Puppies will eat just about anything they can get in their mouths, and when it's something as good as your food from the table, they'll come begging for more. The right foods in moderation won't cause your puppy problems, but it's important not to give him too much.
Table food isn't a healthy diet for a puppy, and shouldn't make up the bulk of his meals. Too many table scraps can upset a puppy's delicate digestive system, create nutritional deficiencies and even harm his liver and kidneys. Given in moderation, as occasional snacks, human food can safely be given as a treat, as long as the food is not dangerous for the puppy to eat.
It seems like a puppy who would drink from the toilet and eat off the ground should have a tougher stomach than a human, but there are a lot of table foods we eat that can kill a puppy or make him very sick. Among the most dangerous foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, corn on the cob, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts and pits from peaches or plums. Other common foods that can make a puppy ill include chunks of fat, avocado, chicken or fish bones, coffee, white potatoes and rhubarb.
There are a few foods that are not only safe for your puppy, but can also be healthy in small amounts. The key is to offer them only as occasional treats and not part of the regular diet. Stop feeding them if the puppy has any bad reaction, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Safe foods include sweet potatoes, apples without seeds, cooked salmon, cooked rice, peas, small pieces of cooked chicken or beef with the fat removed, and popcorn without butter or salt. Most puppies will also enjoy a small taste of peanut butter, but it's important to remember that just like humans, some dogs are allergic to peanuts.
If you are going to provide your puppy table food, the best way is to use it as a reward during training. Feeding scraps at the table will teach your puppy to beg, which can be a hard habit to break. Instead use small pieces of table food, such as diced cooked chicken, as a reward when you are teaching him to sit, lay, stay or walk on a leash.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.