In young canines, the puppy stage is a vital one for growth and development. The little guys need oodles of energy, after all. Although it may be tempting to reward your pup with all of the yummy table food he wants, remember that it doesn't satisfy his specific nutritional needs.
When it comes to feeding your puppy table scraps, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine recommends allowing him only 10 percent or less of his total diet. Table scraps in no way contribute to a balanced puppy diet, so no matter how much your cutie pleads, stand your ground. It's for his own good, after all. If you want to treat your puppy with table food, think two or three fresh carrot sticks while you're preparing a salad in the kitchen. Keep the carrots free of any dressing or other flavoring. Other safe table food options are green beans, plain pasta, bread and lean meats that are fully cooked.
Problems With Table Scraps
The ASPCA advises owners to greatly restrict human food intake for puppies. Food intended for people can contribute to potential health issues in young doggies, including dental and bone issues, mineral and vitamin imbalances and weight problems. Not to mention, it can turn your puppy into a finicky and difficult eater for life -- definitely not a good thing.
When it comes to feeding a puppy a healthy and balanced diet, opt for commercial wet and dry foods that are made specifically for puppies. Puppies nutritional needs differ greatly from adult doggies. To stay healthy and grow strong, a puppy needs the appropriate levels of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats -- and he certainly cannot get that from eating table food regularly.
Not all table foods are safe for puppy or adult dog consumption. Before you ever allow your fluff ball to eat something straight off your table on those rare occasions, check to make sure that it's 100 percent safe. Some potentially dangerous foods to canines include yeast dough, avocados, garlic, onions and chocolate. Excessive salt can also be harmful to the canine species, so keep the chips in the bag.
By Naomi Millburn
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Growing Puppy
ASPCA: General Dog Care
ASPCA: Feeding Your Puppy
ASPCA: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet
The Humane Society of the United States: Foods That Can Be Poisonous to Pets
ASPCA: Healthy People Foods for Pets
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.