Posted: May 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm
you know its not just dogs who can have food issues..people can too. and sometimes human food issues can affect dogs too.
many years ago..(like 15..wow) I had this sweet young black lab/retriever cross. I placed him in an animal loving home with a very good, very responsible and active family. a year later, I get a call..he is growling and snapping at the kids over his food bowl.
I hike on over for a visit and I see a lean, perfect weight specimen of a dog. his food is measured to the milligram of his daily ideal intake need. and I also see a very anxious and upset dog who the text books say is perfectly fed but who actually in reality feels like he is always hungry.
food had become an issue for him because he felt it was a limited resource that was never quite enough.
I refuse to get into arguments with folks who treat food as something requiring the ultimate control of a dedicated owner with a food science nutritional degree. I am more interested in not what the vets or the research say..I am interested in what the animal has to say…and sometimes they say that despite what the nutritional charts say…they feel deprived and hungry.
a chronically hungry dog is a frustrated dog, it is also an anxious dog. and chronically frustrated anxious dogs are likely to snap at kids near their food bowls.
I tried to talk to the family about feeding the dog more, not worrying too much about a few extra pounds and possibly increasing his exercise to help deal with that. but basically what they said was there was no way on gods green earth that their dog would ever be allowed to be fat. he was at the perfect weight for his size and his age and that was where he was going to stay.
since they were not willing to feed him more and they were not willing to keep a snappy, frustrated dog..I took him back. I fed him enough so he felt he wasn’t hungry and I adopted him out a while later to a wonderful lady who cooked for him lovely meals every day.
the last time I saw him a couple of years later, he was pleasantly plumb and right back to being the sweet and gentle and happy dog that I remembered
glad I got it right the second time around.
I watched a Caesar milan video where he was dealing with a food aggressive yellow lab..that dog was vicious around food and she was also lean and the ideal weight. I wondered why he didn’t see that she was freaking out over her food because she felt chronically denied and hungry?
my point is this..I don’t know why some dogs like some people need a bit extra to feel satisfied. but I do know that dogs and people come in all kinds of different sizes and from all kinds of different backgrounds and experiences with all kinds of different metabolisms. and I know that all living creatures are unique.
I know that certain breeds…esp labs, cockers, retrievers, daxies and beagles are way more likely to be food freaks than poodles, yorkies or collies.
and I also know that while extra weight is not ideally healthy..neither is feeling chronically frustrated and anxious just for the sake of looking perfectly lean.
interestingly enough I have run into this issue many times before…and while some of the people involved were in perfect physical shape..just as many times, the people were carrying more than a few extra pounds themselves.
and I realized something…people get to choose how much or how little or what kind of foods they want to eat..dogs eat what we say they need.
I think for some food freak dogs, a few less pounds are not worth every day feelings of want, need and hunger pain.
really…no body has to be perfect, not even a dog’s body..being not perfectly perfect within reason is actually perfectly ok.