Does your canine companion wake from a dead sleep when you sit down to eat? Do you find your pooch giving you that soulful stare when you are trying to have dinner? Man’s Best Friend has been our companion for thousands of years. He’s certainly had plenty of time to figure out what methods work best when it comes to getting us to share our food. That sad puppy-dog look can be hard to resist! However, begging is actually bad petiquette. It can also be dangerous! A Burlington, ON vet discusses Fido’s theatrics below.
Obesity is a very common issue in dogs. It’s probably safe to say that Fido’s charismatic acting skills have something to do with that. You aren’t doing your furry pal any favors by overfeeding him! Chubby pets face some very serious health risks, such as heart disease, diabetes, and bone/joint problems, to name just a few.
Begging can also be problematic for other reasons. Man’s Best Friend has a very healthy appetite, and will snap up anything and everything within reach. However, Fido just doesn’t know what is and isn’t safe for him. Many people also don’t know what dogs can and can’t eat. You don’t want to risk someone unintentionally giving your pup something that’s toxic to him! Aggression is another concern. Dogs that realize that begging works sometimes get quite bold about it. They may end up stealing food from your plate, or making guests uncomfortable.
The best way to discourage dogs from begging is to simply tell them to stop. Most pooches are smart enough to sort out what a simple phrase like ‘Don’t beg’ means, as long as you’re consistent with the phrasing. Of course, that you’ll also need to stop rewarding your pup for begging. Resist that furry face! Tell Fido to go Lay Down , or keep him in another area while you eat.
If you absolutely can’t resist that sad stare, then pull a bait-and-switch, and give your furry buddy a carrot instead of that hamburger he’s eyeing. It’s also a good idea to make your pet do a trick for his treats. Even having Fido Sit or Shake Paw will reinforce his training, and remind him that you’re in charge.
Please contact us, your Burlington, ON vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!