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Can Dogs Eat Table Scraps?

Written by FOTP Team

Last updated

dog eating human food

Feeding your dog a treat from the table can make it feel like your furry family member is enjoying your meal with you. And though we all love to spoil our pets, it’s important to know what table scraps dogs can eat, and what they can’t.

You might think that because the human food you’re eating is healthy for you, it must be healthy for your dog. But there are many instances where that is not the case. So before you throw your dog a treat from your plate, make sure it’s not a food that could have potentially hazardous effects.

Here we will break down the table scraps your dog can and can’t eat, and the potential problems they can cause.

What table scraps can my dog eat?

There are some foods that your dog can eat with no problem – like meat, broccoli, and beans. You might scrape your leftovers into their bowl or throw them a piece from the table. But it’s important to keep an eye on the quantities they’re being fed, as you could find that your dog ends up gaining weight if they eat too much on top of their usual diet.

Similarly, there are some foods that are perfectly healthy for a dog to eat but should be avoided for different reasons. For example, roast beef, ham, or turkey bones are sharp and brittle, and can produce small pieces that are unsafe for your dog to chew on. These cause internal perforations and intestinal blockages so it’s best to stick to bones designed for dog’s diets.

If you want to feel your dog leftovers, check they’re healthy, low in calories, fat, and salt, and aren’t contaminated with any of the foods of the strict no-go list. These human foods are okay for dogs to eat:

  • Pieces of lean cooked turkey, beef, pork or fish with the skin and bones removed
  • Raw vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, celery, and cabbage 
  • Cooked vegetables that have not touched onion, garlic, butter, or salt
  • Small amounts of peanut butter not containing xylitol

What table scraps cannot be fed to dogs?

Fried foods or anything with additives shouldn’t be fed to your dog, even if they’re otherwise okay for them to eat. Fresh food is healthier and easier to digest, so you should never feed them processed treats. It’s not just bad for their physical health but their breath, coat, and waistline will all begin to see the effects.

As well as pizza and fries, the obvious chocolate, and other foods that are bad for humans there are also some seemingly healthy meals that you should never share with your dog. Anything cooked in salt, garlic, and onion can cause serious issues. 

And since we tend to season even our healthier meals with these three ingredients, it can be tricky to know for sure that your dog won’t be eating food that’s been contaminated with toxins. These are the human foods you should avoid feeding to your dog as scraps:

  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions and garlic
  • Tomato plants or any green parts of the tomato
  • Peaches
  • Avocados
  • Packaged or processed food
  • Anything starchy like bread, potatoes, pasta
  • Desserts and anything sugary
  • Anything with chocolate
  • Anything with alcohol
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Bones, especially cooked bones
  • Turkey or chicken skin

We might like to think our dog is smart enough not to eat anything harmful for them, but in truth they’d probably eat a whole birthday cake if they were given the chance. 

Eating human foods can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, pancreatitis, and much more serious health problems. So if your dog does eat anything it shouldn’t be sure to consult your vet as soon as possible. 

The importance of your dog’s diet

It goes without saying that table scraps should be a rare treat and never a key component of your dog’s diet. Added treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake, and their main diet should comprise of vet-approved, nutritious dog food. Like Front of the Pack’s pure raw meat protein air-dried food that tastes like treats but delivers all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Because obesity is the most common nutritional problem in dogs, it’s important to consider the extra calories you feed your dog every time you give them a human snack. But as long as their diet remains balanced and healthy, the odd treat is okay.

Issues caused by eating table scraps

Before feeding your dog from the table you should be aware of the numerous potential health problems that human foods can cause for dogs.

1. Pancreatitis

Caused by fatty foods, pancreatitis can be a fatal condition in dogs. It occurs when the enzymes used to break down food are released into the digestive tract too early. If it enters the digestive system before the food is there to break down, the pancreas starts to ingest itself instead. This causes inflammation and can also cause further enzymes to leak into the abdominal cavity and cause damage to other organs.

Signs of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe abdominal pain. It may require hospitalisation and in some cases can be fatal.

2. Gastrointestinal issues

Some dogs have stronger digestive systems than others so it’s hard to know whether or not they’ll be able to digest new foods. If you’re aware of gastrointestinal sensitivities then avoid giving your dog any human food at all. Many foods can disrupt the intestinal lining and cause inflammation and stomach upset. Signs of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and a loss of appetite.

3. Poisoning

Table scraps can include foods and ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Raisins and grapes, chocolate, onions, and anything containing xylitol are all harmless for us but harmful for animals, and can have serious consequences. These foods are linked to diseases like kidney failure, heart problems, and low blood sugar that can cause seizures and sometimes death.

If you think your dog has eaten a food that it shouldn’t have, consult your vet immediately. And if you love to treat your pup but want to stick to something that’s both tasty and healthy for them, try Front of the Pack’s freeze-dried treats. They come in three tasty raw meat flavours, and contain no scary additives or extras.