Dangers of Feeding Pets Human Food

Feeding human food to pets is a common activity, and it is no surprise why. There are few things as fun as seeing how excited a dog gets when you offer them a nice slice of bacon from the table, or some other delicious treat.

The fact is, however, that human food for pets isn’t just a bad idea, it can be downright dangerous.

There are quite a few different dangers related to feeding pets human food, so make sure you read through a few of them before you toss your puppy that next snack.

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Some Human Food is Harmful to Your Pet’s Health

Most people are aware that chocolate is bad for dogs and can actually make them quite sick. What many people don’t know is that there are a ton of different human foods that can cause health problems with your pets. The following are some of the most serious examples of popular human foods that can cause illnesses, or even death, in pets:
  • Avocados – Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs.
  • Garlic – Garlic can be lethal to dogs and cats because it contains thiosulphate, which can damage red blood cells. (Onions, chives, shallots, and onion powder also have this!)
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  • Nuts – Nuts are a common cause of seizures, lethargy, vomiting, and other problems in pets.
  • Grapes (and Raisins) – Grapes are linked to kidney issues in both dogs and cats.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is a popular spice for humans, but it has been linked to seizures and causing tremors in pets.

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 These are just a few of the dozens of different foods that are good for humans, but very harmful to your pets.


This Type of Feeding Often Results in Behavior Problems

Training a dog is a lot of fun for both you and your new puppy. Most people will spend countless hours teaching their pet to sit, stay, lay-down, roll over, and a variety of other entertaining tricks.

One of the most important things to teach your dog, however, is how they are to interact with food. Left to their own devices, a dog is going to try to eat as much as they can, as fast as they can.

In addition, dogs will naturally defend their food.

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Training a dog to eat ‘politely’ at their food dish is important for establishing boundaries. There are few things more annoying, after all, than having a dog constantly begging while you’re trying to enjoy a nice dinner.

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Even more importantly, however, is making sure your pet is not food aggressive. Feeding dogs from the table, or anywhere other than their normal bowl, can lead to aggression problems.

This is because it is allowing them to eat outside their normal feeding area. The fact that they are getting a ‘special treat’ makes them want to protect it even more.

This type of aggression can be dangerous for people around the dog, other animals, and the dog itself. 

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People Food can Make Your Dog Overweight

A high-quality dog food is designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of your pet. When you start adding in human food, it is almost impossible to ensure they are getting the right nutrients each day.

In addition, dogs will almost never say no to a snack from the table, which gets them into the habit of overeating.

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Just like with humans, overeating can lead to a variety of different health issues. An overweight dog, for example, is much more likely to have problems with their joints, hip dysplasia, and problems with their paws.

They are also going to be at greater risk of heart problems, cancers, and a variety of other health issues that can lead to an early death. While it may seem like a loving thing to share your food with your pet at the moment, it is really doing them a lot of harm in the long run.

With this in mind, make sure you don’t get into the habit of feeding pets’ human food, or if you already do it, stop right away. Instead, make sure to feed your pet food and treats that are made just for them.



Visit Dr. Jeff Werber’s Instagram account (@werbs_dvm) to view and submit questions and answers on weekly AMAs – or call and leave a voicemail at 424-835-0576. Your call will be returned posthaste. For emergencies, download Dr. Jeff Werber’s app Airvet, a video-chat option for veterinary needs at any time of day or night!