Is it safe to feed your pet table scraps at home? Feeding dogs human food can be tempting, but not all foods safe for humans are necessarily safe for dogs. Some common human foods can pose serious health risks to dogs if consumed in large amounts or regularly. However, pet owners continue to do so, often without realizing the potential risks involved. Here are some of the dangers of feeding dogs table scraps.
1. Pet Obesity
Pet obesity is one of the most common problems seen by veterinarians today. It’s estimated that over 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. One of the main contributing factors to pet obesity is dietary indiscretion, which includes feeding pets table scraps.
When you feed your pet table scraps, you’re not only adding extra calories to their diet but also encouraging them to beg for food. This can lead to pets becoming overweight or obese, putting them at risk for several health problems, including diabetes, joint problems, and respiratory issues.
Pancreatitis is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition when the pancreas becomes inflamed. Dogs can develop pancreatitis when they consume high-fat foods like table scraps. Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. If your dog shows any of these indicators, you should immediately visit the veterinarian.
3. Gastrointestinal Issues
Feeding your pet table scraps can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and intestinal blockages. This is because dogs lack the proper enzymes to digest many human foods. Intestinal blockages are particularly dangerous and can often require surgery to remove. If you think your dog may have an intestinal blockage, it’s essential to take them to the vet immediately.
Certain human foods can also cause allergies in dogs. Common allergens include wheat, soy, corn, and chicken. Symptoms of food allergies in dogs include itchiness, excessive licking, hot spots, and gastrointestinal issues. If you think your dog may have a food allergy, you must talk to your vet and figure out which foods are safe for them to eat. Allergies are always best managed by avoiding the allergen altogether.
5. Encourages Unwanted Behavior
You must be aware that feeding your pet table scraps can encourage unwanted behavior, such as begging and scavenging. Begging is not only annoying but also dangerous if your dog begs for food while you’re cooking or eating. Scavenging is another problem behavior that can occur when dogs learn that they can find food outside of their regular meals. This can lead to them rummaging through garbage cans or fighting with other animals.
As you can see, several risks are associated with feeding dogs table scraps. While giving your pet a little taste of your food may be tempting; it’s important to remember that not all human foods are safe for dogs. If you’re unsure whether food is safe for your dog, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding it to them altogether. Contact St. Francisville Animal Hospital if you have questions or concerns about your pet’s diet.
Categorised in: Animal Hospital