Pet and working dog owners often like feeding their animals leftover cooked kitchen scraps. While all parties concerned enjoy the experience, this practice is potentially dangerous and can – at best – lead to reinforcing unwanted and disruptive behaviours, and at worst be lethal. We strongly recommend against feeding dogs kitchen scraps, and instead only offering them appropriate and specifically formulated food at designated mealtimes or as treats to reinforce desired behaviours.
A range of common household ingredients are highly dangerous to dogs. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, and cooked bones are particularly problematic because of their toxicity or how easily they are found in the kitchen. However well-intentioned giving a dog a cooked chicken carcass and gravy to nibble on is, that could proven lethal. The toxins found in all parts of the onion cause oxidative damage to a dog’s red blood cells, while cooked bones may shatter and cause internal ruptures within a dog’s digestive system.
Even if a dog is not being fed any toxins, they may associate cooking and family mealtimes with tasty treats leading to unwanted behaviours such as begging by the table, stealing food, and even knocking over and eating out of kitchen bins. Instead, it is much better to teach dogs from the earliest stage possible that they have their own food, as do humans. A little discipline in preventing dogs from eating human food goes a long way, and can save lives further down the line.