Why “People Food” - Especially Fatty Foods - Can Be Dangerous For Dogs

If your dog loves food, you’ve probably seen their pleading puppy eyes, the drool, or the excited happy dance when a delicious-smelling meal is served to their people. 

It can be so tempting to give your pup a taste of what’s on your plate - a piece of your steak here, some pizza crust there, maybe some bacon, or even a taste of your ice cream.

Dog begging

But, just because your dog loves what you’re eating, it doesn't mean you should give it to them. And while you might feel like the meanest dog mom or dad of all time for saying no, indulging our dogs with human treats — especially fatty treats — can have serious consequences for their health and well-being.

What foods are too fatty for dogs?

Anything greasy, oily, buttery or with visible fat or gristle are perfect indicators that a table scrap is too high in fat for your pup. Chicken and turkey skin, bacon, fatty cuts of meat — like pork belly, ribs, and turkey thighs, ham, and lamb, for example  should be avoided. 

Fatty meats

However, if you’re munching on a piece of broccoli, a carrot, or a handful of blueberries, that’s completely fine to share with your dog.

In this blog post, then, we’ll discuss the
top 5 reasons why your high-in-fat human foods shouldn't be a treat for your dog — even if your pup thinks otherwise.

  1. Pancreatitis. One of the most severe — and scary! — conditions caused by fatty foods in dogs is pancreatitis. The pancreas plays a crucial role in digestion and producing insulin, so when a dog consumes a high-fat meal, it triggers an inflammatory response in the pancreas, which can result in pancreatitis. This painful condition can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and even life-threatening complications. Read our blog post on Pancreatitis in Dogs to learn what to avoid, and how to detect pancreatitis in your pup.
  1. Weight gain and obesity. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from the negative effects of excess weight and obesity. High-fat foods are calorie-dense and can quickly lead to weight gain, which puts unnecessary strain on joints and vital organs. Obesity in dogs increases the risk of various health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, ultimately affecting their quality of life. Read our blog post for our 10 Tips for Safe Weight Loss for Dogs here
  1. Tummy troubles. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and introducing rich, fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal issues. Feeding your dog fatty treats may cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and discomfort, that can in turn lead to nutrient imbalances and dehydration. If your pup is experiencing tummy issues, you can try giving them a bland diet until it resolves. We recommend a chicken, rice a pumpkin recipe — learn more about it here
  1. Nutritional imbalances. While fatty foods may be tasty, they can lack all the essential nutrients that dogs need to thrive. When you substitute regular meals with fatty treats, your dog misses out on vital vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients necessary for their overall health. Over time, this can lead to nutrient deficiencies, compromised immune function, and a weakened body condition. 

  2. Choking hazards. Dogs that are really excited for table scraps tend to scarf down their fatty treats in a matter of seconds, sometimes without chewing! Fast and excited eating can lead to wheezing or choking, and is especially dangerous if you’re giving your pup a cooked bone or rib from your dinner to gnaw on.

There is GREAT news if your pup loves human food! 

Tom and sawyer's fisherman's best friend meal package with ingredients

While a lot of “human food” — aka the food on your plate — may not be good for your dog, there is something to be said for fresh, healthy, cooked food. 

That’s why we created Tom&Sawyer. We believe that your dog deserves to be fed just like your human family, but with the perfect canine twist of dog-appropriate proteins, fresh fruits and veggies, and all the nutrients your pup needs to enjoy a complete and balanced meal. See our menu here.

Tom and Sawyer low fat meal packages

Our animal nutritionists have even created a line of low-fat meals (Fisherman’s Best Friend, Kangaroo, Rosemary Venison, Coconut Chicken and Beef & Broccoli) suitable for dogs with pancreatitis, and dogs who need to lose a bit of weight. 

Our meals not only look like human food, but to a dog, they taste and smell like human food, too — only better. You can purchase our food as a special treat that you give them on occasion, or you can use it as a topper or a full diet. 

Build the perfect meal plan for your pup here

So, while it may be tempting to share the yummy food from your plate with your pup, it's even more important to prioritize their health and well-being. With Tom&Sawyer’s fresh cooked dog food, it’s even easier than making a meal for yourself.