Human Foods to Avoid Giving to Your Dog

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Human snacks

You hear a whine from under the dinner table and there sits your dog waiting for you to toss him a metaphorical bone — or maybe even a real one. But what you have is a cookie so you toss him that instead. No harm done, right, it’s only a cookie?

In fact, given the size difference of humans and pets, a small portion of something for us can almost constitute a meal for your dog. Our dogs need remarkably few calories compared to our needs and a treat translator can be helpful. Read on to see what different snacks mean in human terms when you feed them to your dog.

(WARNING: Consult your vet before providing any "human food" as some may be dangerous for dogs.)

1. Oatmeal Cookie

One small oatmeal cookie for a 20-lb. dog is the caloric equivalent of an entire hamburger for a person. For a human, that’s around 300 calories, or almost a sixth of the average woman’s recommended daily calories and an eighth of man’s. It could be worse, though: An oatmeal cookie at least provides some fiber — chocolate chip cookies, meanwhile, are a definite no-no since chocolate is harmful, even toxic, to dogs.

2. Hot Dog

One hot dog for a 20-lb. puppy is the caloric equivalent of three hamburgers for a person. That single hot dog may not look like much but it has around 175 calories, which is a third of what that 20-lb. dog should be consuming. “I think people get gratification out of their pet eating and being happy about it, but they don’t think about the long-term consequences,” says Dr. James Darden, DVM, chief of staff at Banfield Pet Hospital, East Houston, Texas.

Instead, resist those whines and sad puppy-dog eyes and consider rewarding him with a high quality, low calorie dog treat. Remember, it’s important to feed treats as a snack --- they should not be more than 10% of your dog’s daily nutrition --- and make them a part of a healthy routine.

For the complete slideshow on 8 common snacks that will prompt a portly pet, visit petMD.