Don’t you just adore sharing with your furry companion? The sofa, the throw, the pillow, your food? The list goes on and on doesn’t it? Right. The toughest challenge many pet owners face is to just say no! We cannot resist these big, innocent, watchful eyes…patiently waiting, standing by, unceasingly requesting a bite. Isn’t Fido cute! Look at him chomp that up! Adorbs! This gets us owners and pets into trouble at times. At first we say ‘Okay, okay…just one!’ and then, half the bag or the bowl later guilt sets in. Add to that, your schedule demands…(you know you jipped Fido on his 30-minute walk. You were tired, didn’t have time, and just plain didn’t feel like it) … I don’t know. We have to admit this behavior gets out of control. Well, let’s change it up a bit. This should help…
Do I Even Need Snacks?
Nope. Does not need that snack. But it is fun, and we want them happy, soooo I thought on why my dog snacks (me). Long and hard. And on what. We did pretty well. I enjoy veggies in abundance myself, and throw my dog off the path of unhealthiness just by sharing with them my own healthy best organic snack choices. Then I asked myself if there were benefits associated with this snacking behavior. Here’s what we came up with.
Training – Hey! We are still learning, growing, and challenging ourselves. Remaining engaged for 10 – 15 minutes of play is great for my pet and doesn’t hurt me either. Playing with interactive toys and tossing snacks during Sit! Stay! Fetch! is commonplace. So my pet’ll pick up a few calories there.
Healthy Supplements – Yupp, vitamins people. Gotta have ’em. Dental care, skin and coat, the eyes, so on and so forth. My pet requires care. Healthy supplements err on the ‘good’ side of judgment, elongating my pet’s life and perhaps keeping my wallet away from the veterinarian for oddball issues. This is a must and we accept this healthy snack willingly.
Crime and Punishment – Because my dog’s breed disallows many ingredient choices, maybe my pet is encouraging healthy eating here. I know the dog will ask for a nibble of whatever it is, then trust me completely not to ruin their little digestive life. Now at times the crime may be mine all mine. Am I punishing my pet with a nibble of my lunch? I mean, after all they have already downed the healthy supplements and engaged in training play. The prescribed amount of wet or dry food has been meticulously measured out. These Corn Chips are mine. Caramel Corn? Mine. How dare I sentence my pet to Colitis with the next snack toss. Nope. Doesn’t deserve this.
Entertainment Value – Love to see you chew. You crunch adorably. White, shiny canines breaking apart soup bones. Listening to you snarl at your snack, or, the times you grab the snack possessively then dash away with it. You will require privacy on those types. Sigh. Could I please control my laughter at your response to new flavors? My favorite cohort and taste tester, here is to you.
I Ate Already, Remember?
In all seriousness, a whiteboard or food journal proves useful in helping owners correct their behavior. Can’t remember what your pet ate for breakfast? What was consumed for lunch? Was that doggy food or from your plate? Kids? Is the dog stealing food from the kids? Do you own multiple dogs? Is there a specific caretaker or does ‘everyone’ just sort of see to it that the dog eats? The scenarios are endless, aren’t they? The sight of a severely overweight dog whose owner describes their appearance as pudgy or full concerns me. Check this out. Technology can help us too.
Enough Is Enough
We care. The next time Fido approaches for a bite from your plate, try these fresh snacks. Dogs may easily digest these tasty alternatives:
There is lots of support on this. Give it a try. thefarmersdog.com says human-grade food made with high quality ingredients help to build strong immunity and increased vitality. Even senior dogs show an improved range of motion and increased playfulness after switching to a fresh, human-grade diet. The protein and natural antioxidants found in high-quality, fresh food also helps fight ailments and illness. They also say this results in healthier digestion, better skin & coats, plus you’ll get more time in with your best friend. Switching your dog to a fresh food diet (at least the snacks here) helps maintain a healthy body weight, which has been linked to a 20% longer lifespan. Think about it: a human diet consisting primarily of processed foods would leave you sluggish, overweight, and at risk for host of health issues.
From Our Table
Carrots anyone? Whilst I am on my good health kick for the winter season slim down, organic carrots are my choice for carefree snacking. We choose Walmart’s Marketside Organic Carrots on the regular. Any questions? These are healthy, tasty, fun to snack on and totally tossity and pitchable to my dog. For me too, these are highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health. Carrots 101 shares a host of information on these tidbits. Take a look.
Okay Now, Time For A Walk
Let’s take an inventory. Keys, Leads and Harness, Poo Bags. Got everything? Just the basics here. Please be certain to wear supportive shoes for maximum comfort. There are few things worse than cutting the dog’s walk short because you chose the wrong shoes for the occasion. Shake things up a bit out there today. PetMD.com has a few suggestions…here’s how to achieve this.
Let your dog make the decisions. If you’re used to walking your dog around the block on the same route every night, it’s probably time for a change. “Every so often, allow your dog to determine the route,” says John D. Visconti, CDPT-KA, owner of Rising Star Dog Training in North Carolina.
Walk in a new location. Besides just changing the dog walking route in your neighborhood or near your home, consider hopping in the car and driving to a whole new spot for your dog’s weekend walks.“Taking the same walk over and over again can get really boring,” says Dr. B. Silverman. “Try visiting parks, neighborhoods or forest preserves you’ve never explored.”
Let loose and have fun. Dog walking shouldn’t be monotonous, says Visconti, so put away your phone and use the opportunity to just enjoy the time with your dog. Let your guard down and be a little silly. “Sing to your dog. Dance with your dog. Interact with your dog. Be happy,” he says. “Walks should be fun. If they are, they won’t become boring or routine.”
Thanks for stopping by.
The Doggy Perspective