A Dog With a Place at the Table

Attention Seeking Behavior is a Factor

My daughter-in-law feeds the dog from her plate using the same utensils she eats with. I am truly serious. She eats a spoonful of food then gives the dog a spoonful. The dog is at the table with his front paws on the chair and his head under her arm. I would really appreciate you opinion.

Dr. Nichol:

What’s on tonight’s menu? I might be free for dinner. Do I look like Dear Abby to you? OK, I’ll play.


It’s unlikely that your daughter-in-law will get sick from swapping spit with her canine dinner companion, but I am a bit concerned about the dog. The result of a table food diet will be obesity, which can lead to painful joints. He is also likely to develop organ failure and dental disease as he noshes on all that soft sticky human food.


That head under the arm trick is a nice touch-a canine classic. It’s an age-old ploy for a dog wanting attention. But he gets noticed anyway; each of them is so well trained. Food is a great training tool and, what gets rewarded gets done. Fortunately, the balloon fiesta will be upon us soon. With this boy’s ever expanding girth, he could win the Special Shapes Rodeo.


I advise putting dogs outside while the humans eat. Feed that boy two measured meals of good dry dog food (that’s DOG food) twice daily and watch him get healthy. If your daughter-in-law insists on eating with her dog, have her share some healthy dry dog: one for you, two for me…. much healthier.