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The Danger of Feeding Dogs Table Scraps

Updated on December 5, 2009
Eating table scraps often may cause obesity and other conditions, jdurham,
Eating table scraps often may cause obesity and other conditions, jdurham,

Those pleading eyes staring at you while eating that juicy steak may be hard to resist for many dog lovers, but it is unfortunate that many people are not aware of the fact that sharing with a dog a few table scraps at the dinner table may be far from being just a simple act of love. Indeed, there are several health conditions that may arise when owners decide to give dogs certain types of foods that are not a natural part of a dog's diet.

First of all, it must be considered that the act of feeding table scraps at the table creates the ideal grounds for bad manners. Feeding table scraps encourages begging and once a dog learns how to beg, you will be ultimately stuck with a canine table-mate for life. Dogs should not be fed at the table, rather, they should patiently wait their turn to eat by laying down or sitting at a distance.

Often well meaning dog owners do not realize that a food that is safe for people to eat can be potentially dangerous for a dog. There are many ingredients in human foods that can be greatly toxic to dogs. It is best to use the better safe than sorry approach and avoid feeding table scraps if unsure of their safety. Here are a few of potentially safe for humans but dangerous foods for dogs.

Dangerous Table Scraps You Should Not Feed Your Dog

~Onions and Garlic

Sharing with dogs table scraps containing onions or garlic in large amounts or over certain periods of times may make dogssusceptible to a form of anemia known as ''Heinz anemia''. Affected dogs tend to develop typical symptoms of anemia such as lethargy, weakness and pale gums.


You certainly do not want to share with your beloved dog that batch of brownies you have baked, because chocolate containstheobromine, a substance toxic to dogs. Among the types of chocolate know to contain the most theobromine are baking and dark chocolates. However, milk chocolate may cause trouble as well when given in certain amounts. Coffee and cocoa powder are other products dogs should stay away from.


Watching a dog sip some beer from a can may look funny but alcohol may be dangerous to dogs. Dogs are not able to metabolize alcohol as humans and their smaller size makes them more susceptible even to small doses, so instead of really getting drunk like humans do, pets may slip in a coma and die.


Not many people are aware of the fact that most dogs become lactose intolerant after they are weaned as puppies. While some dogs may tolerate just a few drops, giving too much may create excessive gassiness and diarrhea.

~Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins as well are not safe for dogs. There have been reports of dogs developing renal failure after their consumption. Affected dogs generally start having episodes of vomiting and diarrhea followed by abdominal pain, weakness, loss of appetite and lethargy.

~Walnuts and Macadamia nuts

Some walnuts may contain molds that can be neurotoxic to dogs. These are generally walnuts that have been left off the tree and on the ground for some time getting exposed to rain. Macadamia nuts may also cause toxic effects such as a wobbly gait, depression, vomiting, muscle tremors, hyperthermia and weakness.

~Products containing Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be found in sugarless gum and in some sugar less candies and other products. This ingredient causes a sudden insulin surge in dogs that causes them to become hypoglycemic therefore exhibiting weakness,vomiting, seizures and even and liver dysfunction.

~Green Potatoes

The danger here is solanine something present in potatoes that are green or sprouting. Symptoms suggesting solanine toxicity are diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeats and dizziness. Potato peels of green potatoes, potatoes with green spots or sprouted potatoes should never be given to dogs.

There are also concerns of foods getting lodged in the dog's intestinal tract causing serious blockages. Owners should avoid giving corn of the cob, cooked bones (which may also splinter) whole walnuts and pits from certain fruits that can also be toxic. While some foods may be dangerous for dogs, there are also a variety of health concerns that may be linked to feeding table scraps. Following are a few health conditions that may arise due to feeding table scraps.

Something all dog owners should keep handy

Potential Conditions Deriving from Feeding Table Scraps


The ingestion of fatty foods may encourage a condition in dogs called ''pancreatitis''. This condition causes severe gastro-intestinal upset characterized by vomiting, diarrhea,loss of appetite and lethargy. This condition is often encountered near holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter when pets are likely to be fed fatty foods.

~Stomach Upset

Every time a dog eats a new food that is not part of his normal diet, it becomes vulnerable to getting an upset stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are often seen in dogs that eat something that is different or that simply does not agree with its stomach.


Dogs fed too many table scraps may be prone to obesity over time which is something deleterious for a dog's health. Obesity leads to many other problems over time such as joint and heart problems, diabetes and back problems, just to name a few.


Dogs fed only table scraps may encounter nutritional deficiencies especially if they are puppies. It is best to talk to a veterinarian before considering a home made diet so to ensure the dog receives its the normal amount of vitamins and minerals necessary for him to thrive.

As seen, there are a multitude of reasons why dogs should not be fed table scraps, yet often those pleading eyes are just too hard to resist. Yet, in some circumstances, the ultimate proof of love sometimes is not giving in and doing instead what is ultimately best for your dog.


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    • ocbill profile image


      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I secodn that..great info. So many things I didn't know that hurts dogs. I know table scraps are not good for them but didn't know of all outcomes.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thank you for commenting.I personally feed boiled chicken and rice for my dogs as a bland diet at times for their upset stomach. I also like to give green beans at times because my dogs crave grass and this makes a good replacement. I also feed carrots at times. These are some good additions that may help food look interesting again.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      That's a great list there - I've seen so many people feeding their dogs whatever they eat because they can't resist their pleading eyes - I think it's so much kinder to train them to eat what's good for them.

    • AEvans profile image


      8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Wow!! This is valuable our vet said it was o.k. to give them fresh vegetables such as green beans and we could boil fresh chicken because they have allergies but I also agree with you all of these above are absolute no-no's.:)


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