Saturday, February 4, 2012

Will Feeding People Food Make Your Dog Beg?

Here's the thing about "people food."  It doesn't exist.  There's no such thing.  Okay, well, obviously there is food that people eat.  But when it comes down to it, food is food.  Chicken is chicken whether it is eaten by a person or a dog.

Therefore, this concept of "If I feed my dog people food she'll learn to beg," can't be entirely true.  But if the ingredients aren't the problem, is it how they are prepared?  If you feed a dog only chicken that comes out of a bag in the form of kibble, will she never beg?  Well, if that were true it would mean that by only being fed kibble its whole life, a dog would not recognize "people food" as something worth begging for.  Not worth it?  If a whole chicken fell on the floor, would a dog walk away, thinking to herself "hmm... not kibble.  Must not be food."?  Not a chance. ("Gulp, that chicken was good!")

But there is an answer.  It's a simple one, in fact.  A dog learns to beg based on where she is fed, not what she is fed. If you eat popcorn on the couch and always toss the dog a few kernels (guilty), she'll sit by the couch and beg every time you eat popcorn.  You'll get those pleading eyes and folded back ears; the "I haven't eaten in months and I've been SO good" look.  If your kids sneak table scraps to the dog, expect some drooling during dinner.

Alright, so why does it matter?  Is people food good for your dog?  Should you change your routine and start offering dinner scraps (or just eliminate the guilt if you already are)?  If "people food" and "dog food" is all just food, are there things that are good for your dog?  Not good for her?  Yes, and you should stay tuned to find out!


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