Monday, May 2, 2011


Most of us have experienced it, those hopeful pleading eyes staring at us while we eat. While it's tempting to give into him, you should first consider the repercussions. Feeding a dog from your plate will create begging and can lead to obesity which will shorten your dog's life.

Begging can lead to other bad habits like jumping up on the counter to get food when you're not there, or grabbing food right out of your hand if you're not paying attention. This can be especially dangerous if you have young children who walk around with their snacks at just the right height for a dog to nab.

Avoid begging

The best way to avoid begging is to never feed your dog while you are eating. There is no such thing as "just this once" to a dog. If you give in once, he will try again. And while it is possible to change this unwanted behaviour, it’s much easier to avoid it in the first place.

Stop begging

If you or someone has already fed your dog and he stares and whines at you while you eat, do the following:

  • put him in a sit stay while you are eating (pick an appropriate spot)
  • crate him if he has one (this should be rest time, not a punishment)
  • completely ignore him
  • interrupt his whining with a firm "No"

You may also want to keep your dog out of the area completely while you are cooking or eating. Whatever rules you decide, be consistent with enforcing them. If you are persistent, he will eventually get the message.

And be aware that there are foods that can be potentially dangerous. The following of foods can be very hazardous to your dog:

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Caffeinated items
  • Xilotol (sugar free sweetener most often found in chewing gum)
  • Alcohol and yeast dough
  • Fruit pits and seed
  • Rotten or mouldy food
  • Avocado
If your dog has ingested one of these potentially toxic foods, don't take any chances. Seek veterinary attention immediately.

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