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Can we give our dogs leftovers from our meals?

It’s mealtime and your hairy friend is already waiting patiently at your feet for their share. Lots of us give into temptation and slip them a bit of meat here and a hunk of bread there… But is it really good for man’s best friend? The answer is in the article of the week!

Why are you not recommended to give your dog leftovers? 

Even if we think we’ll make our companion happy, giving them the leftovers from our meals is not recommended. Dogs need a balanced diet suited to their nutritional needs. Our food is often made with ingredients that aren’t suitable for dogs. Leftovers can interfere with your dog’s digestion, but that’s not all! 

The foods we eat are often sweet, salty or fatty which is not suited to dogs’ needs and can cause an imbalance in their diet.   

Even though certain ingredients seem harmless, they can actually turn out to be harmful and cause poisoning. 

Besides not being good for dogs’ health, leftovers are a major cause of making dogs overweight (link).

Different needs.

Dogs need a healthy, balanced diet that meets specific nutritional needs. Giving them leftovers can create an imbalance or even deficiencies. If you want to give them little treats, it’s better to opt for dog-friendly treats or make them yourselves.

What foods should you avoid? 

Some foods cannot be properly digested, and are potentially toxic and even fatal for our pets. These, for example, among others: 

  • Chocolate, which is really poisonous to dogs
  • Cooked bones, which often break, and can pierce internal organs and cause internal lesions
  • Salty foods
  • Lactose (cow’s milk)
  • Raw potato
  • Certain fruit and vegetables: green tomatoes, avocados, grapes, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks (link)
  • Certain dried fruits: macadamia nuts, candied fruit and sweets (risk of diabetes) 
  • All foods containing xylitol, often in gingerbread and peanut butter

Bad habits, behaviour problems

Letting your dog hang around the table can lead to bad habits and cause problems with training them. 

Also, as well as being a health issue, giving your dog leftovers at the table teaches them to beg. Over time, your pet could start getting very insistent on it! This habit can lead to behavioural problems like pinching food from plates for example. You are therefore advised to teach your dog that there is a time for your meal and a time for theirs. 

And if you are really dying to give them a little piece of meat, we advise you to wait until the end of the meal. Wait for 30 minutes so your dog doesn’t associate your treat with your mealtime. 

To sum up, we advise you not to give your dog leftovers from your meals, but instead to choose a diet that suits their needs. 

Do you sometimes give your dog leftovers from meals? Are you thinking of getting rid of foods that are dangerous for their health? Share your experience with us! 

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