One of the most common behavioral issues in pet dogs is begging for food. When you are at home or at a restaurant, your pet might lift up its head and look longingly at your meal. It is tempting to second-guess whether or not it is okay to give in to your pet now and then, but there are reasons you should not. Below is more on what you should do if your dog begs for food, along with why it’s bad and alternative options.
Why Not Feed Your Dog from the Table
It’s easy to think that giving your pet a French fry or two now and then won’t do any harm. However, it is best to steer clear of feeding your dog from the table at all costs. First of all, you might not realize how unhealthy the food is for canines. Some food for humans is highly toxic to dogs.
Second, you might end up giving your dog a higher calorie intake than is healthy, which could easily lead to obesity. One should feel free to give appropriate treats separate from one’s dinner plate, as described later on.
Lastly, you don’t want to encourage unwanted behavior. If your dog begs for food from you and succeeds, it will likely do the same to other people. No guest or stranger particularly appreciates a dog’s head looming over their food or a pet staring at them from a distance. Giving in only encourages bad table manners.
Healthy Treats for Dogs
There are healthy ways to give healthy treats to your dog. One should consult the local vet to know how much of a calorie intake is appropriate. After this first step, one can research the different treats that are healthiest and the ones to avoid. Whether for dogs or humans, avoid processed foods and go with unsalted natural produce. If you give your dog human food, such as an unsalted boiled egg or unsalted boiled chicken, it is best to administer it as if it were a typical dog treat.
How to Stop Your Dog from Begging
Giving your pet healthy treats outside of mealtime might not be enough to stop your dog from begging. One will want to use at least one of the following methods, as appropriate:
- Not paying attention to your dog: If you do not give your pet any attention, it will soon learn that its attempts to beg are futile.
- Feeding your dog before your meal: Your food becomes less tempting to a dog on a full stomach.
- Giving your dog a toy: With a full stomach and a toy to keep it busy, your pet won’t likely mind your plate.
- Putting your pet in a different space: Ideally, your pet can practice good manners in the same room, but putting your pet in a different room can help with training.
- Rewarding good behavior: If your dog is in training and behaves well, be sure to reward your pet with a treat, affection, and quality time.
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