You love your dog, and there’s nothing you won’t do to keep him happy, healthy and content. However, there are certain dog behaviors that may seem cute at first, such as when your dog begs at the table, that shouldn’t be cultivated. You see, when they become habits, you may have trouble controlling your canine pal.
Since most dogs enjoy the same kinds of foods that humans do, it’s no surprise that they’ll get drawn to appetizing smells. However, seeing a drooling pooch at your feet while you’re enjoying a good meal may cause you to lose your appetite. What’s more, your pet may end up enjoying the table scraps more than his own food.
If you don’t want a begging pooch, you shouldn’t be feeding your dog from the table in the first place. But if you already started doing so, a Dubai pet food company shares the following ways that may help solve your problem.
1. Give high-quality food
The quality of the pet food you give your dog may be the main reason why he finds table scraps tastier. Make sure only to purchase high-quality dog food as it’s more appetizing and contains all the nutrients your canine needs.
If you feel that your pooch seems to be unhappy with the current food you’re giving him, try to gradually switch to a new one.
When deciding to change your dog’s diet, it’s important that you take the following factors in mind:
- Ingredients – Expensive pet food doesn’t always mean good quality. Always check the label first before purchasing pet food, and see if all the nutrients needed by your pooch are in there. Your vet can recommend what food would be best for your pet.
- Stomach Sensitivity – If your pup has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, your best bet is to pick a pet food suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs. You can easily find this on the label of most high-quality pet foods.
Introducing new food gradually is the way to go, especially when it comes to sensitive dogs.
If, in the first few days or weeks of switching food, your pooch stops eating or develops diarrhea or vomiting, stop feeding any more of the new food and contact your vet.
2. Prevent access to the table
You can use a dog gate or a crate to confine your dog to another room while you eat. But first, make sure you train your furry pal for confinement so that he can relax even when he is temporarily placed in a restricted space.
If you still want your dog close to you but prevent him from loitering next to the table or drooling on you, using a dog leash is another option.
Before you sit down and eat, do consider doing the following things:
- Avoid paying attention to what your dog is doing. Looking at your pet even when he’s confined will lead your pooch to expect something from you. Even if your dog is far away from the table, he will still feel that begging for food is okay.
- Remind your family members to stop giving your dog food from anywhere else except his bowl. This will teach your pooch that the rule is absolute and he can’t get away with asking for food from other family members.
3. Train your dog to stay
If confining your dog doesn’t sit well with you, you can start by training your pooch to go to a particular area and stay there. This skill will be quite helpful in various situations. For instance, if you have a visitor who is not fond of dogs, you can tell your furry pal to go to and stay in his spot for a while.
Here are a few steps in teaching your dog to stay:
- Show your dog the food treat to catch his attention.
- Then, ask your dog to go “down,” and say “stay” in a steady voice.
- Place your hand out in front of you with your palm facing forward.
- Wait a few seconds until your dog is calmly staying put before you give the reward.
- Don’t do too much too soon, and practice this routine repeatedly until you gradually increase the distance and length of the “stay.”
When you ask your dog to stay in a spot, make sure the space is comfy enough. Also, don’t forget to give a source of entertainment like a stuffed Kong or other chew toys.
As long as you give your pet something to eat or play with while you enjoy your meal, he’ll enjoy settling in his particular spot as well.
Establish rules first
It’s okay to give your canine pal dog-friendly human food from time to time.
However, make sure that you set the rules first so that your pet understands that he will get nothing from begging at the table. Remember to be consistent during training and avoid yelling as this will only make your dog anxious.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.