You’re just about to bite into a delicious piece of bacon when two eyes, large and pitiful, come into view. A paw gently falls upon your knee and you can feel a snout lovingly nuzzling your empty hand. Who can resist such a cute pup? Those eyes are so desperate looking! A little bacon won’t hurt, right?
A little taste probably won’t hurt your dog too much, but you can never tell. Even something as simple as a bite of bacon can wreak havoc in your dog’s stomach. Your veterinarian has probably already told you the dangers of feeding your dog table scraps, but how can a little piece hurt? You might be surprised to learn how unhealthy it can be for your pooch, and how it even teaches bad behaviors!
Table Food = Tummy Ache
You eat hamburgers, spaghetti, bread, and bacon all of the time, but your dog doesn’t. His stomach is used to special dog food that his stomach can digest easily. This means that even a bite of your hamburger could result in a tummy ache, vomiting, or diarrhea. Sure, your dog may not show signs of pain after helping you eat your lunch, but dogs don’t like to announce discomfort. Plus, even if his stomach isn’t upset after eating people food, there are still other problems that easily occur from this bad habit.
Obesity and Pancreatitis
When you feed your dog people food, you are adding to his portion of meal for that day. Hence, he is going to start to get chubby. And that chubbiness could lead to obesity. If your dog is overweight, he won’t feel as good or have as much energy. Dogs who are overweight don’t have as much lifespan as healthy dogs, and extra fat puts stress on certain organs and bones. Even if you cut back on your dog’s normal dog food, you still shouldn’t substitute it for any people food. Again, your dog’s body isn’t used to such food, and it will put more fat on him than dog food would.
Something as simple as a hotdog that you share with your dog can trigger pancreatitis. Dogs who are overweight are especially in danger of it. What is pancreatitis? Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas gets inflamed, and can cause vomiting, stomach pain, and nausea. It’s definitely no fun to get this sick, so please don’t ever feed your dog table scraps!
The Begging Problem
Besides the most important results of feeding your dog table scraps – such as vomiting, obesity, and pancreatitis as mentioned above – there is another factor to consider: begging. Yes, your dog looking up to you lovingly while you eat lunch can be very cute, but it can get very old. Dogs LOVE food, and we will do nearly anything for it. Scratching you, licking you, watching you, nuzzling you, jumping, sitting up, and barking are just a few ways your dog will beg. Once you feed your dog that one French fry, he will begin to beg for more. And when you have company over, this can get really irksome, as he will try to convince your friends that they need to feed the dog. So please don’t start this awful habit! I must confess that I beg when my humans eat, and they are now very sorry they ever gave me that one bite of toast a long time ago. I haven’t forgotten that kindness! Fortunately, I don’t beg as furiously as I did before – I used to scratch their arms and put my paws on their knee – but I am really good at fixing my puppy-dog eyes on anyone with something yummy. Trust me, you don’t want to start this irritating habit.
Are all People Foods Bad?
Well, there are a few exceptions. Foods that are unsalted, have little to no sugar, and have low fat can actually benefit your dog. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should share your healthy muffins with your furry companion. The healthy people foods that I’m talking are more veggie-like. Peas, carrots, and corn can help your dog get healthier. However, I highly suggest that you consult your vet before adding anything to your dog’s diet, and please feed it in small amounts! Also, make sure that you subtract any snacks and treats you feed your dog from his normal meals. I used to be crazy about carrots and other nice snacks, but my vet banned them because it was making me have accidents in my cage at night. Back to dog biscuits for me!
“What do you mean, ‘it’s time you got a grooming appointment’?”
“Do I look better?”
– Thomas Aquinas
– Martin Buber
– Michael Jordan
Hello. As you already know, I am Kitty, the cat, Sissy’s pal and roommate. Naturally, I don’t admit that she’s my friend in front of any of my cat friends, but I guess I like her alright. I mean, she’s a dog, so I can’t love her. Anyway, Sissy has invited me to do a guest post on how to improve the friendship between your cat and dog.
If you own a cat, you know how we act. Besides being plain awesome, we can be downright cold too. Most of us won’t make ourselves look silly by doing a high five, and we always insist on the warmest and softest place to nap. Dogs, on the other hand, are more than willing to look goofy in front of the humans and are happy even on the hard floor if they’re near the humans. I know, that’s really weird. Now that you can see what opposites we are, you might be better able to understand why we don’t get along well. Sometimes cats can’t even get along with their own species, while dogs are forever chasing things like a bunch of idiots. So, when you put a cat and a dog together, it can equal chaos. How do you improve to at least tolerance and perhaps, later on, friendship?
Well, when you first introduce your cat to your dog, it should be very positive. Leash your dog so he’ll stay back and choose someplace where your cat can easily escape – like a cabinet to jump onto or a door to escape through. Your cat won’t feel as threatened if she thinks she’s out of the dog’s reach. A first-time visit with a glass door separating the two would probably be even better.
Obviously, don’t let your dog jump on or attack your cat. Even if your feline has had her claws removed, she still has very sharp teeth. Plus, without claws, your cat might not be able to ward off the dog and may get hurt.
To really and truly help your old or new cat adjust to a dog, give her a lot of one-on-one attention. Pet her, take up that hard challenge of teaching her to at least sit for bacon, take one of those fuzzy wands and play. Sometimes, just sitting with your cat nearby can help with bonding. When your cat sees that you still love her just as much as when the dog wasn’t there, she will have an easier time liking the dog because there is no jealousy.
Have you ever tried moving your cat’s bed or food dish and gotten a million complaints? Cats hate change, which makes accepting the presence of a new dog even harder. To make it easier, don’t change any of her routine or move any of her stuff. Well, you might have to move her litter box to keep it away from the dog’s over-curious nose, but try to do so gradually.
It can be really, really hard for a cat to actually start liking a dog, but you have to let her take her time. You can’t expect your dog and cat to start cuddling the first day….or week….or month….or maybe year. Other pets hit it off sooner than others, but some cats will never really become pals with a dog. That’s okay. Accept it and let her have her personal space. It took Sissy and me a really long time to adjust to each other’s presence. Plus, I just showed up one day and didn’t give the humans any time to prepare. I sat at the door, demanded entrance, and the dog barked her head off. I watched and couldn’t help laughing as they dragged her away and put her in a room until I got fed. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, so Sissy had to get used to it. Now, though, we’re pretty good friends. She likes to give me kisses – ugh! -, and we sometimes play chase or pretend battle. I always win, of course.
Check out the updated Beagle Page, now full of new information on Beagle exercise, coat care, sports, colors, and more!
- Did you know that the Bull Terrier breed was originally pure white?
- The Bull Terrier was really supposed to be a fighting dog, but people were in for a disappointment. He turned out to be better at killing rats!
- People describe this terrier as a “three-year-old in a dog suit.”
Learn more about the Bull Terrier on the new breed page!
For this very special day, Kitty and I have donned hair-bows.