There is an age old debate among pet owners about feeding pets scraps from the table. So should you be feeding your pet “people” food either in the form of scraps from the table or as prepared meals served in your pet’s bowl.

This very question was one of the things we covered in the most recent episode of the Ask a Vet podcast that you can find on the Audio page of this site.

So what’s the answer? When we define table food to mean food from the table, I would say there is absolutely no reason to do it, and I can think of many reasons not to do it — primarily because of the behavioral problems that it causes, including persistent begging.

So we can say that feeding a dog from the table is just a way of reinforcing a bad behavior right from the beginning. Most people don’t want their dog to pester them all of the time, and by feeding them from the table you are rewarding and reinforcing the begging behavior.

Now that does not say anything about the nutritional aspect of feeding a pet human food. While there may be some extreme cases of dogs, for example, with food allergies that would benefit from a single protein diet, a single carbohydrate diet, for the most part a dog eating a good quality dry dog food is getting all of the nutrition required, and by cooking for your pet, you could be creating nutritional deficiencies.

This is even more true for cats, which are carnivores, as opposed to humans and dogs, which are omnivores.

You can learn more about this topic in the Ask a Vet podcast.

  • c Borum

    So, given that cats are carnivores, what is up with these upper end pet foods (MOST all pet foods) that have corn (or other grains) as a first and MAIN ingredient!!??? I’m tired of paying premium price to feed my cat corn!