Is It Ok To Feed Your Dog Leftovers?

left over dinner on plate with fork, close up

The answer is a resounding YES!  Lets get away from ‘trend’ and go back to common sense.  Here’s a simple explanation for why you were fooled into thinking dogs can’t have human food.  Also what human foods you should and should not give your dog.

There’s absolutely no good reason your dog can’t enjoy tasty morsels of our food.  After all, variety is the spice of life! Dogs, just like people, need variety to thrive.  There’s no such thing as one food being a completely balanced diet for the lifetime of a dog.  Variety is essential.

Why do vets say we shouldn’t feed leftovers?


overfeeding can result in weight issues

There are two simple explanations for this. 1) When you feed leftovers it’s really hard to keep track of what your dog is eating in a day.  As a result, if you overfeed they can become overweight very quickly.  2) Feeding only leftovers is not a nutritionally balanced diet.


never feed cooked bones

How do I know what leftovers I can and cannot feed my dog?

Let’s go back to the common sense part of all of this.  Any leftovers saturated in fats, sauces, spices and grease are a bad choice to feed your dog.  Stick to the healthier leftover options; any veggies, rice, beans, legumes, meats etc.  Take note; never feed cooked bones of any kind; cooked bones become compromised and will splinter into dangerously sharp chard’s, possibly resulting in a choking hazard.

How do I feed leftovers to my dog?

dog begging

never feed from the table

BMD waiting to eat

Make sure your dog is using manners

Again, common sense.  Never feed leftovers from the table.  You don’t want your dog to learn bad table manners.  For that reason, make sure your dog doesn’t beg, drool or become a nuisance in anyway.  Bring your leftovers into the kitchen and properly prepare them for your dog.  Make them sit, then offer the bowl to your dog.  Always keep track of how much your dog is eating.  Pay attention, if your dog starts packing on the pounds then you’re either feeding too much or are not exercising enough (or both).


oils and added vitamins/minerals are essential

Leftovers alone is not a balanced or complete meal for any dog.  So make sure they’re also getting one of two things.  1) A healthy variety of quality dog foods and tripe.  2) A well thought out and researched regime of people foods and supplements consisting of the proper oils, proteins, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  Also, enlist the help and expertise of your small, local dog boutique or dog nutritionist.

Health tip: How much water does your dog drink?  Click here to find out what that means!

*REMEMBER, as educated and important veterinarians are, they are not nutritionists.  Always go to a canine nutritionist for nutrition advice.

Written by certified professional dog trainer and natural nutrition Brenda McBurnie

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2 Responses to “Is It Ok To Feed Your Dog Leftovers?”

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  1. […] to a quality wet or raw food and adding raw meaty bones to their diet.  You could even consider adding leftovers to their […]

  2. […] their lives are just that; the same old, dull and boring.  So is there really anything wrong with feeding leftovers?  Why not let your dog live a little?  Give them a bite of cottage cheese, or an egg on top of […]

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