Photo by Jeremy Vandel
“Obesity in dogs is one of the biggest problems. But do you think the dog food companies want to talk about that?”
– Dr. Ray Coppinger
I hope the poor pup in this photo got help! I had a friend whose dachshund was so fat his private parts hit the floor. He ended up with pancreatitis, so painful.
Please don’t freak out if your dog doesn’t eat the whole recommended amount on the dog food bag! I’ve found most of my dogs actually need a whole lot less than what the bag says. You just need to be able to feel your dog’s ribs without digging for them. :) My 40 lb dog eats one cup a day and the 50 lb and 80 lb dogs each eat three cups a day.
The first dog we got as a couple – back in 1971 was fed what was considered the best, KalKan, wet, canned food at .37cents a day we totally thought we were feeding her the best on the market. Ironically she suffered from diarrhea for most of her life – to which her vet never proposed that we change her food. Her weight was average and she lived to her breed’s expectancy but was very ill with diabetes at her death.
Our second dog didn’t join us until 1997 where I found a very different approach to feeding him along with every other area of pet ownership, there were books for everything including how to select his name! I continued however to trust the big name dog food companies – Iams being among the leaders advertised. This dog suffered from airborne allergies and was treated with steroids – we were unable to afford a specialist. Food allergies were ruled out so I continued with his dry kibble, “Beneful” being the best bargain food from Costco (he was a large breed that ate a lot!) His weight was considered average for most of his life with the exception of the gain from the start of the steroids but we made the adjustments and he returned to average. He was healthy for the rest of his life expectancy.
Today we are feeding our current dog the ‘raw diet’ that is considered pure, no grains and low on waste production. We weigh him regularly as he is a small breed and we think he seems always hungry so we want to be sure that he’s gotten enough to maintain his average weight. He is currently healthy and has all the signs of receiving a good diet – his eyes, his coat and activity level are all great.
I will never buy a pet’s food from a supermarket or wholesale membership club again, I will always read labels and steer away from ingredients described as ‘by products’ – these are the ones you read about much later as coming from sick, diseased, dead animals. I will never buy pet food that was made in China. I will never give my pet people food or table scraps. I will try to keep myself educated about what is best for my pet as I would for myself. However, we can’t know what we don’t know. There are people who don’t really care about their pets but most of pet owners really are trying to do their best for them and are just ignorant to other ways. Until pet food companies take a greater leadership role there will continue to be unintentionally unhealthy habits practiced by owners that place their trust in name brands that don’t deserve it.
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