Sure, you see your pups as family, but that doesn’t mean they get to eat like it.
Foods to avoid
Bernal puts chocolate at the top of the list of foods to avoid. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, like caffeine, is toxic to dogs.
Fatty foods, like bacon, are also no-nos, as they can cause gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis.
“Plus, dogs have unique nutritional needs — one small piece of bacon for them is the equivalent caloric value of 13 pieces of bacon for humans,” said Bernal, who is also a Whimzees multi-functional dental dog treats partner.
Among the others unsafe for your pooch are uncooked eggs or fish; garlic and onions, which can cause fainting and an elevated heart rate; and cooked bones, which are more likely to splinter and cause oral injury or potential internal perforation or obstruction.
Foods to give
Foods to focus on for your pup, if you’re feeding them table scraps, are fruits, vegetables and cooked meat.
Carrots and apples are great options, Carrots can protect against cataracts and heart disease, while sweet apples support a healthy digestive system.
Lean, cooked meats like chicken, turkey and beef also top the list as far as safe-for-Fido foods, as they add protein to your pup’s diet, much like cooked eggs, which are also a good table-scrap snack.
Another fine option — in moderation — is cooked fish like salmon and fresh tuna, as fish boasts amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Just make sure the fish is deboned, and limit it to once or twice a week, maximum.
Bernal also recommends mixing food scraps in with regular dog food, directly in the kibble bowl, to train dogs away from begging at the table.
In addition to avoiding certain types of table scraps, Bernal says pet owners should limit the amount of “human food” given to their furry friends.
“My recommendation is to make sure pet parents limit themselves when feeding their dog table scraps, as feeding too many scraps can disrupt their nutritional needs and calorie limits. Stick to feeding table scraps as 10-15 percent of your pup’s overall diet, and view it as giving them a special treat — not supplementing a full meal.”