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Can, and Should, You Feed Your Dog Human Food?

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Yes, you can feed your dog human food. If you want to feed your dog human food go right ahead and do it! I think what most people who never want to give their dog food are worried about is the annoying begging behaviors that can develop.

What is important to remember is that the behaviors that you reward are the ones that will be repeated. So, if you give your dog bites of human food while they are barking, scratching, whining, or jumping they will continue to do those behaviors whenever you eat. Alternatively, if you use food strategically as you eat to reward more acceptable behaviors like lying down, relaxing in a dog bed, or sitting quietly you will be teaching anti-begging behaviors. Over time your dog will learn to lie quietly and wait patiently if there is any chance of them getting a bite of your food.

If that seems like something that might be tough to adopt in your home another great option is to wait until the end of mealtimes, and put any food you would feed your dog into their bowl. This way they are never reinforced for begging for food but you can still share if you would like. 

A third option is to just use human food as training treats for your dog. Use leftover chicken out on walks and you work on recall. Break up some meatballs as you work on crate behaviors. Human food can be a really great way to save money on dog treats while providing healthy options and high-value rewards.

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