Stop Treating Your Dogs Like Children When it Comes to Food
You’ve seen it before - Mom, Dad and Dog strolling along the boardwalk out for a nice family outing. Mom and Dad decide to stop for ice cream and find a bench to sit down and enjoy their treat. Dog, of course, gazes up with those eyes (you know the ones) and the next thing you know, Dog is sharing licks of Dad’s chocolate and Mom’s almond mocha ice cream.
Dog Obesity is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
While ice cream cones might be a fabulous treat for you and your kids, there’s no place in a dog’s diet for junk food - human or otherwise. Far too many pets are obese and the last thing they need to be doing is snacking on high calorie treats, no matter how much they may enjoy them. So why do people persist in sharing their potato chips and chocolate chip cookies with their dogs?
Your Dog is NOT Your Baby
Part of the problem is dogs are family members. While there’s nothing wrong with the close bonds that form between humans and canines (I mean, that’s why we have dogs, right?), we sometimes forget that though our dogs may, in fact, be the only children we will ever have, they are not actually human children. They don’t need fancy outfits and they sure don’t need to sit at the table and eat from their own pasta dish.
Dogs can’t choose what they eat. If they could, they’d be hunting rabbits and gathering some friends to go chase down an antelope. They wouldn’t eat three, four, or more times a day. If they were lucky and the hunting was good, they’d eat once a day and then they’d feast. Their diets wouldn’t contain a lot of starch, but it would be more varied than you’d perhaps first think.
Food and Love are Not the Same Thing
So, it’s up to us, their human companions and caretakers to feed our dogs what they need to be healthy and vital depending on breed, age, gender, and activity level. We should NOT be feeding treats because we want to show our dogs how much we love them or because we think they feel left out when the rest of the family sits down at the dinner table. That kind of thinking is just us projecting our feelings onto our pets and that’s just not fair to your dogs.
But My Dog Won’t Eat!
If you feed kibble and find your dog doesn’t find it all that appealing, don’t be tempted to add cheese and sardines and chocolate and the leftover gravy from last night’s turkey dinner to entice your dog to eat more. Kibble may not be the best idea when it comes to feeding your dog (read about that here), but a commercially prepared dog food that is labelled complete and nutritionally balanced according to AAFCO standards at least meets the basic nutritional needs of your dog (and, yes, a very hungry dog will eat kibble no matter what those big brown eyes are telling you). If you aren’t sure what AAFCO is all about, read this post to find out.
More is Not Necessarily Better
As long as you don’t overfeed (a much more common problem that not feeding enough) your dog’s basic needs will be met with a commercial food that meets AAFCO standards. The same can’t be said for a random selection of high calorie foods destined for the human dinner and dessert table. Tempting your dog to eat even when she isn’t hungry by slathering her meal with bacon grease or whipped cream can’t possibly lead to optimal health and maintenance of your dog’s ideal weight.
It Comes Down to Good Food, Simple as That
At Rawmate we know that a dog’s good health begins with excellent nutrition derived from natural, whole food sources. In Rawmate meals you won’t find any additives, preservatives or fillers your dog doesn’t want or need. Not only are the ingredients top notch, the portions are determined based on your dog’s ideal weight - which may or may not be the same as his current weight. By subscribing to our meal program, you know your dog will be getting exactly what he needs to thrive and that’s exactly what we should all be aiming for when it comes to feeding our four-legged pack mates.