Feeding Dogs Table Scraps:
Denice: Help me out if you have time. Every once in a while Rory will give Colby (our dog) a plate to lick sitting in the TV room or at the table after he is finished. He insists that “it is only a few scraps”. Are there better scraps and not-so-good scraps though? I have no problem with giving Colby scraps, but feel that she should always be feed on the back porch, so she doesn’t learn to be expecting or silently begging for handouts. Correct me if I am wrong, but what is your opinion?
Dear Debbie: As long as she eats AFTER the alpha pair (that’s you and Rory) everything should be fine. It’s up to the alpha to tell her when she can eat and to correct her if she starts to beg. So, she needs to be in her spot or lying down until it’s her turn to have leftovers.
One really great resource I think you’d like is a book called, The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell. I did a book review on that once. (See May, 2006 Newsletter) Jan explains the process quite well. Seems to work at our house!
Side notes: Dogs should get only lean meat scraps. No chicken bones, rib bones, or cooked bones that will splinter and puncture the gut. Raw and cooked vegetables and some raw fruit a few times each week will also keep your dog healthy so she/he will live a long life.
Fatty scraps are never the best choice. Too much of the wrong fats can cause pancreatitis in dogs. This is definitely life threatening. We see lots of these cases around Thanksgiving and Christmas when dogs get into the garbage and eat leftovers.
For skin problems, many dogs can eat 2-5 eggs/week (cooked) which will help gloss up the coat. Feeding too many raw eggs is not a good thing as some of the raw proteins can bind up some nutrients in the animal (or person for that matter).
If your dog has been diagnosed with food allergies, irritable bowel, kidney problems, bladder stones or heart disease the types of scraps you feed needs to be monitored. Please ask your vet for appropriate ideas for treats and snacks in these cases.