Dog Nutrition and Feeding
The Overwhelming Selections
We all want what’s best for our dogs. That I’m sure, at least I hope, is the one thing dog parents can agree on.
In my opinion, one of the most important things we can do for our dogs is to ensure they are eating a heathy, well balanced diet specific to them and their individual needs. But saying that, just taking a walk down the pet food isle can be an overwhelming experience. Do we feed them dry, wet, a mix of the two, organic, raw, do we buy the most expensive or is it o.k to buy on the lower end/cheapest dog food, the list goes on.
Over the years, I have been through a range of different foods with my dogs. At one point, I even fed my elder Golden Retriever homemade food when she was no longer interested in eating. Making your own dog food comes with its own set of challenges. It’s not as easy as giving them whatever you have in the fridge, our dogs must be given proper portions of different food categories including supplements, and this takes time and an understanding of proper dog nutrition.
When my pug Edie came home with me as a puppy she was already on a diet of Royal Canin Pug puppy food. Edie was thriving and doing well, so I continued her on this brand of food.
“I Will Not Let My Pug Become Overweight”
How can I say this politely, it’s a well known fact that pugs easily gain weight and become “pudgy”! I have yet to meet a pug that is not food motivated or would say no to an extra treat. I swore “I would not allow my pug to become overweight.”
Well guess what?
What I swore wouldn’t happen, happened. I became the dog parent of an overweight dog.
It was like it happened overnight – but we all know that’s not the case. My healthy weight dog started packing on the pounds soon after she was spayed. It was like she started putting on weight the minute she walked out the vet’s door!
I was now faced with a ravenous dog who no matter what I tried, it seem she could not get food off her mind. I tired switching over to a Light version of food, but she still acted as if she hadn’t eaten in month’s! She went through what I call the “bunny” stage, meaning, she ate plants right out of my garden!
Edie had a particular preference for Hostas, leaf, stock and all, right down to the root! Worried she was going to poison herself I looked up Hostas to make sure they weren’t poisonous, I couldn’t find anything indicating that they were, but I consulted with Edie’s vet. I ended up having to fence off what was left of my once admired garden to keep Edie out and safe.
Desperate for a solution to satisfy my hungry dog I tried filling her up between feedings on “treats” of carrots, green beans and even lettuce, yes she loves lettuce! But my frustration continued to grow with Edie’s constant begging for food and obvious weight gain. She tried eating everything and anything she could find, needless to say I was becoming extremely concerned for her health.
Ultimately, it was a visit and talk with Edie’s vet that I found the help I needed to address my dog’s hunger, constant begging, and of course, something that would help her lose the extra weight and get back on the healthy track.
Edie was placed on Satiety Support, a veterinarian specific food that is nutritionally designed to satisfy my dog’s hunger, yet at the same time, help her loose those extra pounds. My dogs meals are divided over 3 times throughout the day, and I found adding a little water in with the food help slow down her eating.
Of course like anything, it didn’t magically happen overnight. Over the course of that first month on the Satiety Support, I began to see improvements. The constant begging for food had lessened, I was able to eliminate trying to fill her up on green beans, carrots and lettuce, and the plants in my garden were safe again 😉 And importantly, Edie started losing weight, looking healthier, her coat was super shiny, and I personally believe, she was happier.
Just like the different varieties of dog foods available in the pet food isles, each dog is an individual with their own special needs. Sometimes it takes time, trial and error to find what’s right for your pet, but when you do, nothing is more satisfying to see them thriving and healthy.