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Dogs and table scraps

Monday May 25th, 2009

By Jamie Wolf

Question:

Is it ok to give a dog table scraps?

answered by Jamie Wolf

Answer:

Giving your dog table scraps presents a whole host of potential future problems. Remember that a dog's life span is much shorter than ours, so every little thing we give them to eat--bad or good--has a more profound effect.

Feeding your dog table scraps, such as chicken covered in spices and sauce, may taste good going down, but his stomach may not agree later. A dog's diet is extremely important to his overall health, and the good news is that we have the ability to ensure a longer and healthier life by giving him only nutritious foods.

Aside from the ill effects on his digestive tract, many behavioral problems can and will arise if you feed him table food. Unless of course, you and your friends prefer a dog who begs and whines throughout breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you'd rather have a dog who minds his manners come chow time, then rewarding him with scraps for hanging out under the table is a big mistake.

If you're absolutely set on sharing your meal with your dog, finish your food, clear the table, and rinse off the leftovers in the kitchen. Then during training exercises, reward him with bits of plain chicken. He'll never know it came from the table!

Jamie Wolf, a lifelong animal advocate, is the founder of PetLover Central, a high-end, dog day care center in Boca Raton, Florida.

Read more about Jamie Wolf in the DogTime expert center...
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