Nutrition and obesity
Human food such as ice cream can lead to ill health and obesity in dogs.
Feeding table scraps to a dog is generally not recommended, at least in excess. Dogs get ample correct nutrition from their natural, normal diet. Otherwise, just as in humans, their diet must consist of the appropriate mix of nutrients, carbohydrates, and proteins, with the appropriate mix to provide all of the minerals and vitamins that they need. A human diet is not ideal for a dog: the concept of a "balanced" diet for a facultative carnivore like a dog is not the same as in an omnivorous human. Wild and feral dogs can usually get all the nutrients needed from a diet of whole prey and raw meat. In addition, the scraps often consist of fat rather than meat protein, which in excess is no better for dogs than it is for humans. While not all human delicacies are acutely toxic to dogs, many have the same chronically unfortunate results as they do for humans. Lastly, many people overfeed their dogs by giving them table scraps and human food such as ice cream. Dogs will usually eat all the scraps and treats they are fed, which is more than often too much food.
The result of too much food is obesity, an increasingly common problem in dogs in Western countries, which can cause numerous health problems just as it does in humans, although dogs are much less susceptible to the common cardiac and arterial consequences of obesity than humans are.
Additionally, the feeding of table scraps directly from the table can lead to trained begging behavior on the part of the dog, or even encourage the dog to reach up and take food directly from the table. These are normally seen as undesirable behavioral traits in a dog.
Obesity can be a sign of other serious ailments such as Cushing’s Disease which is characterized by weight gain, appetite increase and lethargy in primarily older dogs.
A modern trend in canine diets is raw feeding of whole meats, bones and little filler material.