Dining with Our Dogs

December 12, 2017 CarolAnn

Dining with our dogs?! Good idea or not? Dogs are charming dining companions. But are we spoiling our dogs when we invite them to share our food?  And is people food even good for dogs?

Is Your Dog Spoiled?

Are you concerned that allowing your dogs on the furniture and feeding them people food equals spoiling? Don’t be!

Pat Miller is a renowned dog trainer and a leading proponent of positive dog training techniques. She is the author of a number of books, and has written columns for publications such as Whole Dog Journal.

Here is a quote from one of Pat’s columns:

My dogs are allowed on the furniture and I feed them people food. If allowing dogs on the bed and feeding them human food equals spoiling, then I passionately believe that dogs should be spoiled. — Is Your Dog Spoiled? | Whole Dog Journal

Is People Food Good for Dogs?

It can be. Just be sure to choose carefully, because not all human foods are good for dogs. This is a fairly comprehensive guide: Human Foods Dogs Can and Can’t Eat.

Invite a Dog to Dinner

Enjoy Louise Foerster’s wonderful article Invite a Dog to Dinner

At Our Home

At our home dining with our dogs is the norm.

Tillie and Morgan are cherished members of our family.

They have their official “doggie brunch” at about 11:00 AM every day. What goes into their bowls is often a mixture of Fresh Pet dog food and leftover people food.

Throughout the day Tillie and Morgan are treated to various people foods. When I make myself a meal or snack, they may get a small taste. Both doggies love peanut butter; as soon as they catch a whiff, they come running! Tillie loves apples.

When we dine at the table, the doggies are allowed to sit nearby. They are good about waiting patiently for a taste of this or that.

My husband and I have a dinner time tradition that we often follow. We settle on the den sofa with our dinners. Tillie and Morgan join us. We all four dine, and two or more of us watch something good on the tellie.

Tillie and Morgan each have their own unique ways of expressing an interest in a particular food. Tillie likes most everything, and will stare intently at the food, tilting her head from side to side. Morgan has more discriminating tastes. If he wants to sample a particular food, he stands on his hind legs to let you know.

Meet Tillie and Morgan


dining with our dogs

Tillie came to us through a rescue organization called LoveHandlers. LoveHandlers fosters Double Dog Rescue pets. When you adopt a dog, you not only save the life of the dog you are adopting; you also open up a spot for another dog to be saved. So you might say that you are saving two dogs’ lives at a time!

To retrieve Tillie, my brother Michael and I traveled by car to a “park and ride” parking lot in Plainfield, Connecticut. There were about forty families there, all of us waiting for a dog transport van from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The van held our newly adopted dogs. You should have seen the joyful smiles as each dog was brought out of the van and handed over to his new family.

Tillie was ours! A Beagle – Jack Russell mix, she is a relatively small girl, and has the sweetest imaginable disposition.

Upon arrival at her new home, Tillie decided that the den sofa was her safe haven. Then and now, her habit is to sit next to whoever else is there, and rest her sweet head in that lucky person’s lap. Since my husband often sits on that sofa, he was quickly won over by this dog he wasn’t sure he really wanted.

Tillie remains a cuddler. As soon as I get into bed, she hops up to join me. Moments later she settles herself right up against my side. What a comfort to us both!


dining with our dogs

It was my husband’s idea that we should get another dog to join Tillie. I found Morgan in time for his upcoming birthday.

Morgan was born in St. Thomas. We adopted him from Save A Dog, a humane society in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Check out a photo of us there. Like Tilly, Morgan is a  Beagle – Jack Russell mix, relatively small, with the sweetest imaginable disposition.

Morgan is a very handsome fellow. (Have you ever seen a dog with long eyelashes?) And he really knows how to charm you! He dances on his hind legs, then tries to lick you, preferably on the face!

This is a dog with some unusual and endearing habits. Morgan seeks out and basks in the sunshine. He burrows under the covers in bed at night. He can dance on his hind legs for unbelievably long intervals. He loves to lick almost everything, especially a human’s face or feet. He is great at amusing himself, loves his toys. But he seems to have the most fun with objects he “sneaks” from the wastebasket, or by surreptitiously grabbing your slipper, discarded sock, or unattended laundry.