Do you have a dog that just loves his food, I mean really, really loves to eat? I’ve only met a few dogs in my life who actually didn’t, one, my Doberman Khazmo, would only eat if I stood by his bowl; if I left, he did too. Not to mention that any one of my cats could come up and intimidate him from eating any more and then settle down and finish up the poor guys’ dinner.
No, I’d say most dogs do love their food, but some dogs, well some dogs worship food, they live for the bowl; the rattle of kibble, the creak of the can lid, everything that portends a meal or for that matter, a crumb. Chow hounds they’re called and I know that many a pet owner has failed their pet by giving in to the pleading, desperate eyes over and over again, until one day they wake up and their pet is obese. Of course so many of their owners have the same problem, it’s easy to see how they would transfer that need for food to their dogs. I’m here to beg you to learn to honor your responsibility to our pet and to feed them only the best food that you can afford. Talk to your vet and then research your little head off. One of the best references I’ve found is a book by the original dog whisperer, Paul Owens. His knowledge of pet nutrition will blow your thoughts about commercial pet foods out of the water.
Don’t panic, it’s not only simpler than you think; it’s affordable too. Avoiding corn, wheat and any grains is a great start as well as only buying food with human grade ingredients; absolutely no “animal or meat by products”. Many people do the research and end up making their own pet food, but I’ve found that by adding fresh produce that’s been shredded in my food processor into the grain-free kibble and organic, human grade canned dog food that I feed our dogs daily, they stay full and are vibrantly energetic and of excellent weight. Of course I have to measure out their food, or they could still get fat, but the produce (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, apples etc) really helps to them fill up. You owe it to your dog to help prevent so many debilitating diseases that plague overweight animals; from arthritis to heart failure.
A dear friend allows us to dog sit their ridiculously cute rescue puppy Diesel on a pretty regular basis, and this sweet guy is a true chowhound. The good news is that being food motivated is a great training aid, (it doesn’t hurt that he’s clever and willing to learn), but his talent for inhaling whatever is in his bowl is astounding! Luckily for him, his owners weigh him, measure out his meals and feed him a truly high quality food, which has helped him become a sleek, shiny coated model of health, and all of this in just the 2 short months they’ve had him. Diesel’s penchant for meals can leave him hiccupping though, along with a few other digestive problems, so we’ve come up with the home version of the “maze bowl” that people use to slow down a dogs’ mealtime; we simply add two of his favorite bones to the bowl and it works like a charm to control his feeding time and allow him to actually chew his food before he swallows it.
Now we all sleep a little better (and longer) and I like to think that he feels like he actually had a full meal. Although I have to admit, it was awfully funny to watch him hiccup in his sleep, his little nose bouncing in time on the bolster of his lounge dog bed.