Dr. Al Townshend
For most pet Guardians, the time we spend feeding our pets is a pleasing and positive experience. For the dog it has been that way since man and canine first developed a relationship some 15,000 years ago, and it led to the wild dog (wolf) being the first species that man domesticated. The domestication of cats began some 3,000 years later when humans began to settle down, grow their own food and share it for the benefit of man and beast.
Over time we have continued to nurture the domestication process and the bond between pets and what are now called Guardians has continued to grow. The love, attention, and devotion our pets give to us has become a crucial part of our health and well-being.
Showing the Love
Fostering the emotional and physical benefits we receive comes in the things we do for our four-legged companions. In the overall care and Guardianship we provide, there are some things we do very well and it provides great benefit for all.
There also things that many don’t provide in large enough quantities; exercise is an example. Guardians today are on the go and time to exercise their pets is limited.
On the other hand, there are things that many Guardians overdo for their pets and feeding is a good illustration.
Packing on the Pounds
As a result of not enough exercise and overfeeding we have an epidemic of obesity and the diseases that occur more frequently in overweight animals. Arthritis, heart and kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis and even cancer occur much more frequently in overweight and obese animals.
Providing more time for exercise is simple part of the solution for obesity issues, but slowing down on how much we feed our pets is a totally different story.
How many times have you provided just the right amount of food to maintain an ideal weight and body conformation to have your beloved pet consume it in an instant and look up with those big, sad and loving eyes as if to say, “is that all?” Statistics show that many Guardians are feeding their pets to satisfy their appetite rather than just enough to maintain a slightly lean ideal body weight and conformation. Statistics have confirmed the problem is real. At least 50% of both dogs and cats are overweight or obese.
Guardians have 100% control over what a pet eats and how much a pet consumes
Always provide regular exercise and just enough of a food made from high-quality ingredients to maintain an ideal weight and body conformation. Doing so encourages a long, happy and healthy life, and at the same time, saves on food coats and veterinary visits.
Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said it best, “Obesity is the number one health threat pets face, and the most important pet health decision owners make each day is what and how much they feed.”
Learn more about feeding your pets in our Nutrition section.