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Can Dogs Eat Human Food? Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Human Food?

can dogs eat human food

Yes, dogs can eat human food, but it might not be the best option. 

As a dog guy, I always get the question, ‘can I feed my dog human food.’

You’ll find plenty of different opinions on this topic online. And many of them lack some crucial information, such as the cons of feeding human food to your dog and why dogs prefer human food over their own?

So here’s what you will learn in this article…

  • Should Dogs Eat Human Food?
  • Why Do Dogs Naturally Prefer Human Food Over Their Own?
  • How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Human Food?

Should Dogs Eat Human Food?

Yes, dogs can eat human food in moderation. Dogs have evolved to eat similar food to humans due to their close relationship. Human food such as chicken is particularly great for training purposes even if you feed a kibble-based diet primarily to your dog.  

Now, if you’re thinking about why so many people and guides say not to feed human food to your dogs because it’s unhealthy. 

Well, it’s true! Your dog can eat human food, but it’s not recommended. 

Unlike humans, dogs can’t eat every human food, such as chocolate, grapes, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, etc. This is because these foods can be poisonous to dogs. 

And some human foods contain too many fats that can cause digestive problems and even severe conditions like pancreatitis

Too many fats in the diet can also lead to weight gain. Weight gain can lead to many health issues, like arthritis, diabetes, and heart diseases. 

Most importantly, human foods or typically table scraps can promote unwanted behaviors such as begging in dogs. 

Your dog might start begging for your food at the table. And while you might find it adorable, your dinner guests may not appreciate it when your dogs hover over their plates. Even worse, your guests might feed your dog toxic food like grapes to your dog. 

Your dog can also become a picky eater. For example, he may prefer human foods and refuse to eat his kibble. 

After all, if you still desire to give your dog human food, then be smart about it (aka google up ‘is X toxic for dogs’)

So, what I’m trying to say is do your due diligence. 

Educate yourself about which foods are toxic to dogs, how many calories to feed, healthy food options, etc. 

You need to use your judgment to give people food to your dog that is safe and healthy for him.

For example, you need to avoid giving chocolate to your dog because dogs don’t have the enzymes to break it down, causing it to become toxic to them. 

The same goes for some other foods, like Avocados, as their high-fat content can cause pancreatitis or stomach upset in some dogs.

Also, it would help if you diversified your pet’s diet. For example, don’t feed your dog one kind of food daily, such as only chicken or meat. Instead, you need to give your buddy a balanced diet

You can get an appointment with a veterinary nutritionist to create a meal plan with you that your dog likes and is well-balanced. 

Why Do Dogs Naturally Prefer Human Food Over Their Own? 

If you’re wondering why dogs that have never had people’s food want your food more than their own food. Well, it’s straightforward. First, smell your food, then smell your dog’s food. Now tell me, which food smells more delicious and yummy?

Of course, your food smells good and warm. 

Well, dogs are primarily excited by the smell of the food. 

A warm, fresh, delicious chicken smells more enticing than a kibble.

Dogs are scavengers by nature, so they would eat anything that smells delicious.

It’s not like dogs think people’s foods are SUPERIOR, which is what they should be eating. But dogs are opportunistic and would eat whatever they got their hands on (including non-food like dead animals)

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Human Food?

If your dog has become a picky eater, he only wants to eat human food or has annoying behavior of begging for your food when you’re at your dinner table. Then you might want to stop your dog from eating human food. 

If your dog only wants human food and is begging for it, then here is what you can do. 

When your dog refuses to eat his food, just remove the food from his bowl and don’t put down anything else.

The next time you feed your dog, put down the same food. Dogs can go without food for 48 hours, so your dog will be fine if he doesn’t eat his food for a short time. 

With today’s domestic dogs, very few dogs will go for more than 48 hours without eating. Contact your vet if your dog goes beyond 48 hours without food.

Usually, your dog will start eating the food you give him instead of people’s food. 

You need to note that this is going to be hard as this is a game of will. 

You will be tempted to give people food to your dog because of his puppies eyes begging for it. 

But, you need to take a vow, from now on, no more food from the table, no more food from the kitchen and work area. 

Your dog is only allowed to eat his dog food in his bowl and nowhere else. 

This way, it will become apparent to your dog that the only meal he will get is his food and only in his bowl. 

So, he will no more beg for human food. 

The Bottom Line

Although dogs can eat human food, it is not recommended. Unlike humans, dogs can’t choose their food, and some human foods like grapes, chocolates, and artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic to them. 

Human food can also encourage annoying behaviors in dogs, such they start begging for your food when you are at your dinner table. 

Dogs naturally prefer human food over their own food, so they become picky eaters when you offer people food to them. 

Thank you for reading this article.

We hope you found the information helpful. If you’re interested in finding the perfect pet products for your furry friend, be sure to check out our buying guides for dog beds and other products. These guides will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and ensure your beloved pet’s comfort and happiness. Thanks again for reading!

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