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Archived Message
food choices
by maggie

I have a finicky eater and a group of in-laws that insist and sneak table food to the dog. he then loses his appetite for his regular dog food. They justify their actions by saying the quality of table food is superior and consequently better for him. Any convincing fact based arguments either way out there? thanx
Dear Maggie: I recently went through the same thing with a relative to the extent of a very HEATED argument. First: our pets are very much like our children, we raise them and dictate what they will and will not eat. Beyond that the reasons for NOT feeding human food to our pets are numerous. The foods we eat are too rich and may or may not be digestable; a good brand of dry dog food is formulated with all the nutrients necessary to keep our babies healthy; choking can occur on human food as sometimes they will eat too fast; eating human food versus "the good stuff" can cause the dog to be overweight and stress all the vital organs. I could go on and on but the fact remains...for the sake of good health in your maltese, get tough with your in-laws and STOP their childish behavior.
On a recent visit to the vet, I passed a very sick little Maltese on her way in to see the doctor. When it came time for my appointment, I asked what was wrong with the little thing. My doctor explained the owners had always fed it table food, the dog had acute kidney failure, and has to be on dialysis daily. One look at that little thing would break your heart.

My parents also had a neighbor that loved to sneak table food to their baby. They had him over for supper every night. When he wouldn't honor their request to stop giving table food to their baby, they just quit asking him over for supper. He got the message.

I have been there on this topic. My dear friends also have a wonderful Maltese, in fact it is because of this dog and their help that my husband and I were lucky enough to adopt one of our own. They are in the habit of giving their dog food from the table, despite the fact that last Thanksgiving their dog got pretty ill from too much turkey. We do not want to get our pup in that habit not just because of the food quality (I have nothing against feeding good "people" food to dogs), but I do not want a dog that begs or bothers people at the dinner table. I believe that living with a dog, just like living with any being, requires rules of co-habitation which work for all involved. If you do not want your dog being fed from the table for whatever reason, this is your choice. We had to handle this problem when we had Thanksgiving last week with the friends I mentioned above. When one of our friends gave our dog a piece of bread from the table, my husband reached down, took it away from Lucca and gave a firm "no". It was unobtrusive, but our friend got the point. With family, however, you might have to be more direct. Perhaps you need to keep your dog in other room during dinner so the occasion to feed does not come up. Sorry for the long post, but I really understand your dilemna.
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