Those chocolate brown eyes, that wet, quivering nose, the swish of a wagging tail. It’s all you need to empty out the contents of your plate into their food bowl — or worse off, directly into their mouths. Just one little piece can’t hurt after all…
Or can it?
Do you know how many calories your dog should be consuming each day? If the answer is no, you are not alone — according to a recent survey by tails.com, 92% of the 2,800 dog owners admitted they have no idea how much they should be feeding their dog either.
So whilst dog owners may feel fluent in dog-speak, most are starved when it comes down to dog nutrition — and we are talking facts and figures here, not food brand preferences.
The hard part comes when deciphering what’s bad and what’s good for your four-legged friend. You have the obvious dietary devils, such as chocolate — over 92% of people know that’s a no go— but deceivingly healthy snacks, such as grapes, are too often wrongly categorised as safe. The reality is that they’re akin to feeding your pooch rocket fuel. Perhaps the scariest fact is that only 30% of owners know that grapes are dangerous for dogs.
Having said that, there’s no need to panic about the deadly potential of your fruit bowl. Instead, read this helpful guide on food guidelines for your dog. Where every cupboard ingredient is broken down into edible (and not so edible) chunks for you to digest.
Aside from the health benefits, training your dog not to eat human scraps, especially from the table, is an all-important training mechanism for a healthy relationship. No one likes a misbehaving pooch who grabs the last chicken leg from someone else’s plate. If you don’t set clear boundaries from the start, when will they learn otherwise? Yes, I’m looking at the 9% of you out there that like giving scoops of peanut butter to your dogs!
It’s not all dry bones though (FYI: you shouldn’t really give those either). There are plenty of yummy snacks to treat your furry pal to when they’ve been good. Lean meat, carrots and green beans are safe and recommendable, in small qualities. It’s also advisable to ask your vet about specific dog nutrition recommendations tailored to your dog’s needs and breed.
Now, all you have to do is resist those puppy eyes!
Photo credit: tails.com
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This story is a guest submission and does not reflect the views of Dogs Monthly Magazine, always consult a qualified expert.