There is something so nice about sharing with others, it makes us all feel a little bit better, feel included and gives a real sense of belonging. And sometimes we share our food with our dogs, probably for much the same reasons. I get it, I really do, and a little now and then is unlikely to cause too much harm is it?

In truth there is a possibility that it can, especially depending on what those treats are. Aside from the fact that many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. They are often laden, full of extra calories, and by adding that extra fat to what they already eat, we are then increasing the chance of them developing serious health implications just as we do with an unhealthy diet. Not something we choose to do with any bad intention, but it happens. And the last thing we want to see is our dogs suffering. And worse than that, we may unintentionally cause our dog’s actual physical harm. Resulting in our dog either feeling very ill or worse dead.

Of course, no-one wants this, so read on for an insight into some of the everyday foods which our dogs should not be eating.

1.     Grapes and raisins – for some dogs even a few of these can have a serious risk for your dog, they can lead to kidney failure and even death. Always think outside the box around where these ingredients can be found for example in mince pies etc.

2.     Onions and garlic – base ingredients to many of our favourite dishes and sandwiches, it doesn’t have to be a fresh onion or garlic either, the powdered ingredientsare also toxic (also extremely toxic to cats).

3.     Chocolate– one that can be easily overlooked but chocolate poisoning for dogs (and cats)can be very serious indeed for some dogs, but we won’t know if our own dog falls into this category, so, best not to chance it.

4.      Sugar free gum and sweets, toothpastes and some other dental products, peanut-butter contains the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, it can cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars), which may leave your dog seeking veterinary treatment or in some case more serious complications such as liver failure.

5.     Various nuts for example: almond, pecan, walnuts, macadamia, can in some cases lead to pancreatitis.

6.     Milk and dairy may cause diarrhoea and digestive upsets for some dogs and may trigger allergies

7.     Yeast dough if eaten can swell in your dog’s tummy and cause it to bloat, extremely painful and very dangerous.

8.     Caffeine in tea, coffee, and some medications. Can be fatal for some dogs.

9.     Salt– just as for people too much salt is not good for the body and dogs are no different, too much can lead to sodium poisoning.

10.  Cooked bones - have a greater risk of splintering and end up causing internal injuries.


Extra treats for training.

Another time we use treats is when training our dog. This can be an effective tool indeed, but again keep those training treats to a minimum (around 10% of your dog’s daily intake), in fact if using training treats regularly you can remove a percentage of their daily food in lieu of them.

Besides, there are lots of other ways to show our dogs we love them. Why not, find a new path to walk with lots of new scents and sounds, spend time playing with them and their favourite toy, try agility training with them or just spend quality time in their company, one of their favourite things.


Creating bad habits.

By feeding from the table while we eat also encourages snacking and we all know how this can mess with our own eating routines, it’s no different for our dogs. In fact, I have many conversations with people who tell me their dog is not eating all their food, or picking at their bowl, and when I dig a little deeper, I can often find a link back to the kitchen table. So, its hardly fair if we find their eating habits worrying or troublesome when so often, we are playing a part in creating the problem by saying ‘oh, it’s just a little treat’!

Good table manners.

And finally think about how you want your dog to behave around mealtimes. It may be acceptable to you for your dog to sit staring at you or your plate, while you eat, but you may not want this to happen to guests and visitors to your home. We can’t have it both ways. It is unfair to expect your dog to differentiate between when it can or can’t visit the table at mealtimes. So instead, teach your dog some clear boundaries around mealtimes and help them understand what is expected of them from the start.

So, don’t feel guilty or bad about having a no treat policy in place, it is for the health of your dog, but if you still feel the need to be bewitched by those puppy dog eyes, then you can always offer some healthier options such as apply, carrot, broccoli, watermelon (yummy) or even some cooked sweet potato. Well, that’s it for now folks, time to go raid the fridge!

Hopefully this post gave you lots of food for thought, but don't forget if you need support with your dog, please get in touch, just drop me an email to

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