Feeding Your Dog Snacks/Scraps Safe?
Do you feed your dog scraps/treats from the table? It may seem like no big deal, but it can result in substantial consequences to your dog. If you are feeding your dog a piece of a carrot or a sliver of shredded cheese then that is likely okay. The truth is most people aren’t paying attention to scraps or pieces of food that they are feeding to their dog while cooking or eating. These “small” snacks can actually have a major affect on your dog’s caloric intake. In fact, it can lead to a whole series of medical conditions.
Snack Comparison – Dogs Vs. Humans
If you give your dog 1 oz (~28g – a standard serving of cheese in the US) of cheese, it is like feeding an average human two and a half hamburgers! Even worse it is like feeding the average human five chocolate candy bars. When we say average human we are referring to a woman of average height of about 5 ft 4 inches, who consumes approximately 2,000 calories per day*. If a woman was consuming two and a half hamburgers or 5 chocolate candy bars in one sitting, that would surely have an affect on their diet. We are also referring to a 20lb. dog. Imagine if you fed your dog one ounce of cheese every night while you’re cooking dinner. That would be equivalent to the average person eating 5 candy bars every single day or eating multiple hamburgers every night. This is certainly not healthy.
Have you ever accidentally dropped a cookie on the ground and your dog ate it? That would be the human equivalent of eating two chocolate candy bars in a couple bites. What seems to be little snacks can actually be large snacks when it comes to your dog’s diet.
Humans are not the only ones who face health concerns due to being overweight. Dogs, just like humans get medically diagnosed all the time. According to the Mayo Clinic, dogs are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome when they are experiencing conditions such as “high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, as well as excess body fat.” Unfortunately, when a dog is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome they’re often put on a strict diet as well as an exercise plan. In general it is important for your dog to eat healthy food and get in their daily exercise, but you don’t want it to become a medical life or death necessity.
If you fed your dog 3 metabolic treats, that would be like a human consuming an apple. Doesn’t that seem like a healthier comparison? A metabolic treat is a treat for a dog that is low in processed ingredients and high in healthy fats, veggies, and proteins. Metabolic treats are ideal for dogs who either need to maintain their weight or lose weight. We know how important it is for you to reward your dog’s good behavior with treats or say goodbye to them with a treat before you leave the house. If your dog needs to lose weight or is at risk of being overweight, then metabolic treats may be ideal for your dog. When trying new foods or any sort of supplement or complementary foods, consult your vet.
You may want to consider researching healthy foods that you can feed your dog as well as unhealthy/dangerous foods you shouldn’t feed your dog. There are many safe and healthy options that you likely can find in your fridge at home! Lastly, always remember that your health impacts your dog’s health every day!
*average human guidelines and food comparisons were sourced from online images with unknown origins.
Written on May 9th, 2018
Updated on June 12th, 2019
Kim is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with her husband, John. She earned her BS in operations management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She enjoys walking in nature, gardening in the sun, eating sour candy, going on drives, yoga, and reading.