As pet owners, we're all too familiar with our pets begging at the table. Some folks are very good at breaking this habit while others give in, all too easily to those sad, longing eyes, staring at them from between their legs.
So is it alright to give your dogs scraps from the table? This seems to be quite a topic of discussion on many of the pet blogs these days.
Begging can be an annoying habit, that, if left undisciplined, can really become a nuisance. I suppose that if you live alone, besides having your pet there, of course. And you NEVER expect to have a guest over for dinner, then you can just have Fido pull up a chair beside you and fix him a plate!
Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you can see where I'm going here.
What you should or shouldn't allow your pet is ultimately up to you, so long as you keep their overall health in mind. There are very informative posts on the internet that go over, in great detail, what foods can be bad for your dog as well as some that are down right poisonous! So if you're planning on handing out free nibbles from your plate to your pup, you need to make certain you're not giving them anything that could ultimately harm them.
There are actually some of our foods that could benefit dogs. Just be sure to do your research before you give away your guacamole! (Which, by the way, is one of the POISONOUS ones! So DON'T do it!)
Your dog trusts you implicitly, so make sure you're making good decisions regarding their health, because they rely on you to know what's safe to eat. They can't surf the internet after all. Unless you take the time to inform yourself of what foods can be dangerous and what foods would be okay to give your dog, perhaps you might want to steer clear of handing out table scraps to them.
Truly the best way to break the begging habit is to not allow the table scraps at all. It may be difficult to refuse those mournful eyes and drippy lips at first but eventually, your dog will get bored when they don't get a hand out and will most likely move on. If your dog is persistent and you really don't want the begging to continue, you will need to start working on a dinner time routine that focuses on a "place" for your dog to stay while you have your meal. Be sure to be consistent and don't cave in on occasion, just because they've been good.
Reward accordingly by waiting until your meal is finished and give a treat of either a toy or a true "dog treat". I PROMISE, they won't love you any less after dinner! You can also make their dinner time the same as yours and serve them their dinner just before you sit down, to make them feel like they're getting something special.
Just remember that you're the one in charge of health care for your pet, so you need to make the right calls when they can't. They need to you to make the responsible decision. It's really no different than a child. If given the opportunity, they would clean out the cookie jar and most likely end up with a bellyache. Not really the epitome of responsibility, I know. But that's why they need us to care for them and that's why they love us!