Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Is Leftover Food Safe or Risky for Dogs? (Guest Post by Jordan Walker)

Jordan Walker has always been passionate for animals. He loves to share his knowledge and expertise about the animal kingdom through pet-related blogs. He leads the content team of Coops and Cages. In this article, he discusses whether leftover food is safe or risky for dogs.

You might have probably heard that giving leftover food to dogs isn’t really a good thing. Although sharing table scraps directly from your plate isn’t advisable, several human foods are considered safe to share with your furry pal. As a matter of fact, some households make their own dog food.

Moderation is the solution

Many people are worried with feeding table scraps to their pets as it only causes obesity. Though this is really concerning, especially when the food you give is high in sugar, calories, and fat content.

For smaller dogs, the risk is pretty high. Even a small amount of added calories can already cause them to gain weight. However, if you only share with them healthy foods in small amounts, then you are already preventing them from having an added weight.

Foods that have high fat content may also be a risk to dogs. These will only result in pancreatitis, a kind of disease in the pancreas that is distinguished through symptoms, such as internal bleeding and blood infection. If you don’t want them to suffer from this, make sure you do not feed them sausage, beef trimmings, poultry skin, bacon, and other fatty dishes.

If your pooch has diabetes, you must absolutely avoid feeding them with table scraps that have high carbohydrate-content like rice and pasta. Also, if your pet is suffering chronic kidney problems, a high salt intake may put them at risk for other chronic health issues.

How to feed leftover food

Many people would just dump leftover food from their plate in their dog’s bowl. This isn’t really a healthy way to share table scraps. Even though it has been a common practice for several years already, pet owners must keep in mind that putting in massive amounts of leftovers would lead to complications.

If your dog is accustomed to kibble diet, there are possibilities that he may have an upset stomach. Thus, you can always start with small amounts of food.

What to feed your dog

Generally, food that is considered healthy for humans is also safe for dogs, which means that fresh vegetables and fruits are also excellent dog treats. However, pet owners have to remember that too much of everything won’t do any good, such that large amounts of fruits that contain fiber will only result in gastrointestinal upset for dogs.

In addition, lean meat, such as fish, beef, turkey, and chicken, is also a great treat for your faithful friend because they are sources of protein. Hence, the next time you prepare breakfast for your dog, you can save several small pieces of leftover meat that don’t have sauce.

For special treats, foods like marshmallows, frozen yogurts, and ice cream, are preferred by dogs. And, what’s best about these is that they are safe to be shared with them. Still, owners must ensure not to make these foods a part of their pet’s daily diet. These must only be given as rewards or to celebrate special occasions.

At the end of the day, the overall health of a dog depends on their owner. Therefore, every pet owner has to know his responsibilities, particularly when feeding leftover food. By knowing these things, they will not just extend the lives of their pets; they’ll also be keeping them happy and healthy.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for 'attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can reach him via Google+ or Twitter.


  1. We usually only get the dregs...and have to share them with three.

  2. We don't get any of the humans' leftovers here. But meowmeowmans and Mom Tracey DO give us treats like chicken and lettuce (for Moosey only) every so often. :)


    Moosey, Gracie and Zoe

  3. Not sure about feeding sugary foods like marshmallows to your dog. MUCH better would be cubes of watermelon (without seeds), berries, bananas, carrots, apple slices (w/out seeds). The White Dog Army loves fresh or water-packed sardines spread on a tray, frozen, and served as fish pops s a summer treat.

  4. Thanks for the informative post! Especially about sharing table scraps with the dogs which is a very common thing in my household. It's something I need to look further in to and educate my kids about.


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