A majority of pet owners have had their fair share of pets begging for food at the dinner table and though pet owners are aware of the health risks that table scraps pose on their pets, many continue to give in to their pets’ adorable begging eyes. However, veterinarians encourage owners to resist the urge to give their pets these treats as it promotes an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

As a voice for responsible pet ownership, the Pet Food Institute shares tips on how to prevent pets from begging for food at the dinner table.

Nip it in the Bud

The easiest way to stop a pet from begging at the dinner table is by preventing this bad habit before it even begins. An effective way to achieve this is by confining one’s pets in an area away from the dinner table. Sectioning off a part of one’s home may be done with the use of a baby gate to ensure their pets are safely away from the dinner table.

However, some pet owners are not comfortable with the idea of using a baby gate to prevent their pets from entering the kitchen. An alternative to this is by designating an area in the house that would serve as their pet’s comfort area. A comfort area may be decorated with mats, beds, a crate and other essentials that would provide their pets comfort and encourage their pets to stay within this area during their owner’s meal time. Training a dog or a cat to seek and use this area may take some time and patience however this benefits both the pet and the owner as it prevents begging and decreases a pet’s urge to jump on people who enter the door.

Feed Them Before Dinner Time

No one cannot resist the scent of freshly-baked cookies or the enticing aroma of their favorite meal being served. And with a dog or cat’s heightened sense of smell, there is a big tendency that they will gravitate towards the source of the scent and beg their owners for food. This behavior can be avoided by feeding their four-legged companions before they sit down and have their own meal.

Feeding one’s pets before having lunch or dinner decreases the chances that their pets will beg for more food as their pet may be preoccupied with their own meal or too full to beg and eat more food.

Turn the Negative Behavior Upside Down

Feeding their pets table scraps may be harmful for their pets because it does not contain the adequate amount of nutrients needed for pets. In the long term, feeding them with scraps may cause illnesses. Giving in to those adorable puppy or kitten eyes is one of the worst things a pet parent can do to as it promotes wrong behavior. Scolding one’s pet for begging is also discouraged by experts as it gives them negative attention which may provoke pets to beg some more. Pet owners are encouraged to turn that bad behavior around by simply ignoring their pets if they start begging for table scraps.

Avoid handing their beloved pets table scraps as some of these may cause serious health issues. Fatty food such as grilled mackerel can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems in dogs and cats. Chocolate, raisin, grapes, onions, and garlic are highly toxic to animals and will cause serious health issues. Lastly, feeding pets table scraps may lead to weight gain and obesity which leads to several health issues such as diabetes and kidney disease.

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) is committed in educating pet owners about proper pet nutrition to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.

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