Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

Killing Your Dog with Kindness

September 14, 2009

Saturday we had a really nice event at the Buehler’s grocery store at Nobles Pond in Jackson Township! Thanks to them for providing the free space and exposure to several pet adoption agencies. There are so many to place. Their support is wonderful.

I had the occasion to speak to a very nice older gal that had a question on the behavior of her dog. This is the kind of lady that after three minutes of conversation, you KNOW you want her as your grandmother! Sweet with a kind voice.

She spoke with a noticeable German accent. I asked her if she’d speak German to Lexi, my German Shepherd. She smiled and spoke to Lexi. I have no idea what she said. Maybe I should’ve asked! Well, somehow we got on the subject of food. She proceeded to tell us how she gives her little Schnauzer a LOT of people food. When I asked why she didn’t give her dog dog-food, her face looked mildly disgusted that I would suggest she feed her dog with dog food. “I have dog food out, but want her to eat well, so I give her people food!” was her response.

I asked her if the dog appeared overweight; “yes”. I asked her how often she took the dog on walks; I could tell by the look on her face that she never walked the dog. She asked why that was important. (See this past post on dogs, food and gulping down food.) “Why can’t I give my dog people food?” I asked her if she thought she’d be healthy eating only dog food. I proceeded to give her my two minutes on dog diet and benefits. “But what if she doesn’t like dog food?”

It can be a challenge to find dog food your dog will eat. My German Shepherd will not eat some of the “best” dog food out there. It took us three/four brands to find something good she would eat, yet good for her. It can be really hard when we love an animal to do “the right thing”, when for a day, two or three the dog may not eat.

We must remember that dogs are predators. In nature, they may get to eat twice today then go three or four days before another meal crosses their path. The next time you see your dog eat something disgusting (to us), remember that when they get hungry enough, they will eat.

I advised her to immediately stop people food. Stop ‘over-treating’. And to go into the grocery store and get a good dog food and feed her dog that only.

Remember your dog has different diet needs than you do. A puppy is different from an adult. A German Shepherd is different than a Schnauzer (even though they are both “from” German heritage). Depending on the brand and where you purchase your food, you may find specialty food that serves the need of your specific dog/breed.

Your dog needs exercise. Your dog needs directed exercise. Directed means YOU walk the dog on a loose-leash so the dog knows you are the leader. This is different than your dog running around the yard for an hour.

Start treating, hmmm bad choice of words… begin to feed and exercise and otherwise act like your dog is a dog with dog needs and dog requirements. The sooner you stop humanizing your dog and giving it an inappropriate diet, allowed behavior and other “nice human” stuff, the quicker your dog can become a dog. It will be healthier, more balanced, and LIVE LONGER for you both to enjoy!


The GULP Follow-Up #2

August 17, 2009

It’s now been about two weeks (give or take) with Murphy on the “Rock” diet. Okay, not a rock diet, but using the rocks in his food to slow him down. (See Dog Food and GULPing” and “The GULP Follow-Up” if you’ve recently joined our blog pack.)

We’ve an interesting development that I didn’t expect. When we first got Murphy, our Golden Retriever, he always had really Bad Dog-Breath. I’m talking, “You’re a nice dog, but PLEASE don’t pant anywhere near my face” bad.

One night I was on the floor playing with Murphy and noticed his “dog breath” is gone. I don’t mean it’s better. I mean he no longer has “it”. I can only assume from my vast experience with this technique (yes, the first application), that it’s due to his digestion of the food being better. What a great side effect!

Dog Food and GULPing

July 28, 2009

Wow! You know that old saying about how a certain person has probably forgotten more than that rookie/whomever will ever know? Saturday, we were at the Hartville Elevator (feed/seed/etc) to help celebrate their 100 year anniversary. ‘Twas neat to see the old building with original wood floors and such; if they only could talk, eh?

They had free hot dogs and all kinds of stuff to give away, local FOX Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard (a big pet supporter) was there, as were a couple hundred friends and neighbors.

During a lull in activity, we struck up a great conversation with a nearby vendor from the JOY pet food company (see cool announcement later…), Chip Kohser. Chip has been in the dog food business since right after dirt was invented. Amazing information.

We know training, Chip knows dogs and digestion. Chip had great insight to dry over wet dog food; while it all goes through their mouth (I know it sounds obvious, it does make a point…), slobbering down wet food requires less chewing and thus less saliva to swallow as it is already pretty wet. Dry dog food on the other hand, requires that the dog chew which creates more saliva which aids in digestion. Now, your dog’s diet (especially if older), may require wet food on the advice of your vet. But if that is not the case, consider a switch to dry.

You all know Murphy, our Golden Retriever, from previous posts. Murphy G.U.L.P.S. (Gobbles Up Large Pawfulls in Seconds) food. I mean it is gone -“NOW”. Two cups of food in under 20-30 seconds. Lexi, our German Shepherd, takes a good minute or two. I asked him how to slow Murphy down. I’m sure you’ve seen the fancy bowls with dimples that make the dog work harder for a bite. Chip suggested finding some real, honest-to-God work river stones (in a large enough diameter to your given dog – that is, large enough so the dog doesn’t break a tooth in their hurry to GULP). These river rocks/stones would naturally be smooth, worn and (one hopes) clean. In our case, we’re going get some a little larger than the diameter of a 50 cent piece. You put enough of those in your dogs bowl that they have to nudge around in the bowl to get to their food. Any time your dog stops to look or is nosing around, they will likely chew and then take longer to eat. What an awesome idea! (Visit our website to see how it worked out for Murphy.)

Well, on to our announcement: we’ll soon be a dealer for JOY dog food. Please drop us a line if you’re in the general Canton, Ohio, area. We’d be pleased to include your needs in our initial order!