Why do dogs like human food? Dogs are known for their love of food, and it’s not just the kibble they crave.
Many pet owners have experienced their furry friends begging for human food at the dinner table or stealing food off the counter.
But why do dogs like human food so much? As it turns out, there are a few reasons why our canine companions are so drawn to our meals.
Understanding these reasons can help you better manage your pets’ diets and behaviors. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons dogs love human food and what you can do to keep them healthy and happy.
Why Do Dogs Like Human Food?
1. Meat is their natural food. Dogs are carnivorous animals that need protein to maintain their health and energy levels.
Meat provides the essential nutrients that dogs need to thrive, and it’s no surprise that they may prefer it over other types of food. And let’s not forget long before dogs become friends with men, they feed on raw meat.
2. Human food tastes better. Human food is often seasoned with herbs and spices, making it more flavorful and appealing to dogs’ taste buds. Additionally, human food’s variety of textures and flavors can be more exciting than the same dry kibble every day.
3. Curiosity and boredom. Dogs are intelligent animals, and they may be curious about what their owners are eating and want to try it out. They may also become bored with their food and seek something more interesting.
4. They got used to human food. It’s quite obvious that humans shared their food with dogs in the past. Over the years, dogs the developed preference for it. And that’s why they always want to have a share of your bite.
5. Food sharing is part of their instincts. In the wild, dogs and their wolf ancestors would scavenge and share food within their pack.
The instinct to seek and share food remains within dogs, and when they see humans eating, they may view it as an opportunity to be part of the pack and share in the food.
5. Human food has an appealing texture. Many types of human food are soft and moist, which can be easier for dogs to chew and digest than dry kibble. And this can make it more enjoyable for them to eat.
Early Humans Used To Share Their Food With Dogs
The relationship between humans and dogs dates back thousands of years. Early humans shared their food with dogs, which was the genesis of the domestication process.
This behavior was likely an unintentional consequence of early humans leaving food scraps behind, which attracted wild dogs to their campsites.
Over time, a bond developed, and this cooperation was mutually beneficial. Dogs could access a more reliable food source, while humans benefited from the extra protection and assistance in hunting.
As a result, the bond between humans and dogs grew stronger, leading to the domestication of dogs as we know them today.
So, when your canine friend begs for scraps at the dinner table, it is doing something ingrained in its DNA.
Healthy Human Foods You Can Feed Your Dog
Do you often feel guilty when you enjoy your meals, and your dog stares at you with those big, adorable eyes? Well, you don’t have to ignore them anymore.
You can share your food with them too! Some healthy human foods are safe for dogs to eat and even provide them with some essential nutrients.
- Fruits – Fruits like apples, bananas, and blueberries are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your dog’s health.
- Sweet potatoes – Rich in vitamins and fiber, cooked sweet potatoes can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
- Greens – These leafy vegetables have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help prevent diseases and improve their overall health.
- Lean meat – Cooked lean meats like chicken, turkey, or beef (without seasoning or bones) can add protein to your dog’s meal. Meat is a good source of protein that can help maintain your dog’s muscle mass.
- Pumpkins – Cooked or canned plain pumpkins can aid digestion and provide a good source of fiber for dogs.
What Human Foods Should Dogs Avoid?
As a responsible pet owner, knowing which human foods can be toxic or harmful to your furry friend is crucial.
Some foods can cause severe health issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, it’s essential to keep these foods away from your dog’s reach and avoid feeding them at all costs.
What Human Foods Should Dogs Avoid?
- Chocolate and Caffeine – Chocolate and caffeine are two such foods that can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Both contain substances that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, consumed in large quantities.
- Grapes and Raisins – Although the exact reason why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs is unknown, it is clear that they can cause kidney damage and even kidney failure in some dogs. Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity in dogs include diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite.
- Alcohol and Raw Bread Dough – Even small quantities of alcohol present in beverages, syrups, and raw bread dough can be toxic to dogs. These items contain ethanol, and beer specifically includes hops, both of which can lead to intoxication.
- Onions and Garlic – Onion & garlic contain compounds called thiosulphates, which can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity in dogs include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, and discolored urine.
Nutritional Requirements For Dogs
Like humans, dogs also require a balanced diet to maintain their health and well-being. It’s crucial to understand your dog’s nutritional requirements to ensure they get the necessary nutrients in their meals.
Dogs require six essential nutrients: water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These nutrients assist in the basic functions of a dog’s body and are necessary to maintain good health.
The minimum requirement of these nutrients has been established for most of them, while the maximum tolerable levels for some have also been identified, along with their toxic effects.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has created nutritional guidelines that serve as the foundation for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods.
To ensure that your dog gets the proper nutrition, it is important to check that its food meets AAFCO standards.
You should also speak with your veterinarian to determine if your dog has any specific nutritional needs and to get more information on how to meet them.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
Feeding your dog the right amount of food at the right time is important for their health. It’s important to develop a feeding schedule that works best for your dog and stick to it.
The frequency of feeding your dog depends on their age, size, and specific dietary needs. As a general guideline, most adult dogs should be fed twice daily, once in the morning and again in the evening.
On the other hand, Puppies may require more frequent meals, usually three to four times a day, to support their growth and energy requirements.
Dry Vs. Canned Food Which One Is Better?
When it comes to choosing between dry and canned dog food, there are no significant differences in terms of nutrition and digestibility. However, your decision should align with your lifestyle, preferences, and budget.
Canned foods may be a better option if your dog needs more water or has specific dietary requirements.
Otherwise, most dogs can thrive on dry kibble. Moreover, some dry kibble rations have been specially formulated as dental diets that can aid in mechanically removing plaque.
As a pet owner, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your furry friend’s health.
Healthy Feeding Habits For Your Dog
Developing healthy feeding habits for your dog is crucial to ensure their overall health. Some tips for establishing good feeding habits include;
- Opt for high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs and is free from harmful additives or fillers.
- Use treats as rewards for training or occasional indulgences, but avoid excessive treats that can contribute to weight gain.
- Be mindful of daily calorie intake to ensure they receive the right amount of food for their size and activity level.
- Establish a regular feeding schedule and avoid leaving food out all day. This helps maintain portion control and prevents overeating.
- Always have clean and fresh water available for your dog to stay hydrated.
- Avoid giving in to begging behavior and refrain from sharing table scraps.
- Weigh out your food to accurately portion your dog’s food and prevent overfeeding.
- Avoid feeding your dog right before bedtime to prevent discomfort and potential digestive issues.
Why do dogs like human food? The fondness of dogs for human food can be attributed to various factors. Dogs have an innate preference for meat, making them naturally drawn to the flavors and aromas found in our meals.
However, while sharing your meals with your furry companions may be tempting, prioritizing their health and safety is crucial. Awareness of the human foods that dogs should avoid and maintaining healthy feeding habits is essential.