Table Scraps — Safe or Not?

If your house is anything like mine you probably have begging eyes on the floor during dinner time.  The common dog knowledge shared most often today is people food is bad for our companions.  There is some false information in this blanket statement as many people make their own dog food which starts with ‘people grade’ ingredients.  Believe it or not, there are some safe foods that come from your table.

photo credit: Munchers via photopin (license)

Safe Foods

A universal food that’s healthy for human and canine are lean meats such as beef, fish, turkey, chicken and wild game such as venison.  These proteins are the basis for most home-made and raw dog food recipes.  If feeding raw foods stick with raw foods for that feeding as the rate of digestion between cooked and raw is different.  So don’t top your dog’s daily processed kibble with raw ground beef.

Dogs can even eat fruits and vegetables.  Vegetables are a great supplement, such as green beans, for dogs on a diet to help decrease the caloric intake.  Dried sweet potatoes make a great, healthy chew for dogs looking to sink their teeth in something for recreation, it’s also safe to ingest.


Some fruits and vegetables are not safe for dogs such as raisins/grapes which can wreak havoc on a dog’s kidneys & onions which cause toxicity by oxidizing an oxygen-transporting protein called hemoglobin in the red blood cells.   Apple core/seeds are poisonous to dogs as well as they contain cyanide and damaging effects can accumulate overtime, preventing the body from absorbing oxygen.  Chocolate, of course, is another no-no.

High salt content is also another ‘no feed’ food for dogs.  Lots of salt can cause excessive thirst which means more urination and can end up with sodium ion poisoning so it’s best not to share your chips with your pooch.

On the flip side, sugary foods for dogs can cause similar effects as it does in humans such as obesity, tooth decay and diabetes.

Know your foods before feeding to your 4-legged friend, and if you don’t know please ask your vet.


photo credit: Giotto via photopin (license)
photo credit: Giotto via photopin (license)

Feeding the fat trimmings from your juicy steak at the end of your meal is probably not a good idea.  While a small taste may not hurt your dog be aware that some dogs are vulnerable to pancreatitis that can be life threatening.  Dogs that are fed high fat content foods, such as fat trimmings, or get into the trash have a higher incidence of the disease.

Unless you’ve done your research into the nutritional needs of your pooch and wish to feed table scraps keep them as a treat rather than trying to supplement or switch their diet completely to.  Your dog’s health will thank you.

Other Unsafe Foods:

Alcohol, Caffeine, Milk/Dairy, Macadamia Nuts, Candy/Gum, Suger substitute, cooked poultry bones, Peach/Plum pits, Yeast Dough, Human prescribed drugs, baking powder/soda, nutmeg

It’s always smart to have your vet’s number handy as well as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435.  If you suspect your dog has ingested something he shouldn’t have don’t hesitate to call because it could be a matter of life and death.

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