet because you’ll know the consequences and what to avoid.
A Begging Dog is Not a Good Dog
One thing to note about what happens to a dog who eats table scraps is an understanding that begging elicits a positive response from you in the form of food.
Feeding your dog from the table isn’t a good practice to start, mainly because dog’s stomachs are much different from ours, and the foods we eat often don’t sit well. It’s also worth mentioning that if you have a smaller dog, eating a large amount of table scraps can have a negative impact on his weight because it’s much more food than his stomach can handle. Smaller stomachs mean one or two french fries for a dog is the same as a large order of french fries for you, so keep that in mind the next time you consider sharing your meal.
Encouraging your dog to beg to get his way is a foundation for further problems later in life. Don’t let your dog become comfortable with sitting under the table waiting for a treat because getting him to stop can be very difficult. That type of behavior can also be annoying and disruptive if you have guests over.
The biggest thing that can happen to a dog who eats table scraps is a serious health issue. Certain foods can be poisonous or even lethal to dogs, and if you’re not paying attention you might not know what he ate and how much.
Knowing the Consequences of What Happens to a Dog Who Eats Table Scraps
Don’t fill your dog’s bowl with table scraps. While it may thrill your pooch to have a bowl full of leftovers, most are too fatty for an animal’s digestive system and can do more harm than good. It can even occasionally trigger a possibly fatal pancreatic inflammation, so the risk is much higher than the reward of your dog wagging his tail.
One of the most obvious foods to avoid is chocolate. The caffeine and theobromine in cacao is toxic to animals, because their bodies can’t break it down like ours can. You shouldn’t give your dog chocolate in any form, especially dark chocolate, which has a much higher concentration of cacao. The risk with chocolate ingestion depends on the size of your dog, the smaller he is, the more toxic a little bit of chocolate will be. In some cases, a single ounce of chocolate can be deadly.
If you’re often pushing your dog’s nose away from the trash, make sure to put garbage into tightly covered cans. It’s too easy for your dog to give in to temptation and make a meal out of things you threw away. Garbage cans are a significant potential danger because not only could your dog end up eating things that are toxic, but he could also ingest things that aren’t actually food, like plastic. Foreign objects like this can cause blockages in your dog’s intestines, which can be a serious issue and require surgery if your dog is unable to pass them.
The other problem you can face with garbage cans is you may not know what exactly your dog ate and how much. This can cause further stress for you because you won’t be sure how to treat the problem, and you might end up with a costly trip to the vet.
Throwing a dog a bone is a classic cliche, and many people will actually give their dogs the bones from their meals to chew on, but this is incredibly dangerous. If your dog breaks the bone and swallows it, the sharp ends can easily puncture his stomach or intestines and cause serious damage, which can even be lethal. So think twice before throwing your dog a T-bone; he’s better off with those made specifically for dogs.
There are foods that dogs can actually find nutritional benefit in, like vegetables, rice, pasta, and some fruits. But in general, table scraps are a bad idea. Do your research and understand what happens to a dog who eats table scraps so you can make sure you’re not putting dangerous toxins in his bowl.