What's the Big Deal with Table Scraps?

Updated On: Thursday, June 29, 2023 14:51:49 PM America/Los_Angeles

Puppy dog eyes from your fur baby can feel irresistible at dinner time, but think twice before giving them table scraps! Not only do table scraps pose a danger for our canine companions, they can feed a never ending cycle of begging that reinforces undesirable behavior. Learn why table scraps are bad for dogs below.

Photo by Daniel Brunsteiner

Why Are Table Scraps Bad for Dogs? 

At minimum, table scraps can contain ingredients that aren’t well-tolerated by canine digestive systems. Human food is not ideal for our fur babies even if it’s technically safe. Table scraps can be high in sodium, starches, grains, and other ingredients that are not well-tolerated by dogs. At worst, table scraps contain dangerous ingredients that can cause serious harm or even be fatal. Find out more about what to do if your dog eats something they shouldn’t, here

In addition to the health hazards that table scraps can pose, feeding scraps is a bad idea from a training perspective. Responding to your dog’s plea for food at the dinner table only reinforces their negative behavior and rewards their begging. This can quickly become a habit that is not only annoying but also discourages your pup from eating their own food, which contains essential ingredients and nutrients that they need to stay happy and healthy. 

Which Table Scraps Are Dangerous for Dogs?

Not all ingredients are created equal and some are more toxic for dogs than others. Some of the most common ingredients in human foods that are dangerous for your fur baby are:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate is notoriously unsafe for dogs to consume, because it contains theobromine. This has serious implications for your pooch’s digestive, nervous, and cardiovascular system. Darker chocolates may be more healthy for humans, but are extra dangerous for dogs. Chocolate poisoning should be considered an emergency, and a vet should be contacted right away. 
  • Garlic and onion: One of the most popular ingredients in human foods, garlic and onion is incredibly toxic for dogs. Always check ingredient lists before mindlessly slipping a pup some table scraps. You may be surprised to find out how common these ingredients are! 
  • Grapes and raisins: The toxicity of grapes is still a mystery for experts, but one thing is clear – they can lead to a rapid decline in kidney functioning. Grapes may not seem especially tempting, but foods that contain raisins are equally risky for your fur ball. 
  • Citrus skins and seeds: Citrus can cause digestive problems and depression, with high levels even being fatal. Chances are that your doggo will naturally be repelled by the unique scent of citric acid, but it’s nevertheless important to know that this common food can be quite dangerous. 
  • Tree nuts: Your dog’s idea of a tasty snack probably isn’t a bowl of nuts, but that cookie with white chocolate and macadamia nuts might be.  
  • Alcohol: While we don’t think that you’ll intentionally offer your pup a beer, bread dough and some baked goods do contain alcohol. For instance, while that sourdough might smell enticing, yeast creates alcohol as a by-product. 
  • Xylitol: Xylitol may sound unfamiliar, but it’s in many household products and food items including toothpaste, gum, and food with artificial sweeteners. Avoid using human toothpaste with dogs and leaving around gums and candies that contain this hazardous ingredient. 

Have an upset tummy on your hands? An indoor dog bathroom is a convenient way to make sure your fur baby has access to a pet potty at all times. A pee pad like DoggieLawn is a convenient solution for dog pawrents and their pups who need a potty that’s ready to go when they are!