The 7 Most Important Dos & Don’ts of Sharing Food with Your Dog

Categorized as Misc
Sharing Food with Your Dog

You may want to share ‘people food’ with the pet you care about the most. Yes, we know it is an act of love, but to be a responsible pet owner, you must consider if the food is good for your dog or not.

Dogs can be poisoned by several foods that are safe for humans. So it’s crucial to remember that feeding your dog should be done in moderation and safely. Here are a few dos and don’ts of sharing food with your dog.

1. Avoid High Sodium and Fat Content

Can dogs eat salami or other food with high sodium and fat content? No.  

Foods with high fat and sodium can put your dog in danger of conditions like pancreatitis or salt poisoning. Also, some salami contains seasonings like garlic powder, which is quite toxic to your pet.

So if you don’t want your pup suffering from pancreatitis, the symptoms of which can range from internal bleeding to mild discomfort to a blood infection, avoid high-fat foods, including sausage, bacon, paté, and gravy-covered meat, poultry skin, and beef trimmings. 

2. Keep It Within Ten Percent

It’s important not to overfeed your dog while giving them more treats in addition to their regular diet. Follow a simple rule of thumb and ensure that snacks don’t add up to more than ten percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake. 

Your pet’s dog food is fortified with all essential nutrients for a balanced diet. So when you give your dog too many treats, you add extra calories. As a result, they can get obese and may not eat their regular food to get proper nutrients. And this risk is particularly higher for small dogs.

Advice: When feeding your dog healthy treats in small amounts, cut back on their regular diet by an equal amount to keep them from gaining weight. 

If your dog gains weight, play fun games with your dog outside so that he keeps running and playing around. It will help him to lose weight.

This chart can help you in keeping your dog’s calorie intake in check.

Dog’s Weight10% of Caloric Requirement for Adult Dogs
5 lbs16 kcal
10 lbs 29 kcal
20 lbs49 Kcal
40 lbs83 Kcal
60 lbs112 Kcal
80 lbs140 Kcal
100 lbs165 Kcal

3. Provide Daily Protein

For your canine companion, lean meat is a wonderful treat. Great protein sources include lean meats like beef, fish, chicken, and turkey. A high-quality source of protein, with no discernible fat, contains about 3.5 kcal per gram of meat, which can be healthy for dogs.

4. Provide Safe Fruits and Vegetables

Are all human foods safe for dogs? No, not at all. And many fruits and vegetables are unsuitable for dogs. However, the ones that are suitable can be wonderful, healthy substitutes for store-bought treats. Check the below list to see what is safe to offer your dogs and what should be avoided.

Safe Fruits:  Apples, blueberries, bananas, watermelon, pears, strawberries, cantaloupe, cucumber, mango, cranberries, and pineapple

Unsafe Fruits: Avocado, cherries, peaches, grapes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, raisins

Safe Vegetables: Carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green beans, peas, spinach, broccoli

Unsafe Vegetables: Onions, asparagus

5. Avoid Milk and Dairy

It’s best to avoid offering milk and dairy products to your dog if he is lactose intolerant. Dogs are known to get digestive problems and diarrhea after consuming dairy. Some dogs may experience an allergic reaction, making them scratch.

6. Never Feed Your Dog Chocolate

Even if it is a well-known fact that dogs should not consume chocolate, it is important to emphasize the risks. 

Chocolate consumption has been linked to death, tremors, seizures, heart issues, and vomiting in dogs. Theobromine, which is harmful to dogs, is an ingredient in all chocolate. Theobromine levels in dark and unsweetened baking chocolate are much higher, making them even riskier. So always ensure your dog cannot reach any of your chocolate.

7. It’s Better Not to Feed Nuts and Peanut Butter

Nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews are safe for your pet. But make sure that you are feeding your dog unsalted nuts because high sodium is risky for dogs.

However, other nuts, including macadamia nuts and black walnuts, are poisonous to dogs. They can cause vomiting, muscle weakness, overheating, and lethargy. So you should avoid sharing those nuts.

You may have seen many funny videos of dogs trying to eat peanut butter while licking the roof of their mouths and may have felt the urge to try it on your dog. You can feed peanut butter to your dog without worrying. But be careful to offer them just a tiny bit. Also, don’t feed peanut butter containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, because it can harm your dog’s liver and cause low blood sugar.

Other Foods That You Should Avoid

  • You should never share coffee and caffeine with your dog.
  • Keep alcohol away from your beloved pet.
  • Avoid sharing garlic, cinnamon, and chives.
  • Never treat your dog with raw meat and eggs.
  • Coconut water and flesh can upset your dog’s stomach.
  • Xylitol is highly toxic for dogs. Consuming it can lead to liver failure and extremely low blood sugar levels. 

Bonus: You can treat your dog with plain rice, unseasoned and hard-boiled eggs, and cheese ( only if your dog can tolerate cheese). Giving little cheese cubes is an effective way to reinforce positive behavior in your dogs.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t want your beloved pet to suffer, be careful what human food you give them. Start by following the dos and don’ts of sharing food with your dog mentioned in this article. 

Moreover, do your research to see if food is healthy for your dog. Asking your veterinarian is the best method to choose food for your dog and keep him healthy.

If you fear your dog has ingested something toxic, immediately contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or take him to a veterinarian for assistance.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.