Killing Them With Kindness
We obviously love our four-legged friends with every fiber of our being, but sometimes our compassion and care may lead them down an unhappy trail. While we’re always compelled to do the right thing whenever we’re looking after them, at times this nurturing environment leads to a situation where we may end up spoiling them instead, leading to pet obesity.
We’ve all seen those scary statistics involving a growing number of pets becoming seriously overweight and obese from getting too much love (aka food). But let’s face these frightening facts and behaviors head on and not turn a blind eye to this dangerous trend.
Potentially putting our precious pets at risk for any number of various health problems due to potential weight issues is easily avoidable with just a little bit of training and proper exercise. Let’s take a look a few basic facts and tips when it comes to “tipping” the scales in our favor:
Start With A Friendly Feeding Forum With A Pro
Consult a veterinarian to learn about specific daily dietary requirements and digestive needs for your dog. A qualified medical professional will break down their nutritional requirements according to their age, size, weight, breed, and other possible medical concerns or conditions they might have.
But there are also some basic training tips to keep our canines in check when it comes to their regular food intake. Again, given their age, weight, and the advice from our friendly, neighborhood vet, check out some of these training tips to keep your pup safely in tow:
Enough Is As Good As A Feast
Especially when it comes to treats, slim down, take it slow, or as Mary Poppins once said, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Technically, this exact phrase dates back to ancient Greece, but the saying remains the same. Dog trainers and veterinarians alike recommend just a pea (that’s right a pea-sized nugget or about the size of a pebble) for a treat when giving rewards or as an incentive for good behavior when training.
Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
Everyone assumes dogs are always consummate beggars when it comes to the preparation and service of meals. When it comes time for the humans to eat, we sometimes see them begging to eat, to be noticed and to participate. But this is not the case.
This type of “beggar” behavior is actually a learned and encouraged type of scenario that exists and continues throughout their lifetime with the absence of some basic training. But one may “beg” to differ, who can resist those adorable, gorgeous brown eyes? Boo Hoo!
Think of it this way. How many videos have you seen on the Internet (or on any number of different social media platforms), where a cunning canine is shown balancing a treat that has been perfectly placed on their nose waiting for the master in charge to tell them the exact moment it’s okay to snatch it.
On the other hand, how many bits of video mayhem have we witnessed where a dog is begging beyond belief, no matter how little or tiny, obnoxious, or oversized they may be, with those deep-set, beautiful brown eyes, going after that sweet, delicious treat with a burning vengeance?
The hoops they will jump through, the distance they will go, is almost limitless. But have you ever watch the result of a staged event such as this? Usually, it’s just a little, tiny, itty-bitty snatch of a reward, almost unseen, like a magic trick.
ALL of these examples, every one of them, are LEARNED BEHAVIORS. Taught and trained with minimal effort on both sides. It takes just as much effort to teach a dog to come for a treat as it does to show them they need to stay away from unwelcome food.
“Pet Obesity – Killing our Dogs with Kindness”
Guest Author: Amber Kingsley
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